Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and is a popular destination for many foreigners who choose to live in Japan. Many international students choose to live in this city because the culture, cuisine and various attractions in the city are very appealing.
Osaka is also home to some impressive and highly qualified international schools. As in Tokyo, the International Baccalaureate is very popular in Osaka’s international schools. These schools usually cater to expatriates from European and American countries who need a school that is as high standard as the school they were born in.
By enrolling their children in this international standard school, they will have no problems because the language of instruction is English, Japanese and various other foreign languages that help international students to absorb knowledge comfortably.
To learn more about international schools in Japan and various other cities, please read the recommended articles below:
5 Best & Most Famous International Schools in Kyoto
High School in Japan: Everything You Need to Know
What is an International School?
International schools have different standards and qualities compared to public schools. This school is usually attended by expatriates who have to stay in a foreign country for a long time to work and bring their children and family with them. They need to send their children to school, but still to the same standards as in their country of origin. The following are some of the characteristics of an international school:
(1) International curriculum
(2) International accreditation
(3) Multinational and multilingual student body
(4) English as the language of instruction
(5) Typically uses teaching methods such as Montessori or Waldorf
(6) Multinational staff
You can enroll your children in this international school according to your stay in Japan. In addition to English, the language of instruction is also Japanese and other foreign languages, making it easier for students to participate in education.
4 Most Popular International Schools in Osaka
1. Osaka International School (OIS)
The first on our list needs little to no introduction. Founded in 1991, this international school has been providing quality education in the Kansai region for more than a decade.
Osaka International School of Kwansei Gakuen (OIS) and its sister school, Senri International School (SIS), are located in the northern part of Osaka. They share a campus and a mission. This international school is notorious for its music and competitive sports programs that have sent students all over Asia to compete. Talk about exposure!
The OIS campus focuses more on the English-language college preparatory curriculum, while SIS focuses instead on the Japanese-language college preparatory curriculum. This unique feature where two sisters share a common goal and campus in providing top quality education is indeed a rare gem in the Kansai region.
Like many international schools in Japan, OIS is an IB (International Baccalaureate) accredited school with 3 programs in the IB. The school is also a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS), the Japan Council of International Schools (JCIS) and the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS). Children from the age of four to 18 are welcome at this school. Osaka International School is home to 270 students of 34 different nationalities.
For more information about Osaka International School, please click the following link:
2. Osaka YMCA International School (OYIS)
Next on our list is the Osaka YMCA International School with two campuses in the heart of Osaka. OYIS caters to foreigners living in Kansai on a long-term basis. Many families in the Osaka area travel from Hyogo, Kyoto and Kobe to Osaka for this international school.
The school has two main campuses. The Nakatsu campus has access to a rooftop pool which is great for extracurricular activities. The other campus is the Tosabori campus which has a recording room! Both campuses and classrooms are fully equipped with modern IT technology such as Smart Boards, Apple TVs and projectors.
OYIS is also an IB accredited school where English is the main language of instruction. The Tosabori campus is relatively new, opening its doors only in August 2020. There are many spacious and modernly designed rooms, providing a spacious and comfortable space for students to study. Open to students from 3 to 18 years old.
Another special feature of OYIS is its intensive program, which runs three times a year (spring, summer, winter) and consists of week-long fun theme-based programs to keep students engaged in learning with their peers. There is also an intensive Saturday program that aims to provide students with weekly academic English input. The school is home to approximately 250 students. A state-of-the-art international school located in the heart of Osaka.
To learn more about Osaka YMCA International School, please visit their official website by clicking the following link:
3. Abroad International School Osaka
Abroad International School Osaka is another top IB-accredited international school in Osaka. Also located in downtown Osaka, the Abroad International School Osaka offers IB programs only through Grade 9 (15 years old), with graduates moving on to greater opportunities beyond Japan.
Abroad International School Osaka also offers Saturday and seasonal intensive programs to help students keep up with their studies and keep in touch with their friends. This international school also offers after-school English classes to help students stay on top of their studies. This program offers support through a flexible schedule and a much more intimate one-on-one approach.
Since English is often the main language used in international schools in Japan, some students struggle with English, especially those from backgrounds with little or no exposure to English. This opportunity allows students to catch up on their studies and avoid the feeling of falling behind in class.
This international school also has the necessary facilities such as well-equipped laboratories and music rooms. Abroad International School Osaka is home to approximately 190 students from 17 different nationalities. Learn more about the school by visiting the following link:
4. Osaka Gakugei Canadian International School (OGCIS)
Last but not least, we would like to introduce the Osaka Gakugei Canadian International School. A relatively new international school, established in 2019.
As the name suggests, this international school follows the British Columbia (BC) curriculum. There are not many Canadian international schools in Japan and therefore Osaka Gakugei Canadian International School is definitely a jewel in the dust.
Graduates receive a BC or Japanese high school diploma and go on to universities around the world. The curriculum is taught entirely in English. Unlike IB schools, OGCIS offers a bilingual Japanese/English high school diploma program, with the majority of students going on to universities in Canada, the United Kingdom, or within Japan.
A special feature of this International is the Sooke Homestay Program. This homestay program allows Grade 10 students to complete and exchange progam in British Colombia, Japan that lasts about five weeks in July to August (on hold now because of Covid-19).
Students are given the opportunity to learn about the Canadian way of life and culture and upon successful completion, students receive 4 credits for their social studies unit. It is a great way for young children to experience life abroad.
OGCIS is home to approximately 270 students from 6 different nationalities, with the majority of students coming from Japan. Find out more about the school by clicking the following link:
Important Factors to Consider
In addition to location, tuition fees and accreditation, there are other factors to consider when choosing an international school in Osaka:
Among the list of top international schools in Osaka, most of the schools are IB accredited, but there are other curricula outside of IB that can open doors to the world as well. It really depends on the exposure you want for your child.
2. Graduation Path
While most international school graduates continue their studies within Japan, there are many others who immerse themselves in other cultures and countries. Depending on the desired country for further study, the curriculum offered by each international school also influences the choice of school. The choice of school also depends on the desired outcome after graduation.
Osaka may not have as many international schools as much more urban cities such as Tokyo, but there are still quite a few international schools in the area. They may be smaller and newer in terms of educational history, but not all new shoes are bad shoes!
Most of the schools focus a lot on character development and strengthening the use of the English language. I hope this list can be helpful to those who are considering or choosing an international school in Osaka for their children.