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Expat Exchange - How to Enroll Your Children in School in Japan
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How to Enroll Your Children in School in Japan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: If you're a newcomer in Japan and enrolling your children in school in Japan, here's how:

Enrolling your child in a public school in Japan can be a complex process, especially for expats who are unfamiliar with the Japanese education system and language. It requires a certain amount of paperwork and understanding of the local procedures. The documents you need to prepare include your child's passport, your residence card, and a certificate of alien registration. You may also need to provide proof of your address in Japan, such as a utility bill or rental agreement. It's important to note that the school year in Japan starts in April, so it's best to start the enrollment process well in advance.

  1. First, you need to determine the school district you belong to. In Japan, public schools are assigned based on your residential address. You can find this information at your local ward or city office.
  2. Once you know your school district, visit the local ward or city office to obtain an application form for school enrollment. The form is usually in Japanese, so you may need to ask for help in filling it out if you're not fluent in the language.
  3. Fill out the application form with your child's information, including their name, date of birth, and your contact details. You will also need to provide your child's passport, your residence card, and a certificate of alien registration.
  4. Submit the completed application form and required documents to the local ward or city office. They will process your application and issue a school enrollment certificate.
  5. Take the school enrollment certificate to the designated public school. The school will provide you with further information about the school schedule, uniform, and other necessary preparations.
  6. Attend the school's orientation session. This is usually held before the start of the school year in April. It's a good opportunity to meet the teachers, learn about the school's policies and curriculum, and ask any questions you may have.
  7. Prepare for the first day of school. Make sure your child has the necessary school supplies and uniform. It's also a good idea to familiarize your child with the route to school and the school's rules.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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