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High School in Japan


23 Oct 2003
Hi, I just want to know if its possible for a foreigner to attend high school in Japan with a Japanese language skill of beginners level? If so where could I locate one? Since I called the Embassy of Japan in my city and they told me to get a reference from the school then I can get a year student visa.
You would only be allowed to attend a modified school where lessons are conducted in English. There are exceptions but this is the norm.

If you wanted to attend a real Japanese high school I'd say you'd need near fluency and be able to handle stress well. I'm not saying it's impossible though.

If you really want to go to school in Japan, I suggest you spend your whole time in high school intensly studying the language and then maybe you can try to get into a Japanese University. Foreigners getting into Japanese Universities aren't as rare as foreigners enrolling in Japanese high schools.
You can attend Japanese high school, but you can't just walk up to the gates and say, "I'm here for school, teach me!" Like most everything in Japan, this kind of exchange takes a lot of planning. Look for a school or program that runs high school exchanges. Rotory[sic?] comes to mind, or any sister city relationship your city might have.

You really need to go with a school that has experience teaching and working with foreign students. I have one very long tale to tell about a friends daughter who was the first foreign student at her school. Long story short, she ended up being in the computer room by herself for long hours in the day because they really didn't know how to handle her classes (she only had beginning Japanese too).

Be ready to not get credit for the classes you will take back home. I didn't when I was on exchange in high school and graduated a year late because of it (well worth it though).

As for attending a Japanese university, a good idea, but I would much rather look into attending a university that has an exchange program you can go on. The chances of you can get from begining Japanese to the level needed for Japanese university in a few years without living in Japan is very slim. Plus, unless you plan on living in Japan the rest of your life (or you get into one of the very top tier schools) a degree back in Canada with a year as an exchange student in Japan will serve you much better in the hunt for a job than only having a degree from a Japanese university.

Good luck! I hope you find a program you can go on! :)
When I applied with a student exchange agency they told me I would go to a japanese high school even with or with out japanese language skills. I didn't get accepted though.

Anyway ive already searched for some Colleges but with the cost of that and a apartment I wouldn't be able to live long.

About high school I know you need a program but does it have to be with a exchange compagny? And I don't care about credits I already have enough.
Hey Mandylion, what exchange program did you use? I think I asked you some general info on student exchanges a while ago. There's a rotary program at my school but I can't apply until next year.
I'm doing an exchange like that next year. I happened to talk to the right person about it and they actually ended up setting a program up for me through my school.

I only have begginers Japanese, but I'm studying daily so that I can prep for being there. Be warned, there are quite a few catches. You'll probably have to pay your school fees, find a homestay, buy your uniform (coincidentally if you do find a program, these will probably be covered for you), and do an extra year of high school to get your university pre-reqs.

Start looking around, and talk to your principal, and probably the school board to see what's available. You'd be surprised the amount of stuff that is there, but unadvertised.
Carolgirl00 - I went through a sister city program my hometown ran/ still runs with a city in Japan. It was a pure exchange meaning I went to Japan for a year and that city sent a student to my hometown for a year. All the costs of lodging, food, living expenses is covered by the family, since you are taking care of their kid in the same way. It is a really good program, and one of the main reasons I got to go abroad (ie it was free for all intensive purposes). - Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Slipped under the radar.
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