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Understanding the Differences Between International Schools and Japanese College Matriculation Options

International Schools and the Education System in Japan

Many important factors influence parents' decisions when choosing a suitable school for their children, not the least of which includes having a good curriculum or the type of learning options available. One important factor is the matriculation options that come from attending a school. 

The school you enroll your child in will not only open up certain university options but will also instill the necessary skills, tools, support and knowledge the child needs to improve their chances of getting into their university of choice.

When it comes to choosing between an International school and a Japanese school, it is important to understand the difference between the matriculation options that come from choosing either of these school systems.


Understanding Learning within a  Japanese school


The Japanese education system is recognized globally for nurturing a strong sense of morals and ethics. In fact, in addition to the standard subjects like social studies, language, math and science, a morals and ethics class is also taught. Respect or conformity towards the group is also emphasized due to the importance the Japanese culture places on building a strong sense of community among its members.

Of course, the school's curriculum is delivered in Japanese, and students learn to speak and write in Japanese. The education system is designed to nurture the whole student by teaching them to value and respect the environment, people and culture around them. Most schools even assign students the task of keeping the school clean as part of a curriculum that emphasizes the group and taking responsibility for your role within that group. 

Although there is a heavy emphasis on examinations or entrance examinations in the older grades, in the Japanese education system, students get used to taking smaller tests and assessments from a young age. The most challenging entrance examinations are at the end of middle school (to determine high school admissions) and at the end of high school (to determine university admissions). 

Most classroom learning utilizes more rote-learning strategies to memorize the subject material each semester to prepare students for the subsequent entrance examinations. These methods result in a system that can be competitive and stressful for not just the students, but also the families.


Japanese education matriculation options

The Japanese education system is designed to ultimately instill confidence in students to take on the entrance exams to a Japanese university and thrive in that environment. With so much emphasis on preparing for entrance exams, it is natural that most students' matriculation options after this system are assumed to be  Japanese universities.

Although of course, it is not impossible to enroll in a university or college outside Japan, students from the Japanese education system usually find it very challenging to adapt due to many factors like cultural and language barriers.

Students looking to build a future in Japan improve their chances of successfully achieving these plans through the Japanese education system. Each part of the system is designed to groom and prepare individuals for the next stage in their journey, eventually leading to local career opportunities. However, if a family wishes for a more internationally-minded approach, international education may be a better option. 


International education matriculation options

International schools, such as NIS, are accredited to demonstrate international standards and deliver globally recognized curriculums. International schools offer students many unique opportunities that may be out of reach for Japanese going through the Japanese system.

International schools are designed to nurture internationally-minded students by providing a diverse environment that celebrates global cultures and encourages collaboration and cooperation between peers coming from many different backgrounds.

Students also have the opportunity to get additional support for their unique learning needs. The smaller classroom sizes allow teachers to observe and better support students and their strengths and challenges.

Students graduating from international schools are instilled with the skills, knowledge and abilities to enroll and thrive in colleges or universities worldwide. Earning a high school diploma and the additional International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma opens up a world of international academic opportunities for them.

You can learn more about the support teachers provide for personalized learning here.

We believe the international nature of our learning experience, combined with our English-based curriculum, supports students in nurturing the skills needed to expand their knowledge and encourages them to critically analyze, reflect upon, appreciate and contribute to the world around them.


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