From the Head

The term “international school” is so common these days that it isn’t always clear what is being described. Is it simply a school that employs foreign teachers? Does it imply that the students are from different countries? Does it have to do with having a curriculum that is not from the host country?

All of these things are certainly elements of many schools and they also exist at Osaka International School of Kwansei Gakuin. But at OIS, we believe that to be “international” involves much more than just bringing foreign teachers and a curriculum together in a building. It requires a conscious approach to teaching and creating an environment that helps students develop “intercultural competence”.  It means giving students the opportunity to grapple with their own identity while developing a deep understanding of the culture they live in and the one they are from. Students should not just learn math and science but also consider how they can make a difference in the global community. 

OIS is uniquely placed to teach these qualities. We have world class teachers who are not only experts in their subject matter but also understand how to work with young people to help them develop as individuals who are caring and creative. We are duly proud of our teachers and their ability to help students achieve at the highest levels. But what really sets us apart is our unique relationship with our sister school, Senri International School of Kwansei Gakuin. From our founding, OIS and SIS have shared not only a campus but also an ethos that brings the best of international education together with the most forward thinking elements of Japanese education. This “two schools together” philosophy means that our students are developing an international outlook while also understanding the society they live in, Japan. This dual outlook is the foundation of “intercultural competence” and is a quality that can be transferred to other cultures and contexts on the global stage. 

I invite you to find out more about our schools by exploring this website. You will find that our students excel in the IB programs and leave our school with opportunities at top universities around the world. You will learn that we have a very active student body who are involved in numerous activities and service projects. You will note that we are in the middle of a multi-year refurbishment of our purpose built facility. I hope this site will spur you to move beyond these pages and come in for a visit. If you do, you will be greeted by soaring columns in the genkan and a library at the heart of our campus where students from both schools come together to learn. You will see the new classrooms on the third floor that mark the completion of the second phase of our refurbishment. You will meet dedicated teachers and well-rounded students who can communicate across cultures and age levels. 

I’m sure you will be impressed with how we excel at all of those qualities a good school should offer. But what sets us apart is our understanding of what it means to be international and our ability to help your child achieve that so they can not only reach their goals but also have an impact on the world. 


Kurt Mecklem
OIS Head of School

OIS: Developing informed, caring, creative individuals contributing to a global community since 1991.

School Profile

We strive to be informed, caring and creative individuals that contribute to the global community. OIS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and was the first school in Japan offering the three IB curricular programs (PYP, MYP, DP). We are proud of our students accomplishments. They consistently perform well above world average on many academic measures, including the highly rigorous, IB Diploma exams.

What sets us apart from other international schools is our “Two Schools Together” model of education. We share a campus and program with the Senri International School (SIS), an innovative private school based on Japanese educational standards. The goal is for us to learn from each other through close interaction, taking the best of Japanese and Western Humanist practices. The two schools share classes in physical education, visual arts, and music. Because of this, the fine arts are central to students’ learning and are one of the best programs for a K-12 school in the world.

Students with a bicultural background or strong interest in Japan, thrive in our unique program.

OIS also has the support of the Kwansei Gakuin Educational Foundation (KG). KG is one of the oldest and most prestigious private universities in Japan, with over 20,000 students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. This gives the faculty and students of OIS, access to both the expertise and resources of a major university to enhance our academic program.