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香港日本人学校 Hong Kong Japanese School JapaneseClass.jp
香港日本人学校 Hong Kong Japanese School JapaneseClass.jp from japaneseclass.jp


For Japanese families living abroad, finding a local school that offers education in their native language can be a top priority. These schools, known as "現地 校" or "Japanese schools abroad," provide a unique opportunity for children to continue their education while maintaining a strong connection to their Japanese roots. In this article, we will explore the benefits of attending a Japanese school abroad, the challenges that may arise, and provide some tips for finding the right school for your child.

1. Preserving Japanese Language and Culture

One of the primary benefits of attending a Japanese school abroad is the opportunity for children to continue learning and using the Japanese language on a daily basis. These schools often have Japanese-speaking teachers and follow the Japanese curriculum, ensuring that students receive a comprehensive education in their mother tongue. Additionally, they provide a supportive environment where students can develop a strong sense of Japanese identity and cultural pride.

2. Smooth Transition for Repatriation

For families who plan to return to Japan in the future, attending a Japanese school abroad can help ease the transition back into the Japanese education system. By following the same curriculum and teaching methods, students can seamlessly reintegrate into their grade level upon their return, avoiding any major gaps in their education. This can be particularly beneficial for older students who need to meet certain academic requirements for university admissions.

3. Community and Support

Japanese schools abroad often act as a hub for the local Japanese community, providing a sense of belonging and support for both students and their families. These schools often organize cultural events, festivals, and extracurricular activities that allow students to connect with their peers and build lasting friendships. Additionally, the teachers and staff at these schools are well-versed in the unique challenges faced by Japanese families living abroad and can provide valuable support and guidance.

Challenges of Attending a Japanese School Abroad

1. Language Barrier

While attending a Japanese school abroad offers the opportunity to continue using the Japanese language, it can also present challenges, especially for students who have been primarily educated in the local language. Adjusting to the different teaching methods and academic expectations may require additional effort and support. However, many Japanese schools abroad offer language support programs to help students bridge this gap.

2. Limited Subject Options

Japanese schools abroad often have a smaller range of subject options compared to local schools, as they need to adhere to the Japanese curriculum. This can be a disadvantage for students who have specific interests or career aspirations that may not be covered in depth. However, some schools do offer additional extracurricular activities or online courses to supplement their curriculum and provide students with a broader range of opportunities.

3. Adjusting to Different Education Systems

For students who have previously attended local schools, transitioning to the Japanese education system can be challenging. The teaching methods, classroom dynamics, and even the structure of the school day may be different from what they are accustomed to. It may take time for students to adapt and find their footing in this new environment.

Tips for Finding the Right Japanese School Abroad

1. Research and Visit Schools

Before making a decision, it is important to thoroughly research and visit the Japanese schools in your area. Take the time to understand their curriculum, teaching methods, and extracurricular offerings. Visiting the campus and talking to teachers and staff can give you a better sense of the school's atmosphere and whether it would be a good fit for your child.

2. Consider the Community

Take into account the size and dynamics of the local Japanese community when choosing a Japanese school abroad. A larger community may provide more opportunities for cultural enrichment and interaction, while a smaller community may offer a more close-knit and supportive environment.

3. Seek Recommendations

Reach out to other Japanese families in your area who have children attending Japanese schools abroad. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their personal experiences. Online forums or social media groups can also be a helpful resource for connecting with other parents and gathering information.

4. Consider Future Plans

Think about your family's long-term plans and how attending a Japanese school abroad aligns with them. If you anticipate repatriating to Japan in the near future, choosing a school that follows the Japanese curriculum and teaching methods may be more beneficial. However, if you plan to stay in the local country long-term, you may want to consider a school that offers a more balanced curriculum that incorporates local language and culture.

5. Assess Language Support Programs

If your child has been primarily educated in the local language, inquire about the language support programs offered by the Japanese school. These programs can help students bridge any language gaps and ensure a smooth transition into the Japanese education system. Additionally, consider whether the school offers Japanese language classes for non-native speakers.


Attending a Japanese school abroad offers numerous benefits for Japanese families living outside of Japan. From preserving language and culture to providing a supportive community, these schools play a vital role in keeping the Japanese identity alive. While there may be challenges and considerations to keep in mind, finding the right Japanese school abroad can be a transformative experience that sets a strong foundation for a child's future.