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Long term Japan residents

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Long term Japan residents

Postby Deimon » Mon 01.09.2006 12:27 am

To all those people out there who live or have lived in Japan, I want to
hear your stories and comments. I spent my adolescent years in Japan
studying at a military high school in Kochi prefecture. I then went on to
live in various places in the Kansai area for a total of 2.5 years. At the
moment Im back in my hometown of Perth (Australia) doing asian
cultural studies at university.

While Ive learned quite a bit about about Japan, I still have so many
questions. So many questions.

Tell me what you've done, seen and experienced!
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby ymlover » Tue 01.10.2006 5:23 am

I'm currently going to a public middle school in Japan. It's okay I guess. I've been in school for about a year and 3 months or so. At first I was not used to the differences between the American schools and these Japanese schools, but I have learned the way. There are so many differences and I was sort of bored and I didn't like the fact that I chose to come to Japan, but now I'm fine. This is the first time I've been in Japan and in total I have been here for about 1 and a half years. I can speak fairly well, well enough to have conversations amongst other students. If there's anything you want to know about middle schools you can ask me, or anything about my lifestyle, whatever you want to know...
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby ShikenkanBebii » Sun 01.15.2006 8:16 pm

I really want to know what are some of the main differences between the school you attend in Japan and the school you attended in States? Of course there's a difference in the grading scale, but is there a big difference between the time you spend in school and how they send you to the next grade? Do you have special tests that you have to pass to graduate like we have the SAT and stuff here?
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby Blue » Tue 01.17.2006 5:26 am

I can't say anything about highschools but I have been living and studying in Tokyo for 1 year. The japanese university system is very different from Europe, not to mention that we have almost no private unis in Austria. So comparison is a bit difficult. Nonetheless I would prefer my japanese uni over my austrian one, the quality of teaching and campus life was way better!
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby Infidel » Tue 01.17.2006 7:50 am

The japanese university system is very different from Europe,


I'd always heard that the Japanese school system was based on the British model.
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby Blue » Tue 01.17.2006 1:21 pm

I think it is. But the British model is different from the continental European one. We don't have "highschools" for example. We have a system that differs completely in the amount of years you have to spend at certain schools. Primary school is 4 years, but then you can decide between 4 + 1 + work or 5 + work/uni or 4 + 4 + uni and so on.
And as for university, we don't have a campus - which is really a pitty in my opinion. My campus in Japan was great, we even had a swimming pool, a gym and rooms just for students. And of course all the clubs! B)
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby AJBryant » Tue 01.17.2006 3:49 pm

I'd always heard that the Japanese school system was based on the British model.


Originally, I believe it was. It was seriously revamped, though, in 1946. For some reason... B)


Tony
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 01.17.2006 7:49 pm

I was under the impression that it was based on the German school system following 1946.
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby IkimashoZ » Tue 01.17.2006 8:44 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
I was under the impression that it was based on the German school system following 1946.


I know that the uniforms you see today are based on 19th century German school uniforms. As for the educational system today, it bears little resemblence to what I remember from my time at a German high school I attended six years ago.

In my region of Japan (and I assume all others) it works like this:

youjien (preschool or kindergarten): ages 0-5
shougakko (grade school): 6 years (grades 1-6 US)
chuugakko (middle school): 3 years (grades 7-9 US)

After that students go to "high school", but there are applications and entrance exams, just like colleges.

koukou (high school): 3 years (grades 10-12 US)

I don't know much about how colleges here work as I'm working at a junior high. I think their system is four years also, but I'm not sure.

Six years ago when I was going to Gymnasium (high school) in lower saxony, they were in the process of switching the school system. Here's how it was before I got there:

Grundschule (elementary school): 4 years (grades 1-4 US)

After this they had to choose from three kinds of high schools (Hauptschule [grades 5-9 US], Realschule [grades 5-10 US] and Gymnasium [grades 5-13 US]). They last different amounts of time depending on which one you to, and basically determine whether or not you'll go to college.

When I got there, they were changing the Grundschule to be six years instead of four.

Maybe the German and Japanese systems looked similar sixty years ago, but I'm fairly sure they don't look anything alike now.
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby sgtkwol » Tue 01.17.2006 11:05 pm

The application process for HS is interesting. Does this mean that you could possibly not be accepted to any HS, or just one that is not as good as the others?
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby IkimashoZ » Tue 01.17.2006 11:37 pm

I asked one of my coworkers what would happen. He said that almost all the students get into a high school, but in the rare case that a student can't get in, they usually end up doing work at home, helping their family in any way they can, since they can't get any sort of job.

Oh, and there is definitely a pecking order among high schools.
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby natemb » Tue 01.17.2006 11:38 pm

One major difference between Japanese and western public schools (in my experience*) is that in Japan, students have some extra responsibilities:

- students, and to some extent teachers, clean the school every day

- at lunch time, students serve lunch in the classrooms (and teachers without a homeroom serve it in the teachers' room).

- students commonly run higher responsibility errands for teachers like getting keys to unlock rooms, even in elementary school.

A big difference for teachers is that all the teachers' desks with all their materials are in one teachers' room, with the principal and vice-principal at the head. There is no secretary and whoever is nearest is expected to answer the phone when it rings.

*Besides the US, where I grew up, I only have experience in a Spanish high school and Japanese elementary and middle schools.
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby IkimashoZ » Tue 01.17.2006 11:43 pm

natemb wrote:
- at lunch time, students serve lunch in the classrooms (and teachers without a homeroom serve it in the teachers' room).


I find this interesting. In the next town over, the JET there reports that they do it this way, but in my jr. high school, there is definitely a cafeteria which everyone congregates at every day. Though everything else you described seems true of my situation.

I'll bet there are hundreds of other places with little differences like that. I've heard of some very poorly behaved schools where students are certainly not given any extra responsibilities. I'm really glad I didn't get one of those. They're supposed to be few and far between though.
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 01.18.2006 12:28 am

youjien (preschool or kindergarten): ages 0-5
I don't know much about how colleges here work as I'm working at a junior high. I think their system is four years also, but I'm not sure.


Depending on the school, colleges are 4 years (standard) 2 years (短期大学), or variable (専門大学、医療大学)

I think some 90% of students go on to high school, but I'm not quite sure about the college entrance rates. Because of of the prevelance of tandai schools, I think it is probably higher than the US, but don't quote me on that.

Also, as a minor nitpick, it's
ようちえん not ようじえん
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RE: Long term Japan residents

Postby Infidel » Wed 01.18.2006 6:38 am

AJBryant wrote:
I'd always heard that the Japanese school system was based on the British model.


Originally, I believe it was. It was seriously revamped, though, in 1946. For some reason... B)


Tony


Wow, am I behind the times.
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