Leaving Japan for my kid's education would probably also be one of mine as well. The reason has little to do with how the education is done. I think in the case of US vs Japan, at a core level, the two countries are not all that different. I do however believe that Japan probably pushes education farther than the US in K-12.
There are a few reasons I will leave eventually. First, I want my kids to experience living in another culture. They'll have dual citizenship, so they should have a chance when they are young and before college, to see life in another country.
Second, I've already decided that if I have daughter(s), leaving Japan is a requirement. I want them to experience living somewhere where its less patriarchal than Japan. I don't want them to be completely brainwashed by the Japanese culture machine and believe that life is like that. I want them to know they have options about where they can go if they find Japan stifling. They can easily go to another country and find more success than they probably will in Japan.
Third, I've seen Japanese students that have lived in other countries for a period, and I really like how rounded they are as individuals.
(2016-09-12, 2:03 pm)saizen Wrote: Don't they have international schools in Japan? When I lived there, I knew some of my co-workers put their kids in such schools. As to the quality of the education, I assumed it was standard / above-standard since it wasn't free.
There are a few international schools in Japan. You have to live in a large city though usually to have access to them. They aren't free, but then, neither are most of the public schools as well. Even at public schools, I noticed that there were various expenses that parents would pay. It was probably still cheaper than an Intl. or private school though.
I can't speak to the quality of education though. So long as its a legit Intl. School I think it should be fine. I've noticed that there are some schools that have popped up over the years in Japan that claim to be "International" schools, but in reality, they aren't all that international. My metric for an International school is that some of the core subjects at the school (Math/Science/Literature/etc.) have be done 100% in English and not Japanese. Another good indicator is how strict/competitive it is for Japanese students to get into the school. Every International school in Japan will have some students that are 100% Japanese, but the school majority shouldn't be these students. There should be a mix of students that are half Japanese or are students of foreign nationals. This is in order to help provide an environment for mixing cultures, while also placing a limitation on the communication language (more foreign nationals = more talking in English).
ktcgx Wrote:The cost of international schools is prohibitive unless you earn a tonne...
Since I live alone, I can't even begin to ponder what the budget for a family looks like. But looking at the Canadian and British international school, the tuition runs about $1500-$2000/month. If you are single earner family, this would be hard to manage probably, but on a dual income family this shouldn't be too difficult. Keep in mind, I'm assuming you aren't working as a teacher in this case. If you are a teacher in Japan, then this will probably be impossible to pull off on your own. Working in any other instance though, so long as you have lived/worked in Japan for about 5-10 years, you should have moved up in your career enough that you should be making about $50-60k at least. A SO that's also making about that much as well, should help with the cost of tuition at these places.
I got so focused on the education aspect that I forgot that another good reason to leave Japan is for career advancement. It can be hard for some people to move past a certain point in their career in Japan. There are also some careers that have a high bar of entry for foreigners as well (licensed teachers/doctors/dentists/etc).
Edited: 2016-09-12, 3:23 pm