Twelve agents and a British Council representative from the Asia Pacific region spent a week experiencing some of the fantastic courses on offer in English UK member centres as well as discovering more about the region.
"Everyone had a really interesting time and we did some brilliant things," said Phoebe Allen and Laura Underwood, English UK's International Officers who led the trip.
"We visited Westminster Kingsway College, where Jamie Oliver studied catering, and the agents all had a massage and afternoon tea from students a few days later at City College Brighton. One lucky agent won a two-week course at Language in London.
"They also had a sample Business English lesson at Canning in Fulham which involved one of the agents answering a phone call and taking a sales enquiry, which was very insightful but also very funny."
The agents were delighted with their experiences. Hiroki Sakuma, of the UTS Centre for International Education in Japan, said: "To experience lessons, meet students and eat lunch at the schools was very impressive… it is a good opportunity for me to realise again about the reliable and good quality of education to study English in the UK." Taiwanese agent Emily Pei Jung Wu, of the Dragon Worldwide Education Service, added: "After visiting the schools, I can tell my students that I've seen these places on the brochure, I went to the dorm and I know what does the classroom looks like. So yes I feel more confident to promote these schools now."
English UK member centres involved in the mission were equally pleased. Kirsty McLaren, of Westminster Kingsway College, commented: "We are delighted to have had an opportunity to take part in English UK's Autumn 2014 agent inward mission.
There are few other occasions which allow us to introduce the college to a group of reputable and interested agents," while Steve Wood, of Bede's Summer School, added: "I am an absolute promoter of English UK's inward mission showcases, as I think it is crucial for agents to come and visit the schools and facilities of potential partners. The showcases I have participated in so far have been expertly organised and I would encourage English UK to organise even more of these on a yearly basis."
The group packed a great deal into the week long mission, which began and ended with workshops in London, each involving eleven English UK member centres. After visiting member centres in London, the group then enjoyed dinner very close to Windsor Castle before moving on to Ardmore Language Schools in the countryside at Berkshire Agricultural College, and then independent school Padworth College, where they had a delicious lunch and met some "very happy" international students.
The group then travelled to Sussex, where they visited City College and spent the evening trying out the seafront wheel and the Lucky Voice karaoke, at which one agent excelled. The final showcase of the week was at Bede's Summer School, where agents admired the brilliant accommodation and gym facilities.
The week ended with a farewell reception and dinner hosted by English UK London, with fifteen English UK London members present. The evening began at Vertigo42, a champagne bar 600 feet above street level, where the agents toasted the successful week. This was followed by a delicious meal at the 1776 restaurant in an old banking building.
View the Autumn Inward Mission image gallery.
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