ISB School

A Guide to Transferring Schools for Japanese Families

A Guide to Transferring Schools for Japanese Families

Transferring schools can be a difficult time for many families. While such a monumental change can present a number of exciting opportunities for your child, a school transition can also be challenging as the whole family adjusts to a new school community, and maybe even a new country.

At ISB, we know how important it is to you that your child has access to an education that will open doors to a successful and fulfilling life, while also prioritizing the importance of maintaining their Japanese culture and language. We also understand the process of changing schools can be intimidating and difficult to navigate.

Our desire is to ensure that changing schools for Japanese families is as seamless of an experience as possible. Whether your family is transferring schools due to an international move or as an opportunity to seek the best education possible for your children, we have many opportunities for your family to develop new connections that will help everyone feel connected and to support your school transition to ISB. 

Helping your Family Feel at Home at ISB

A new environment as well as unfamiliar schoolmates and teachers is likely the biggest cause of stress for students when they arrive at a new school. This is why we have a series of connection points both for students and for parents who are new to the school.

What does it mean to belong at ISB?

ISB fosters a caring and inclusive community, where each child can feel they belong.

We know that this sense of belonging, feeling safe and knowing they can be themselves provides the foundation for academic development and personal growth.

Guidance at Every Step

To ease any uneasiness you or your child may feel during the transition to a new school, we provide guidance for both parents and students on how to best adapt to this exciting new adventure in your lives.


ISB Counsellors

Counsellors are an essential resource in our toolbox to help your children feel at home at ISB. We’ve created a helpful guide about what you need to know to ease the transition to a new school.

Each new family will meet with school counselors who can provide resources to ease the school transition as well as identify any potential areas where your child may need additional transition support. 


The Buddy System and Student Ambassadors

One of the many ways we help our students ease into life at ISB is with our buddy system. We pair our youngest students with a classroom buddy to help them adjust, while older students meet with Student Ambassadors who will help orient them to their new surroundings. You can learn more about this and other ways to help your child transition to their new school here. 

This transition can be challenging for parents too, which is why we provide additional resources and guidance for parents who may be feeling the stress of the transition. This includes a Japanese liaison, access to parent organizations and workshops, Japanese resources and more. 

Maintaining your Japanese Heritage

Some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from Japanese families who are considering joining ISB are in regards to understanding how our school helps students maintain their Japanese culture and language while at a school where English is the primary language of instruction. Some parents may also be concerned about their child’s current level of proficiency in English and wonder about the challenges this might present while studying in what may be a second or even third language.

For an in-depth look into how ISB's Native Language Program helps Japanese families maintain their mother tongue here.

Do you want to learn more about how students excel at ISB, with English as a second language? Click here to discover our student stories of success.


Welcoming Native Language

Our specialized Native Language Program is designed with the express purpose of helping your child maintain language proficiency in their native tongue while also developing their English language skills. Japanese language is on offer across grade levels, with many students graduating with a bilingual IB diploma.

Not only does this help your children feel at home at ISB and welcomed, studies show native language learning has a direct impact on academic development.

As a native language learner at ISB, your child will reap the benefits of developing their English skills while also maintaining their cultural heritage. 

Some of these benefits include:

  • Improvement in academic performance and progression
  • Increased cognitive skills like concentration, multitasking and other listening skills
  • Maintaining the connection with home language and culture, even while living in a new host country

Learn more about the value of native language learning and how we implement it at ISB here.

Through our Native Language program, we’ve also curated a Glossary of terms for parents to use to gain added confidence in our curriculum.


Cultural Activities and Groups

ISB’s community is diverse and inclusive. With over 60 nationalities in our 1700+ student body, we aim to celebrate and respect each child’s heritage. Aside from our Native Language focus, we also have a number of cultural activities for parents and students.

Particularly for our robust Japanese community, ISB has specific groups and events for Japanese families, which makes changing schools for Japanese families a smooth transition. Here are just a few of the exciting social groups and cultural events your family can participate in:

  • Joining the Japanese group within the PTA
  • Intercultural activities and events
    • En Nichi activities
    • Traditional and modern dance
    • Japanese calligraphy workshops 
  • Intercultural Week
  • International Family Fair
  • Clubs and library resources to promote further Japanese learning

Our transportation service will not only help students commute to and from campus, it’s also available to extended families in order to help you more easily participate in the numerous cultural activities taking place at ISB. We have a parent bus that runs daily during the school term from Emporium Suites to the ISB campus.

These are just a few of the examples of how ISB seeks to make changing schools for Japanese families as comfortable and familiar of an experience as possible. 


ISB Prepares Children for the Future

Whether you choose the IB Diploma or the ISB High School Diploma, your children will have the academic foundation and the skills and tools they need to thrive in their further studies and life beyond.

Academic results at ISB are consistently strong, with 25% of our graduates achieving 40 points or higher in their IB DP results and an overall pass rate of 100%. You can read more about how ISB prepares students for the future, as well as a list of post-secondary institutions from around the world where ISB students have earned acceptances including:

  • University of California Berkeley
  • Oxford University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Waseda University
  • Sophia University

Do you still have some questions about ISB? Sometimes the best way to see the benefits of transferring to ISB is to learn from someone who has been right where you are. Click here to learn how ISB helped one student excel academically and discover their passions all while also maintaining their Japanese language.

For more information regarding how you can help your child maintain their native tongue at home, we’ve compiled a list for your convenience of ways to succeed in an international school with English as a second language. 

FAQs About Starting a New School

Our Frequently Asked Questions: Answered by the ISB Counselors
There are signs that present themselves in your children if they’re not adjusting well to their new school, including:
    1. Continued reluctance to make friends and engage with others
    2. Not wanting to leave the home
    3. Ongoing clinging or regressive behavior
    4. Increased anger outbursts and/or withdrawing/depression
    5. Sharp disruptions with eating or sleeping
On average, it takes around six to 12 months to adjust to a new school. With that said, some students may take a lot less - or a lot more - time. A good goal to set for your children is to make one good friend by the end of the academic year. 
  1. In the Elementary School, we assign buddies in the classroom for when your children first start at ISB. We also have a New Student Group. 
  2. In the Middle and High School, there are Student Ambassadors who are trained to welcome and orientate new students. There are also designated Orientation Days, ample activities for students to join and counselors available for support.
Adjusting might be difficult for your children because:
    1. They don’t understand the new culture or feel comfortable (yet!)
    2. They may be resistant to adjusting 
    3. They are afraid of being disloyal to old friends
    4. Some people don’t adjust well to any change
    5. Leaving your children’s last country and/or school didn’t go well
    6. They feel as though they’ve lost a part of their identity
    7. Of their inability to speak the dominant language
    8. There is a different system of teaching from the previous school
    9. They’re not only starting at a new school, they’re doing so virtually
  1. "Culture Shock: Successful Living Abroad" by Robin Pascoe
  2. "You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello: A Relocation Guide for Kids on the Move" by Panaya Chamaphorn
  3. "Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds" by David Pollock and others
  4. "Raising Up a Generation of Healthy Third Culture Kids: A Practical Guide to Preventive Care" by Lauren Wells
Free Eight Step Guide

Let Us be your Guide

As a parent, we understand you want to learn everything you can about your school options before making your decision.

Our free eight step guide on how to apply to ISB is a great place to learn more about how ISB is helping Japanese families transition to our school. It also contains additional information on key concerns like language learning and understanding our curriculum for a hassle free application process. 

At ISB we have carefully assessed the needs of Japanese families seeking to change schools and have developed an effective transition plan for your children to acclimate quickly and thrive in our academically rich environment.

Click on the button below to discover how ISB is helping Japanese families with the application process.

Helping Japanese Families Apply to ISB