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Single parent study abroad

MeandMinime

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Hello everyone I am an American single parent looking for a language school in Japan. I am looking for one that will help with a student visa (I am wishing to do a long term study) and will help with my child (some sort of daycare thing). I do not care about location just more on the fact that they have something for single parents. Does anyone have any information that they are willing to share, I have tried Google, but no luck so far.
 

madphysicist

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Hi,

I found a couple of YWCA courses that seem to offer childcare but the courses aren't full time. I'll leave the links I found here just in case they're useful for someone else viewing the thread:
KYOTO YWCA » Japanese Language Classes
Nagoya YWCA offers language classes with day care | The Japan Times

If you can't find what you want, you could contact some schools that offer the student visa and ask them directly, "I have a young child I will need to take with me to Japan, can you offer me any help with finding childcare? Do you have experience of single parents from abroad studying at your school, how did they arrange childcare?" They may not have their own daycare but if you're going to spend thousands of dollars at their school they might be prepared to give you a little extra help at least by recommending suitable options in that city. It doesn't take too much time to just fire off 10 emails to different schools and see what responses you get.
 

Majestic

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As big of a headache as the day-care situation is, I think the child's visa will be an even bigger headache. I don't think Japanese officialdom envisions students bringing dependents to Japan. You may need to call the embassy to find out.
 

cocoichi

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Big thumbs up for trying despite having children!

In case the visa becomes a problem, consider studying a couple of times on a 3 month tourist visa. Some schools have 3 month programs especially for this reason; you don't need anything else except the tourist visa. In addition you could look for an au pair or local babysitter. Not sure about your budget and costs, but it might be worth looking into.
 

MeandMinime

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Hey guys thanks for replying, I will email a few schools to see if any of them are willing to help or point me in the right direction. I have read that you can only stay a total of 180 days in a single year on a tourist visa, it is like an unwritten rule from what I could tell. So that is why I am looking for something longer term. I read that the student visa does allow a dependent visa for spouse/unmarried minor child, so that is what I am kinda going off of. If I have to in roll her in a class for children studying Japanese I will as she already is studying with me, she is going to be 4 years old in November.
 

Glenski

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As big of a headache as the day-care situation is, I think the child's visa will be an even bigger headache. I don't think Japanese officialdom envisions students bringing dependents to Japan. You may need to call the embassy to find out.
I don't see what the problem is. Everyone on a student visa is eligible to sponsor their children or spouse for a dependent visa. Happens all the time with foreign students at universities.
 

Akakubisan

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I have a feeling daycare will be the most difficult thing to arrange (including cost). Unless the school runs something, you will be competing with everyone else for space in public/private daycares. You may be able to start preschool/kindergarten.
Please let us know how it goes.
 

tomoni

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Dear Me and Minnie Me.

You should probably get a name for your child- haha

OK that aside.

Firstly, in some sense japan is one of the most friendly countries for the single parent. BUT to take advantage of the social services you must be on a proper visa (so any advice to the contrary is not only illegal but also silly).

Dependent Visa: As Glenski said, dependent visas for students are quite common, and provided that you are at a school that qualifies you for a visa, the dependent visa should not be a problem as long as you can demonstrate that you can support yourself and you dependent.

Day care: For single parents, you are first priority to get public day care which in my experience is GREAT! As a single parent, you will likely pay no fees.

Medical: Rules vary slightly according to the municipality but medical coverage up to Grade 6 is usually free and for single parents up to the end of high school (others pay 30% of the cost)

Choosing a school: There are literally TONS of language schools, so I would start by thinking where you want to live. (There will be a school there.)

Big city? advantages more international, English more widely used, all the big city stuff.
Small city? nursery school close to language school- can live with a bike, cheaper rent, etc etc.

I would suggest looking at municipal web pages, ones that have English webpages will probably respond to your email. Get the google map of the nursery schools (usually on the pages) and look at rent costs in that area and fro nearby language schools. Ask what your chances of getting in are (in big cities you might not get in all (to the nursery school). if you do not apply at the "right" time. But in smaller areas you can get in easily. Have done the nursery school thing, having it close to school and where you live is a big plus and in my opinion worth choosing a city based upon that.

I would really spend some time on google looking at where you might actually want to live, and put your child in daycare, and then last find a school.

Public Nursery school is very good and your child (AKA minnie me would learn Japanese at nursery school). If you stayed longer you might consider some kind of special class to help with Japanese, but I would not worry about it initially as there are many options after you arrive.

Hope that helps
 
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