Schooling Options

Welcome to the OIST Schooling Options webpage. The purpose of this page is to provide members of the OIST community with information regarding schooling options for their school-age children (ages 6-18). While the education coordinator makes every attempt to update this page regularly, we strongly encourage you to email for the most up-to-date information.

Note: When considering your schooling options in Japan, it can be helpful to think of the "big picture". Where do you expect your children to go to high school? What about university? Consider elementary and junior high school options carefully with these questions in mind.

Please note that High School education is not compulsory, which also means it is not guaranteed, and that is why these questions are so important to consider.

Onna Elementary School

International Schooling Options


Educational Websites (official)

Useful Websites for OIST Parents

OIST International Classroom



Compulsory Education in Japan:  

The Japanese school year is from April to March. 

Elementary and Middle school are both part of compulsory education in the Japanese school system. Education in Japanese schools follows a curriculum designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). However, education through middle school (9th Grade in the Japanese System), is only compulsory for Japanese citizens 

For foreign residents of Japan, schooling is optional to give them more flexibility (including home-schooling, international schooling, boarding schools, private tutoring, or any combination of those). For more information, see Useful Websites for Parents.   


Schooling Options in Okinawa: Overview 

There are three types of schools for each level of education: Public, Private, and International. Please click the links below for more information on each.