Japanese schoolchildren abroad | Nippon.com

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The number of Japanese primary and lower secondary school students studying abroad is increasing as more and more of their parents are posted abroad.

An increase of more than 40% in Asia in 10 years

As of April 15, 2017, a total of 82,571 Japanese primary and secondary students were studying abroad at a Japanese school, international school, or school offering additional Japanese language courses, an increase of 3,320 from one year on the other. . The figure for 2017 marks the first time to exceed the 80,000 mark and represents 23,000 more students than in 2007.

Japanese overseas students in Asia at the primary and lower secondary levels numbered 32,425 in 2017, an increase of over 40% from 22,801 in 2007. Business expansion Japanese families in the region and the economic development of Asian countries, especially China, whose level of trade with Japan has exceeded that of US-Japanese trade since 2004, have welcomed more Japanese families. The number of Japanese students in Europe and the Americas is also increasing, while the number in the Middle East, Africa and Oceania has not changed significantly.

School selection reflects parents’ concerns

The level of enrollment in Japanese schools varies by region. In North America, an overwhelming number of Japanese elementary and secondary students attend local or international schools, rather than Japanese schools. Enrollment in the first is 12,171, compared to only 467 for the second. The same is true in Oceania, where only 138 students attend Japanese schools, against 1,705 enrolled in local or international schools. The trend in English-speaking countries is for Japanese students to attend a local school as their primary source of education, while also building their Japanese skills through additional classes after school or on weekends. This approach reflects the point of view of parents who believe that studying intensively in an English speaking environment is more beneficial for a child’s future career path.

In contrast, there is an almost equal split in Asia between those who attend Japanese schools and those who are enrolled in local or international schools, with around 15,000 students enrolled each. In many cases, parents who choose Japanese schools find that it is better in a non-English speaking country for a child to follow the Japanese educational program focused on preparing for college entrance exams rather than acquiring a local language unrelated to this exam.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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