We recommend you ask someone who understands Japanese to accompany you when enrolling for childcare facilities and schools.
In Japan children must attend nine years of compulsory education: six years of elementary school and three years of middle school. Children begin elementary after turning six years old. The school year begins in April and ends in March.
Support for Foreign Children
SenTIA(Sendai Tourism, Convention and International Association) provides various information on their website for parents/guardians having foreign nationality.
“Children with Roots Abroad Support Sendai Consultation Desk”（External site）
The Tohoku University International Support Center also provides various assistance with matters related to school enrolment and childcare facilities for children of international students, researchers and faculty members. Refer to this section for more details.
Elementary & Middle School
If you wish to send your child to a public elementary or middle school, you must register with the Sendai-shi Kyoiku Iinkai Gakujika (Sendai City Board of Education, Educational Affairs Division). Which school your child will attend depends on where you live. There are no tuition fees, but you will be billed for school lunches and educational materials.
Sendai City Board of Education (*Machine-translation)
Enrollment procedures for public elementary & middle schools (external site) (*Machine-translation)
*Notification “Machine-translation” pages are translated by J-SERVER Professional, a web-based machine translation system, operated by Kodensha Co., Ltd.Note that the machine translation system doesn’t guarantee 100% correctness. Some words and phrases may not be translated correctly. （Reprinted from Sendai City website.）
Information on Nearby Elementary Schools
Those living in Tohoku University International House or the Sanjo dormitory for university employees usually send their children to Sendai Kunimi Elementary School.This school offers an international class where foreign children can take Japanese language and supplementary classes.
Sendai Kunimi Elementary School Website (Japanese only)
Sendai Hachiman Elementary School offers Japanese classes for children whose native language is not Japanese.
Sendai Hachiman Elementary School Website (Japanese only)
The city’s public middle schools sometimes have volunteers and support staff available to assist students whose native language is not Japanese. Please inquire directly with the relevant school for details.
Guide for foreign students to start school – Procedures for Entering Japanese Schools –
Schools Providing Education in English (Private)
Tohoku International School
Although this is a private school and is not part of the Japanese educational system, it is accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges). Its graduates are qualified for entering universities in Japan and around the world. Children of Tohoku University employees may be eligible for a tuition waiver.(*Children of Tohoku University students are not eligible for the waiver.) Please inquire for details.
Financial support for foreign Tohoku University staff with children (Human Resources and Planning Department website) (Japanese only)
Sendai has childcare facilities for families with young children in which both parents work. There are both public and private facilities.
On-campus University Nursery
Tohoku University provides an on-campus nursery to assist faculty staff and students. If you wish to use it, please inquire with your faculty’s contact person before you come to Japan; there may or may not be a vacancy.
Parents/guardians wishing to use another childcare service
Parents/guardians wishing to use a childcare service must obtain usage authorization (authorization to receive support) based on their employment status. There are separate procedures for enrolling in kindergarten and daycare.
The Sendai Tourism, Convention and International Association (SenTIA) provides a guide for childcare services in multiple languages on its website. Please refer to the guide for more information.
Support Services with School Enrolment and Childcare
The International Support Center provides various assistance to support international students, researchers and faculty members with matters related to school enrolment and childcare arrangement for their children.
We can assist you in matters such as finding suitable school/childcare facilities, complete the enrolment procedures, providing interpretation support during school interview etc.
If you would like to apply for this assistance, please make the application from the link below: