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Tokyo Academics CEO Neil Nguyen can recount many tales of extraordinary student achievement throughout the 12 years since his organization began as a simple tutoring service.

There’s the young prodigy who built an airplane at the age of 8, a high school student who developed a nutrition bar and launched his own startup, and another high schooler  whose innovative research in dance and artificial intelligence earned her a presentation slot at a major academic conference in France. Each story underscores the unique, transformative impact of Tokyo Academics on its students’ lives.

Today, Tokyo Academics is more than a tutoring center. It stands as a beacon of learning, mentoring over 1,600 students each year both in Tokyo and across the globe. The institution offers a robust suite of services, including academic tutoring, admissions support, test preparation for universities abroad as well as in Japan, and consulting for private school placements. Additionally, it provides specialized programs in tech education, vocabulary enhancement and student-led research, welcoming learners as young as third grade. Central to all its offerings is one clear aim: to help students secure acceptance at universities that are the best fit for their interests and aspirations.

“Something that we’ve found particularly effective with college applications is our research program,” Nguyen said. “We match students with Ph.D. candidates or postdoctoral researchers, where they can work on a project that matters to them. Test preparation is crucial, but it only sets the stage. Ensuring that all students develop a robust foundation in reading, writing and math is essential for cultivating independent research skills that can last a lifetime.”

Nguyen and his team of tutors, themselves graduates of some of the world’s best-known universities — including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Brown, University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton — encourage students to identify passions or personality traits that will set them apart.

“There is no need to play every sport or be very well-rounded, as some students might think,” Nguyen said. “What will demonstrate focus in a college application is doing something that matters to you. Students should find the colleges that are the best fit for their interests. This may not always be an Ivy League school.”

Students participate in a class at Tokyo Academics’ Nishiazabu Center on June 20, 2023. | TOKYO ACADEMICS
Students participate in a class at Tokyo Academics’ Nishiazabu Center on June 20, 2023. | TOKYO ACADEMICS

Nguyen’s own path reflects the ethos he fosters among his students. Born in Vietnam and brought to the U.S. as a teenager, he studied engineering at UC Berkeley. His teaching journey began there, as a part-time tutor. Post-graduation, Nguyen’s career took a brief detour into robotics engineering, but he soon realized his true calling lay in education and community development. His memories of his early years in Vietnam, where he observed stark economic disparities while volunteering to provide medical care, led him to pursue graduate studies in economic policy at the University of Tokyo.

Armed with years of tutoring experience and a network of grateful parents, Nguyen established Tokyo Academics. His initial solo efforts quickly grew into a comprehensive system featuring a custom curriculum and a brand-new website.

“It wasn’t long before I had to scale up. I began teaching in 2003, and by the time I arrived in Japan in 2011, I had those years of experience to draw upon,” Nguyen recalled.

Under Nguyen’s leadership, Tokyo Academics has flourished, largely propelled by word-of-mouth recommendations driven by the exceptional academic results of its students. The institution prides itself on being more than just an educational hub; it is a transformative community where students discover their unique strengths and pursue their passions with fervor.

“We don’t just aim to be the best — we strive to help each student truly become who they are meant to be. Passions and goals may evolve, but what remains constant is our commitment to pursuing them with sincere dedication,” Nguyen said.

As global careers become increasingly coveted, Tokyo Academics stands at the forefront, ready to offer a world-class educational gateway to more families in Japan and beyond.

For more information, please visit https://www.tokyoacademics.com/
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