Update 1.02


good hits

外国の教科書は高い。

ここ最近色々と忙しくて自分の趣味であるpythonの進捗が悪い。大学が始まるのは約5ヶ月後の事とはいえ、ビザの申請等をやらなくてはいけないのだが、中でも大変なのは勉強の「準備」である。大学での勉強を先取りしたくて、UCバークレーの去年のコースカタログをのぞいてはCal Store(大学の書籍部)で自分がこれから履修しなくてはならないコースに必要だった教科書を調べ、それをアマゾンで買おうとしている。もちろん、去年と同じ教授にあたり、同じ教材を使うかなんて分からないが、比較的暇である今のうちに少しでも勉強を進めたい。私の高校ではIBのpreparation用にテキストが無料で配られたり貸し出され、また東大的に表現すれば、学校にシケタイやシケプリみたいなのが一部の授業で存在した。特にIBの教科書は世の中に出回っている数が少ないのでかなり高価になるが、学校の授業料に含まれていたので自分たちで負担する必要はなかった。(とはいえ、授業料が日本の私立の3倍もするので最終的には…って言う感じなところもある。)しかし、大学では当然のことながら教科書は自分でそろえなくてはならない。もちろん、先輩などから安く買い取る事もできるが、まだ自分が現地にいない為それはちょっと難しい。そこで、アマゾンで色々と探している。

高い、、、。

この本だとUsedもあるけど、何せ潔癖性なので中古本は絶対に買わない人間だから新品を買うしかない。もちろんpdf化されたのがある本とか買えばちょっと安くなるけど、pc本体のハードディスクの残りのメモリ数が少ない上にハードディスクを別途持ち歩くのが面倒だと感じてしまうのでやっぱり本が良い。海外に留学するかどうかはこういう事にも学費がかかる事を含めて考えなければならない。

そういえば、今回の本題からずれるが色々と調べてたところ良くない事が判明してしまった。高校の時に取ったIBと大学の授業が大学の単位に移行できると思っていた。私はIBでHL科目を4科目で取ったので8*4=32とあと他で取ったのが15なので32+15=47単位移行できて、90単位を取れば大学3年生になれるので、もう半分以上単位取った状態だからもしかしてもう一回飛び級できるかなとか思ったけど、物理学科の場合は厳しいからそれが認められないそう。でも単位が移行できない事で済んで、つまり、物理学科でまだ良かったと思う。私がもともと行きたかったけど諦めたコンピュータサイエンスなんかは単位が移行できないどころか(APは一部移行できるらしいけどIBはそういうのがない)、一年生の夏休みの間に履修しなくてはいけない科目が多すぎてそもそも4年で卒業できない感じがする。それに、東大みたいに履修登録が抽選制、ではなくて予め優先順位の高い生徒が順に履修登録ができるようになっている(例えば、卒業間近の生徒の方が履修登録の優先順位度が高い)ので、そもそも必要な単位が取れなくて留年っていう事も多いらしい。全米でトップレベルの所だし、すごく人気で競争率やrigorousnessが高いから無理も無い。でもそんな感じで必須科目や条件が多いimpacted majorなんかは卒業するまでに4年どころか5年とかかかるのは、勉強面ももちろんだけれど、学費面でも大変そう(笑)。物理学科も、impacted majorでは一応ないけれど(?)natural sciencesは全般的に卒業がかなり難しいらしいからもちろん油断できない。案の定、物理学科の世界ランキングを見てみると:

、、、2位、、、うん。ひとこと。卒業大変そう、、、。卒業に何年かかるかというよりも卒業できるか?って自分に聞くべきなのかな。仮に卒業して学士が取れたとしても、院の博士課程に進学したいと思っていて、日本とは違って海外では一度大学側から追い出されるらしいので、学部時代での成績を高い基準にキープしておかなくてはならない。かなりの困難を強いられそう。

あと、アメリカにはUC問わず全米の大学で使えるRate My Professorsっていうのがあるみたい。東大的に表現すれば「逆評定」。これを上手く利用すれば、大学の成績を良い感じにキープできるかも?

このブログを始めた本来の主旨は、自分と同じような道のりを目指しているような人や同じ大学の日本人の役に立ちたい、あるいは、仲の良かった予備校の先生方や教育関係の方々に読んでもらい色々な観点を知ってほしい、あるいは、お知り合いの方に興味本意で読んで貰いたいという狙いがあるからこれからもこういう、世の中でなかなか出回っていないあるいは触れられていない情報を提供していきたい。

 

Update 1.015

Advices for Japanese students that go to an International School (東大を目指すインターナショナルスクール生・帰国生へのアドバイス)

So I was going to write a blog post more thoroughly on education, but I realized I have more important things that I should talk about right now because today is a national holiday in Japan so since I can’t get any of my tasks done, this would probably be the only timing that I can write another blog post as I am getting more and more busy everyday. I wanted to mention some advice for Japanese students that go to an international school, who are planning on doing the same thing as me because I know that if I don’t write about this now, I am likely to soon forget about my own experience. I know I have grammatical errors and that its annoying that i have been making them very frequently, I just don’t have the time to brush up my sentences like I would do with my internal assessments.

So as I mentioned previously, I went to an International school but I also studied in the Japanese system. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has done this- at least, I know about 3 people from my school who have took the Japanese university entrance exams. I know that 1 person got into Waseda University through the normal Japanese entrance exams. However, I do not know anyone who has actually tried out for the University of Tokyo, and Todai is pretty different/special from other universities so I would like to give some advice to students who want to try out for Todai. And also, I know that a lot of students that don’t even aim to undergo the Japanese entrance exams, they still go to Japanese cram schools so I would like to mention some things about cram schools, since I had people from younger grades ask me about it.

If you are one of those international school students trying out for the Japanese university exams, first of all, I REALLY ADMIRE YOU. Good job for even thinking about taking them. I know that Japanese entrance exams are extremely challenging, compared to the content of education we receive at our schools. For example, maths-especially calculus- is WAY different and incomparable to what we learn at school. So yeah, be proud of yourself for even challenging 🙂 Most people would just look out for the 推薦入試, which is way easier. However, I am sure there is a reason why you chose to take the harder, irregular path. For me as an example, was because I wanted to major in physics, and I wanted to become a researcher in the future, but in Japan, it is absolutely hopeless to become a researcher in physics if you attended a private university. (Some universities like 東京理科大 have undergrad departments that are feeder schools into 東大の大学院 but for my major, 物理学科 is even hard for students at Todai to get in, 進振りの底点が高い so the best way to go to Todai at graduate level was to attend Todai from undergrad level.) The best physics course offered in Japan was at Todai, and in my age back then, they did not yet have the 推薦入試(it just started from my year, meaning, I wouldn’t be prepared), so 一般入試 was the only way for me to get in.

As I said, the exams that I took were 現役時で前期理2・後期なし, 一浪時で前期理1・後期旧帝。So keep in mind about that as I start explaining about cram schools and the ways that I studied. Oh and also, why Todai is special from other universities? It’s because it’s a university in Japan, along with Kyoto university, which requires you to take the most number of subjects for the exams. Todai (all departments) and Kyodai (some departments only) requires you to take 5 subjects.  Crazy amounts of studying, compared to 3-4 subjects only required at top private universities like Waseda and Keio, and even for Keio, some departments like Keio SFC requires only 1 (English, and 小論文 so basically only English), and from what I remember 慶経 was only 2 (English, Math, 小論文). A really competitive place but one you could take with only 1 exam is 阪大の挑戦枠, but that one would really be hard I think because from what I remember, it requires something like 4 hour long exam of mathematics?? Even for the lower tier universities like MARCH- the English Department of Aogaku (英米文学科B方式), or ICU requires only 1 subject-English. Correct me if any of this is wrong.

Anyways. I’m starting off with how you should plan out your education. I know, you might think why am I giving advice to people when I actually failed? It’s because I think there are some things that people can still learn from my experience even though it didn’t work out for me. And also, I am talking in the perspective of a science person- I can’t really talk for 文系志望 but I think there are some parts that we would still overlap so keep in mind.

I think the best way of planning out your education is to completely rely on a third-person, meaning cram schools, tutor, etc. Here is a list of cram schools that I went to in my 2 years just for an example:

現役時 通期:東進東大特進、河合塾
講習のみ:MEPLO(河合塾よりも家から物理的に近いから)、駿台、大数ゼミ、Z会(通信)
一浪時 通期:駿台お茶の水3号館スーパー東大理系コース、Z会東大即応演習

If you really wanted to get into Todai, there are certain cram schools that are strong in letting their students get into Todai, so here I would like to introduce you to those. Though, it definitely does not increase or decrease your chance of getting into Todai, depending on which cram school you go to. Eventually, it is up to you, whether you can make it into Todai.

現役生向け:東大特進、鉄緑会、etc

浪人生向け:駿台お茶の水3号館(特に演習コース)、河合塾本郷校ハイパー東大. Also, I’ve heard 代ゼミ gives you like a full on scholarship but I’m not really familiar with them.

What is hard with us is that we have to check the internet because for a lot of Japanese feeder schools to Todai(俗にいう進学校), the students there already have access to these kinds of information as where we don’t. I especially thought that 特進was really good (although I didn’t take most of their classes lol) because I got like a scholarship. They have this thing called 特待制度 and basically it was something like if you had 偏差値70以上 for every subject, you are eligible for it and you get to receive free classes except you had to pay for the text books, which were extremely expensive. But I still went to toshin for 自習室利用 lol. なんかで林修の授業受けたような気もするけど忘れたww. I took physics at 河合塾 from this teacher called 苑田先生 and his classes were really amazing but I found it challenging to keep up with because his physics were all in calculus and I had never learned physics in calculus before but once you get used to it, you realize how great the classes he gives are. Although to get into this class, you also had to have over 偏差値70 for every subject. Basically if you want to get into Todai courses at most of the cram school, you had to have over 偏差値70 for every single subject. I mean if you don’t, then I think you should rethink about even taking the exam for Todai, I’m not discouraging anyone, but that’s sort of like a prerequisite if you really want to go there. I think whatever course you take, you can get a decent education if its at 駿台 or 河合塾(these are known as 2大予備校). Also, just a heads up that with these cram schools, if you can, you should try to go to the campuses that are close to Todai, in which case it will be お茶の水 or 本郷 because the schools tend to bring the best teachers to those campuses. Like for me, I spent 3 hours everyday to go to お茶の水校 even though it would have only took me 1 hour everyday to get to 他の校舎.

But anyways, it really is up to you. Secondly, I would like to introduce you to textbooks that i used, which a lot of people study with as well, since this is also another type of information that we find it hard to collect.

数学 ・1対1対応の演習

・新数学演習

・解法の突破口

・月刊大数

・東大理系数学で1点でも多く取る方法

国語 ・漢文早覚え速答法

・古文ステップアップノート

・センター国語の過去問(15年分)

物理 ・難系

・東大の25カ年、東工大の15カ年(両方やった)

化学 ・エクセル化学

・重要問題集

・新演習

・京大の25カ年

英語 Yes, I know this shouldn’t be a problem to a lot of you but it isn’t that you can get a good score on the exam, just because you can do English very well.

A lot of people who have trouble with the Todai English exam is specifically, the 1A, 2, 4B. 英作はなるべく減点されない様に難しい構文を使わないこと。1Aはとにかくトピックセンテンスから大体の主旨がつかめたらそれを具体例と共にまとめて、あとは時間勝負。4Bはこれやった:構文把握のプラチカ、英文和訳演習。特にプラチカは本当に優れた参考書だった、英文和訳はやる意味があったかと言われればちょっと分からない。インター生で4Bで点数が取れない人は大体、国語力がないからであって、単語単位での和訳があってる事ももちろん大事だけど、それ以前に日本語の構文が正しいかを確認した方が良い。

I think if you really had questions about what books you should get in order to get your self more prepared, the best way is to directly ask your teachers at cram school. They are experts, and they will recommend you with good books, and will also teach you how to study. A lot of the times, I would find that the teachers at my cram school were actually the authors of popular books so it was good that if you had any problems with the books they wrote, it was easier to just ask them for assistance.

Also, one thing to note, if you are at a cram school, NEVER HESITATE to pop into the 講師室 and ask them for assistance. The teachers at cram school usually tend to be really supportive with the students, and they will remember the face of the students, so if you had any trouble catching up with their classes, you should always go ask them for help, and if there are times like when you are absent from class, the teachers will worry about you, and try to give as much assistance as possible.

Next, I would like to talk about the life of an average student at a cram school. One thing to be careful is to always be on top of everything. The big risk about attending a 予備校 is that because 予備校 is different from 塾 in terms of class sizes (the one i went to had 150 students per class), it is impossible for your homeroom tutor to care about each student. So being on top of everything is actually a really difficult task. It is always easy to slack off, and every year, there are students that go missing because those students have lost their willingness to study.

Lastly, 冠模試について. You should always take those. Don’t be absent from it just because you don’t feel like it, that’s what I did for the summer. Every year, there is a 大学別模試 and I think those are really really close to the real exam so it is mandatory to take it. The most popular ones that you should take are 東大実戦と東大即応オープン。本番レベルは東進生だから受けた事あるけど、2日の試験を1日でやるので(第1回と第2回は)すごく疲れるし、椅子に座ってるからすごくお尻が痛くなる(笑)。それに、数学のレベルが全然本番じゃないから I think you should just take it as a practice but don’t take it too seriously.

One last thing, I wanted to talk about the English examinations especially for Todai. Just because you were/are an international student doesn’t mean you will get high scores on the English exam. Like I got 英検準1級 while i was 小学校6年生 or something, I also got a TOEFL score of 102 when I first took it in 高1?多分 but the first mock that I ever took was horrible lol. 高3の東進の東大本番レベル模試で65か何かだったと思うw 失点の原因は殆ど1A, 2, 4B, 特に4Bが壊滅的で20点中3点とかそんな感じだったw However, I improved a lot by practicing with the past papers. 見ての通りな感じ。The key is, 東大は情報処理能力が問われてるから、問題に深入りしないこと。通しで解く練習すればすぐに点がとれるようになる。時間配分は、番号順に解いて、しかも各小問を7分くらいで解いていけば40分くらい余るになる。英作文は内容を創作していいから、とにかく減点されない様に書くこと。リスニングは下読みしなくても満点は余裕だから、その気持ちで。あと、1Bと4Aは私はいつも最後にまわしてた。なんて、偉そうに語れるような点数ではないけど(笑)

開示:

あと、処理速度は紫本等で模試過去問を解きまくることで速くなりました。

I think the biggest hurdle for an international school student is the センター試験 rather than 東大二次。 特にセンター国語とセンター地理。Although, the other subjects aren’t much of a problem. I think that a tiny tiny benefit that we or most of us have though, is 数1Aのデータの分析と数2Bの確率分布 lol. We cover those in IB maths, as where a lot of Japanese students don’t so they often take ベクトル as the option. Although it depends on the year, 確率分布 tends to be easier than ベクトル so that is a very small advantage.

I think this is probably it for now, but if I come up with things that I missed out, I will write it on another post. If you have further questions, you can always ask me through the comments on this page or through the contact form 🙂

Update 1.01

About Me :) (日本と海外の教育の違いについて)

Although I’ve graduated from YIS 2 years ago, I’ve decided to still keep on using this YIS blog since I have a lot of my school work posted here and it makes it easier for me to organize things as I have everything in one place. So I think I will keep on using this blog even when I go on to higher education, until the admin deletes this blog…in which case, I will have my whole blog exported to CSV file and then I will get my own domain, start up a new blog, and import everything all onto there. \n (Oh, and note, I like to use the ‘\n’ because if you do programming, I’m sure you will understand what it means, but I just think that it looks a bit classy to use this in my blog posts, even though it will have no function haha)

I’m not sure who is reading/who will be reading this post. My high school teachers may still have me on their subscriptions list, or my friendly teachers from my cram school, or my future professors at university could be reading this. Anyone could be reading this post and I do not really mind who the audience is, but I just felt like I had the need to create a series of blog posts on my life so far, as I have been living a life quite different from the others. And also keep in mind that I am currently really busy and have barely no free time so I am really writing all of this from the top of my head, if I had any grammatical errors, typos, anything that doesn’t make sense because I have not planned out an outline, I really apologize. \n

So far, I’ve had a lot of setbacks in my life. Not that I could discuss everything here, but definitely education has so far been a big challenge for me.

To give an introduction about myself, I was born in Japan as a full Japanese, raised in Japan for my whole entire life, but I have been going to an International School ever since pre-school. I skipped a grade when I was young (this is the most annoying part because every time I have to explain to the others why I graduated a year younger than everyone else), and so at school, I was in the same grade with my classes who were one year older than me. This, wasn’t really much of an issue as I has skipped a grade when I was really young (meaning I was already used to being with the same people) but I did feel a strong sense of isolation, and not to mention, discrimination from others (I never really discussed this to an adult, and this is the first time I am mentioning this to the public, but yes). My parents thought that it was also important for me to receive proper Japanese education as I was a Japanese, so I was forced to go to a Japanese cram school from grade 4. There, I also felt another sense of isolation because everyone else went to a Japanese school whilst I went to an international school. The main focus of a Japanese cram school for elementary students is to prepare for the entrance examinations for Japanese private middle schools (commonly known as “中学受験” chuugakujyuken). This way, I was also forced by my parents and the teachers at my cram school to undergo the entrance examinations for Japanese middle schools. I did get accepted to a competitive middle school, however, I decided to stay at my original school. The main reason was because I knew straight away that the way the Japanese education system works, was not for me. The cram school that I went (called SAPIX), basically has lessons after school from 4:30-9:00 PM, three times on weekdays, and then a whole sunday, every week. That means an accumulation of approximately 20 hours per week of studying for a 4th grader.  With that continued until grade 6 (Japanese middle school starts from grade 7), I could not bare the amount of studying. In fact, I hated studying so much and also because I ask my parents for help with my homework from cram school due to other reasons, one day I stopped studying. I did attend cram school, but I stopped doing the necessary homework. At the time, I was really into computers, and I loved everything that had to do with technology. So while I was pretending to do my cram school homework in my room, I started to learn how to do programming, making websites, started to do open source codes, etc, and plus I got a reasonable amount of money (hmmmm….;))for a 4th grader so computers became quite an addiction for me. At the time, iPhones were going viral and fortunately I got an iPhone 3GS, and I also started to do some iPhone app making as well, which accelerated me into my passion for technology. Of course, my grades at cram school was becoming worse. I know that I did say I eventually did get accepted to a competitive school, but that was because for the last 2 or 3 months before the exam, I realized I had to work harder, so I did some intense studying. From this experience, I realized that the type of education I received through a Japanese system was not really for me. They crammed everything, made you memorize a lot, as where compared to the international school system, they actually made you study less, but the type of education you receive is different. I think what they call it in the education industry is, ‘Active Learning’. I’m not sure but this term has been becoming a very popular one in Japan. Anyways, at an international school students are required to more participate towards the class while in the Japanese one you are more required to receive a class. There is a big difference between these two. When you are required to participate in a class, it means that the teacher wants you to have a discussion, stating your opinions with strong evidence, and have a communication with others. I think this is the most important part/aspect of education that the Japanese system lacks. Going a bit offtrack, I hear that when you are employed at a Japanese company, Japanese employees often tend to not state their own opinion, but otherwise, they tend to show that they agree with whatever their boss says. I think the reason for this is because that a lot of, maybe not, some Japanese people consider it ‘rude’ to state arguments/opposing perspectives and opinions. However, I think that this is crazy; I think that to make a better outcome, it is important that participants give in their own, different viewpoints and perspectives. In this way, I think that the Japanese education system, which is more based towards the students ‘receiving’ education from teachers, should be changed, and that they should take the stance that the international education system takes. Also, if it was all about cramming things we have to remember into our own heads, why is it necessary to cram knowledge of what we learn at elementary school level? I think it’s more important to cram information at university level since then we will all be majoring in a specific major and that some things we learn at our elementary school is not really necessary for our own future…(I know, the history teachers would get mad at me for saying this, but as an example for me, what would it mean for me to remember all the key dates and names of all the historical events that took place in Japan when I am going to be majoring in science? Wouldn’t it be just enough if I had a brief knowledge on Japanese history? Not really seeing the reason why I should remember all of the dates.) Anyways, I went WAY offtrack, but this was the reason why I had thought that the international school education system was a better fit for me. \n

Then I moved on to middle school, and then to high school. My thoughts have changed. \n

At high school, we were all required to take the IGCSE course for freshmen and sophomore, IB course for junior and senior. As I entered grade 9, I started to become aware of the classes that I take, my GPA scores, and my ECs (extracurricular activities). At the time, I was still really into computer science and programming. But then at the same time, I was also really interested into physics. In grade 7, I read a book about theory of relativity and the speed of light. I became interested in if it was possible stop light, in that case, go with the same speed as light. I also read on a magazine, NewScientist, and I’m not sure if my interpretations were correct, I am guessing not and I have made a mistake, but, exceeding the speed of light would allow energy to convert to matter. From then I was passionate with physics. (One of the books that inspired me-in Japanese). I had two different majors I was passionate for so I decided to just take as much science courses that I can just so that I don’t face any troubles if I switch majors. For IB, I took 4HL subjects-normally you would only take 3- which was, HL Japanese, HL Math, HL Chemistry, and HL Physics. Of course, no one else in my grade ever took 4HL in the sciences (it is indeed, a suicidal act). However, not only did I take the IBs and 4 Higher Levels, I decided to take Japanese education system once again. Why? Why when you are already so close to attempting such a ‘suicidal act’, are you even pressuring yourself to undergo the Japanese system as well? Are you crazy? That’s the reactions (or the face expressions) that I get when I talk about myself to everyone. Yes, I am a typical Asian nerd that loves to study. No, not really but at the same time, yes. I have this weird kind of conflict inside me. I love to study but I hate to study. I guess the correct way of putting this is, I love to study the subjects that I have interest in, and I really hate studying the subjects that I don’t really have an interest in. At the same time, I also love to study because of that sense of accomplishment that you feel when you achieve a difficult task, but I hate to study because of all the efforts that it takes. I think this is true to a lot of people. Anyways, I did do both the IB and the Japanese studying. When I was in grade 11 (高校2年生), I passed a Japaneseexam(高校卒業程度認定試験)hosted by the government (ministry of education) , which gives me an equivalence of graduating a Japanese school. Then when I graduated in 2015, I spent an year of studying by myself, and another year of studying at a Japanese school (駿台予備学校), just so that I was assure that I was all good with the Japanese education, and here I am now, ready to move onto university. The reason why I hated the Japanese education system so much in elementary school but I started it in high school was, yes, I do admit that it was because I wanted to have a good academic profile and to prove that I was capable of anything. However, the main reason was not just that. I wanted to have a wider view of perspective. I noticed that a lot of Japanese students from international schools tend to criticize the Japanese education for it being all about memorization, and I realized that Japanese students or adults tend to criticize the international school education for it not giving a lot of work to do for the students. I found this very interesting as a matter of fact. By undergoing both education systems, I thought that I could see both the positive and negative aspects of them both. In conclusion, I would like to say, Japanese education is NOT just about memorization, and it is NO WHERE NEAR TRUE that international schools have a lax environment and do less amount of studying. I don’t want to be judgmental or anything, but I feel as though if anyone is criticizing about one or the other, they probably may actually think that the other has a defect, but I think that they also have a small portion of jealousy towards the other. As for doing both systems, and because I was already one grade above what I really should be in, I had a lot of enemies at school haha. One Japanese girl at school looked at my Japanese notes on Physics based on calculus, whispered to another girl right next to her, ‘Oh you know, Japanese is all about memorization.(Smirks at me)’. I really won’t forget what she said to me, word by word. She always said mean things to me, but I knew her grades weren’t as strong as mine because she confessed so. I guess in this situation she was jealous of the things I was studying because at school, physics was all based on easy math, no calculus involved. She always had this ‘rivalry’ consciousness towards me, but I tried not to care, not to care at all, because I knew that that wasn’t going to make me a smart student. She did other mean things to me for example, spread false rumors, kicked me out of the ‘lunch groups’, invited every girl in the grade to her birthday party except for me. This didn’t really matter to me anymore because all of the other students at school in my grade were also really mean to me and it was an everyday thing for me to be bullied. Again, I did go off topic, but what I wanted to say was that, before anyone criticizes anything, they should have the experience. So what I felt was that, it isn’t true that Japanese education could be achieved all through the process of memorization, in fact, for most science subjects, I found that it was more of a critical thinking kind of thing. Also, the international education, I thought it was just as difficult as the Japanese. This probably though, would depend on each international school. As for mine, we did the IB course so I would say that it is as hard as the Japanese system, but I think if it came to schools that use the AP system, the APs are just examinations, so they are no where near the IB in terms of the difficulties and the rigorousness. So overall, in both Japanese and International education systems, they are both challenging but as I have mentioned, IB requires you to write a LOT of essays/assessments. Compared to the Japanese system, they only require you to succeed in their entrance exams (if you were to look at the way of getting into a university via the entrance examinations, which is the most major way of getting into an university). So in terms of that, the style of ‘outputting’ and ‘receiving’ education still remains as it does in elementary school. However, I think that for high school students, the Japanese system is fine to the extent that a student is just ‘receiving’ education. I’ve once read somewhere on how children develop their intelligence. Children first imitate the behaviors and acts of their teachers/adults. Then after imitating the acts, they use their creativity to develop the act. Without the process of imitation, there is no way that a child can develop creativity. I think that this essay, which I have no idea where I read, is true. For example, ask yourself- if you don’t know how to hold a paintbrush, how are you supposed to be creative about your drawing? If you don’t know how to write codes, then how are you supposed to make your own creative software? The creative process could only be done if the person has all the basics covered to eventually be able to be creative. Therefore, I think that it is correct if high school students are required to just learn and output what they’ve learned on their final entrance examinations. The creative part, could be achieved in their higher educations, such as when they are studying at their upper division level at university. It is more of a problem if they can’t even do the basic things, which in some cases in the international education system, it couldn’t be covered. And also, it isn’t true that you never have the chance to participate in education. In the university entrance exams, although some universities have mark-styled questions, a lot of universities tend to have written-styled answer questions. In those cases, you are given an opportunity to show that you understand the topic and what your own opinions around it. So overall, I think that both systems are both good.

A bit of a long introduction here, but the main reason that I did the Japanese education was because I was actually thinking of going to a Japanese university. My dream school was somewhere in the US not mentioning where but since it was a top-class university and that it was a public university, the university required, especially for international students, way expensive education fees and it was way too expensive for myself to attend. So in the middle of my high school years, I decided to take the Japanese entrance exams and get into a second class university- University of Tokyo (AKA Todai)- and to go to my dream school from graduate school since I knew the Todai and my dream school had like a connection. Todai is very cheap for Japanese students to go because it is a national university. However, should i have failed the exams twice, (現役時:理科二類不合格. 浪人時:理科一類不合格.)I didn’t know what to do. My friends at Todai say, that if you have an year, its really doable to get into Todai no matter what your starting line is. However, I don’t believe that what they say is true. The people who say that tend to be students who got accepted to a competitive middle school that are like feeder schools to Todai, and have been doing crazy amounts of studying for the six years of middle and high school. In my opinion, I think that it is very difficult, especially for an international school Japanese student to get accepted into Todai because we are on a totally different curriculum and there is now way we can catch up to what people have done in 6 years, in 2 years. But now i’ve found a better route where I could now actually attend what had been my dream school, and although it does feel like it was a waste for me that I’ve spent almost two years in the Japanese education system and now going on to the US education system, I am very proud and confident for the amount of work I had done, the amount of motivation that I had kept up in these two years, and definitely, this had gained be a great experience that will support me in the future. If I had really gone straight to a university from high school, I may have not learned in terms of education, and also in terms of keeping up my attitude to always study, so I am very happy with who I am now, and what I’ve done in these two years although my entrance examinations really did not work out so well. (I did get accepted to other top universities in Japan though.)

 

So overall as you can see, I went through 2, indeed 3 different education systems because IGCSE is a UK kind of thing. I am not really sure why I couldn’t have just stuck to 1, but I did learn a lot, and I think that while other students may spend their years at university having fun, I spent my 2 years very wisely, enabling myself to receive more education, which is what i think is more important to do while you are young because as you grow older, it becomes hard to learn new things. Next post, I would like to write in more detail about the content of education in both systems, if I had the time.