To study in Osaka is quite exciting and life-long experience for sure. Here are some information regarding going to school in Osaka!
Osaka people speak “Kansai-Ben“(Japanese with Kansai accent). So if you are planning to learn Japanese in Osaka, you will learn different kinds of Japanese or you learn the general Japanese in school but people will be speaking differently outside the school.
Living cost in Osaka is much cheaper, so if you are on tight budget, Osaka is better choice than Tokyo.
In Japan, in general, people prefer to send their children to public schools since they have high educational standards that match those of private schools, while schools fees are almost zero or else very affordable.
Especially regarding high schools, public schools have higher educational levels compared to private schools since many students who couldn’t pass the entrance exams to get into public schools ending up paying to go to private schools.
However, in big cities like in Osaka and Tokyo, this common sense doesn’t apply.
Private schools are considered to be better, especially in central Osaka.
It is legally possible to get into a local public school even if your child doesn’t speak Japanese, however, it will be extremely difficult to do so when a child is older or if the parents don’t speak Japanese.
There are many international schools in Osaka and surrounding areas to choose from. There are couple of Chinese international schools in the area as well.
If you decide to send your child to a local school in Osaka, it is NOT recommended to go to school anywhere south of Umeda/Osaka station. The reason is that in southern part of Osaka, the local culture and local people’s relationships in the neighborhoods are very strong. Basically, even though they are very friendly people, they may not be too welcoming when it comes to having a foreigner living in their neighborhood. Therefore, it is better to go up north and look for schools somewhere a bit more suburban area, such as Toyonaka City or Suita City (both of which have many good schools).
Full time Japanese language schools:
Tuition: JPY 150,000-250,000 for a three month course
Living expenses (including accommodation): About JPY 80,000-120,000/month
University study abroad in Japan:
Annual tuition for public university: around JPY 500,000 depending on school and major
Annual tuition for private university: JPY 1,200,000-2,000,000 depending on school and major
Living expenses (including accommodation): About JPY 100,000-120,000/month
Local schools in Osaka
There were no resources available that give a ranking of public elementary schools in Osaka. However, following is a ranking that shows which areas in Osaka that have the highest academic achievement.
Areas with have the highest academic achievement in Osaka:
Source: Student’s academic performance survey conducted by Osaka Prefecture in 2012
*Note: Although it is legally possible to go to Japanese public school regardless of children’s Japanese ability, it will be extremely difficult to catch up classes if your child is not a Japanese speaker, since everything is taught only in Japanese. If you want your child to learn in Japanese public school, it is highly recommended to start sending your child to Japanese school at the age of six years old or younger (Grade 1 or earlier).
International schools in Osaka
If your child is not a Japanese speaker and older than eight or nine years old, it is much easier to choose an international school. There are a number of international schools available in Osaka and the surrounding areas.
The popular international schools that had been well established in Osaka area are listed below:
Osaka YMCA International School
Osaka International School
Kyoto International School
Marist Brothers International School
There are two Chinese international schools in Osaka-Kobe area.
Osaka Chinese School
Kobe Chinese School
There are many Korean schools in the area as well.
Top universities in Osaka (and neighboring areas)
Because the entrance exams required to get in to private universities and public (national) universities differ, it is hard to assess them in same way. Below are the top public and private universities in Japan that are located in Osaka and surrounding areas.
Top public universities in Osaka area:
Kyoto University (ranked #19 of all universities worldwide)
Osaka City University
Top private universities in the Osaka area:
Kwansei Gakuin University
Kinki University (aka Kindai University) Doshisha University
Note: Level of each university differs from major to major. There are other great schools in Osaka as well, depending on what major you choose.