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“Going International”

Pro’s and con’s of being a 外国人 in an international school in Japan 

Foreigners have visited Japan and explored it’s culture from There are approximately 30 international school in Japan, most of them
the beginning of the century. But do the foreigner’s children all bunched up in Tokyo and around the Kanto region. Some foreigners
go to to Japanese schools or international school’s? What are are attracted to Japan’s beautiful nature and they may set foot on the
their advantages and disadvantages? how would they compare countryside, but in this article we will be concentration on the urban and
it to other places? sub-urban areas of Japan.

other people’s opinions. There is a high

An International life possibility of racism because of many
different cultures, but since most
International schools are private schools,
Out of the 30 international schools in Japan, 10 of
there is less reliability on parents and the
them are in Tokyo. About another 10 are in Nagoya
rules are stricter, which is another
and Osaka, the rest of the ten in other places, so
advantage despite complications between
international schools have a wide range of areas.
different cultures. This could be a
With all these schools, foreigners in Japan may have
problem from a Japanese person’s point of
a good access to international education.
view and a foreigner’s point of view.
I happen to be a student that goes to Yokohama However, for a half Japanese and a half
International school, so I will talk about the daily foreign country person, it may be a
life at this school. Above: Tokyo international school entrance peculiar experience, hence they may not
gives a Japanese background and a isolated feel like a Japanese person neither a
I have interviewed two students in this school, both westerns entrance in the middle. foreigner. Especially for me, I have been
saying that their father’s company has transported living in Japan all my life and my first
(google image search)
them to Japan, so it looks like most international language is Japanese, I happen to be
foreigners come to Japan for business exchange much more fluent in English because of
instead of self interest. According to their results, the effect of English speaking schools and
the two interviewed people say that their advantage unforgettable international experience for also since I have never gone to a public
of being in an international school is that they get to most foreigners and Japanese people. Japanese school.
meet other foreigners and Japanese people at the Although because of its For me, it feels perfectly normal to be in
same time, which makes them feel more internationalism, different cultures can be an international school in Japan, though it
comfortable than a public Japanese school, making a a little problem. The students have may feel peculiar and a little
better environment for learning. different opinions, and they also come uncomfortable for foreigners. The two
from different nations which make the people that I have interviewed both say it
International schools in Japan provide a opinions vary even more, so it may be feels normal. That is probably because
good experience of Japan, plus an n hard to work in groups and to agree with


they have lived in many places already. classes so the school expects everyone
who graduates the school can speak

Experiences Japanese fluently. They also provide

events like “Omochitsuki” which is very
The first person I interviewed has lived
in China and South Africa, and the second
person I interviewed has lived in Canada,
USA, Belgium, Germany and China. The
two of them has already had a quite a lot
of international experiences, so it may feel
normal to them.
For socialization, according to my
experience, most foreigners socialize with Hokkaido International School, Japan
other foreigners and most Japanese (Google image search)
students socialize with other Japanese
students. Even in international schools,
students can be one sided. I have had over
cultural, a fine experience for foreigners of
6 years of International experience, and I
what it is like being in Japan. A life in an international school in
hardly had any foreign friends. I don’t
.If the foreigner doesn’t have close Japan can be a great experience, getting
really know why, but I guess we are
access to a base or a certain place style to meet new friends and relation ships
naturally born to be used to the people we
town, the foreigner may miss some of the which what I, myself is bad at even
recognize well even though after having a
cultures, food and Nature from the though I have had over 6 years of
good international experience. Most
person’s origination. For example, I have international experience. The advantage
foreigners tend to group up with other
heard some Australians like Mr. of being in Japan is to have a unique life
foreigners, not necessarily from the same
Robinson, my science teacher; he says that different to the person’s origination, to
nation, but basically a similar group.
he misses the juicy Mangos back in his have a cultural experience and learn also
Maybe the visual similarity attracts
country. He tells the class that “the one’s about modern day Japan. The advantages
people together.
in Japan are from the Philippines and are of being in an international is that the
Again, according to my experience, the
nothing”. student can have and international point
physical attempts from foreigners were of view experience, improve relation
fine most of the time. Generally, most ships with others around the world, to
foreigners are doing fine in the school that learn to cope and respect other people’s
I go to. I think that the physical approach cultures, and most of all, experience and
is probably the same in most International improving skills of social presentations
schools around the world, as well as in and speeches which they do not do very
Japan. often in public Japanese schools.
International schools also provide a wide
Our school provides field trips and field variety of school activities to the
studies, which are chances for foreigners experience of latest technology. The
to experience Japan and its cultures. Also, disadvantages may have to do with
In Nishimachi International school, they inconvenience and confusion with
have strict courses of Japanese language different cultures, missing life in other
places, etc.
Another problem is that Japanese
people may find it annoying that people
have different cultures, for example a
Chinese family may celebrate a loud
party during almost every night which
may be a fact of life in China, but
Japanese neighbors complain from the
loudness. These issues can be a very big
problem for foreigners living in Japan or
any other country with cultural
Though I believe that most foreigners
probably enjoy it here, whether they
wanted to move here or not, but we
cannot run away from the truth.” We all
have disadvantages”.

2008 by Joseph Yoji Brown Mr. Campbell’s english class