About Mayu Hagiwara, an independent educational consultant based in Japan

Welcome! Read along to learn more about Mayu and what she enjoys doing.  There will be links at the bottom of this page that may be useful to you.

Visit also: What you need to know about advertising your school with Mayu

Who she is

Mayu is an independent educational consultant, based in Tokyo.  (moved from Kashiwa, Chiba in February 2022)

Mayu has earned her B.A. in Education in 2010 at the University of Tokyo.  As a mother of two children, she has been working as an educational consultant helping families make educational choices since 2017.  She is a member of the Japan Association of Certified Study Abroad Counselor since 2018.  

Mayu was born in Osaka, Japan and spent most of her time in neighboring Kobe as a child, where she survived the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995.  

After attending Marist Brothers International School in Kobe for 7 years, Mayu enrolled at Northfield Mount Hermon School(NMH), an American boarding school in Gill, Massachusetts.  At NMH, she has picked up Mandarin Chinese, sailing, singing, and appreciation for arts.  

After high school, Mayu moved on to University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW).  As a freshman at UW, she has excelled academically but felt a strong urge to seek her future opportunities in Japan.  Only after a term into her freshman year, she took a break from UW to prepare for Japanese collegiate entrance exams. 

With just two months of preparation, she was admitted to the University of Tokyo from where she eventually graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.  As a college student in Japan, she studied Spanish and education policies while juggling various part time jobs and traveling globally.  She has traveled to 15 countries in 4 continents.

After college, she worked for an energy utility company as a sales representative for academic institutions and public sectors.  To accompany her spouse’s job/location transfer in 2017, she switched her career to education consulting. 

In her free time she enjoys sailing, picnics, reading, and chatting with her husband.

What she does

Mayu helps students and their families make informed decisions.  Her role is especially important for families with parents who are not sufficiently fluent or confident in communicating and processing information in English. Mayu does not want the parents’ language barriers or their unfamiliarity to foreign education systems to limit the students’ opportunities.

Mayu advocates finding the “best fit” solution; she is not the type of educational consultant who “leverages” students to get them into their “top” choice schools.

Mayu is also aware of her role as a representative for each school that she works with. She loves to learn about schools and does the necessary research. She also makes it explicit to clients and schools (and other enterprises) that she does not receive any incentives to favor any choice over the other.  

To her clients, hiring an independent educational consultant means that they will have somebody to lean on when they need that extra time or brain to make the right decisions. 

Mayu’s clients may receive the following services but not limited to:

  • Consultation
  • Target school list and timeline development
  • Interview preparation
  • Application and essay assistance
  • Test preparation assistance (ISEE, SSAT, SAT, etc)
  • Language improvement assistance (tutors, language programs, TOEFL, IELTS, etc)
  • Interpretation
  • Transition preparation

Visit also: What you need to know about advertising your school with Mayu

Why she does her job

Mayu has found her passion in assisting families with their journey to find the “right educational choice”.  

Through her exceptional experience of attending an international school in Japan, a boarding school as an international student, applying and entering universities in both the US and Japan, she had always felt the need and lack of assistance and resources to make better choices for herself.  She knows first-hand what families and students struggle with when they go through the searching and decision making process.  

Mayu believes that there is no better investment for a parent than in the education of their child(ren), as her mother had always told her.  She cannot emphasize enough that choosing the right educational and social environment for one’s child is one of the most important decisions for the family and child.  

At the same time, the process of finding the right school or program can be very stressful and time consuming.  

This is because children each have sets of unique qualities and aspirations, and each family has different backgrounds and needs.  No one child nor family is the same as another. The fact that there are so many schools and programs to choose from makes the process even more complicated.  

What Mayu values the most is the process of observing each child and listening to each family’s values and concerns.  She makes sure that she is setting and fine tuning the right pace for each family and child.

Every project that Mayu works with is time and mind consuming, but the transforming expressions on the faces of the child and family really make up for everything that she does.  

Mayu currently works from home, where she offers services both remotely and directly for families interested in finding local or international schools, independent schools, boarding schools and colleges in and outside of Japan.

Since she entered the industry in 2017, she has assisted over 200 families and worked with schools in US, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand and the Philippines.

She is most experienced in assisting Japanese families with children in early childhood through primary education, but she is also capable of assisting those who are relocating to Japan and families with high school and college bound children.  

How she does it

Mayu is a self employed independent education consultant.  Throughout her career, Mayu has built relationships with other partner enterprises because no one can do their job alone.  

When a student needs to raise his/her test scores, she personally interviews and finds tutors.

When a student wants to study abroad for a term, she finds short term programs or collaborate with other consultants to find the best fit program.  

Sometimes, she would accompany school visits and interviews to make sure that the interests of family and school are thoroughly communicated to each other.  

She works with local agents overseas to get to information and sevices that she needs to help her client families.  

She may occasionally recommend hotels and sightseeing activities for the families so they can get a nice break from the nerve wracking school visit/interviews.  

What she does for/with schools and other enterprises

Mayu loves to connect with any schools and enterprises like local agents, consultants, educators, tour guides and more.  In fact, one of her biggest dreams is to travel and visit many wonderful schools and educators around the world!

Mayu has learned first hand that the more connections she makes with other parties, the more helpful she can ultimately be for her students, her utmost priority.

Please feel free to reach out.  Mayu would love to learn about what YOU do for your clients and community.  

Visit also: What you need to know about advertising your school with Mayu

Further inquiries

Feel free to reach Mayu through this contact form or Linkedin!