Talk to anyone living in or around Nagoya and you will find that they can feel the city’s foreign population growing. While this growth is partly due to more foreign manufacturers relocating workers to the city, in general Nagoya is becoming a more desirable place to live. Better transportation, an increasingly active cultural life, and more modern shopping and dining options are available than just a few years ago.
With the influx of new residents comes greater demand for education options involving English, as well as an interest in more globally minded curricula and teaching methods.
The community has responded, and a growing number of schools offer international education in English. While this primarily involves preschools and kindergartens at present, there are now more elementary schools offering education in English. A limited number of middle schools and high schools are also doing so. Some of those currently focused only on elementary learning hope to grow into fully functional K–12 institutions.
The LEARN Seminar, held by the Chubu chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) on February 12 at the International Design Centre Nagoya, brought together seven of the most active educational institutions offering international programs. It was a very positive event, and the dialogue was helpful and constructive. It was good to see the educational community in Nagoya come together and collaborate.
Parents and educators swapped valuable information, and the Nagoya International School gave a particularly instructive presentation about their International Baccalaureate program and the consequences of entering your child on a path of global education. Some of their students are now being accepted at an impressive list of foreign and Japanese universities.
While an international school may not be the right fit for every child, it was interesting to learn about the options available to those of us who live and work in Nagoya. We hope to follow up on the event next year with a more in-depth seminar, including information about navigating the Japanese education system, as well as identifying resources for children who have special needs.
Watch the first two sessions from the LEARN Seminar:
Session 1: Preschool and Kindergarten
Session 2: Grade School to High School