Towards the end of last month English UK welcomed 13 agents from Central Asia, the Caucasus, other former Soviet Union countries and Russia to our Spring Inward Mission. This mission was both our first trip to Scotland and our first joint activity with two of our newest formed geographical groups, English UK Scotland and English UK London.
Inward missions are a combination a familiarisation trip with one or two small scale workshops providing agents with the opportunity to meet with language school representatives from all over the country as well as showcasing a particular area of the UK.
Following a workshop with English UK members at Twickenham Rugby Stadium, the trip to Scotland commenced. Over the course of a busy 3 days, the group visited Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen gaining firsthand experience of 5 different language centres -EAC, Edinburgh School of English, Glasgow School of English, Live Language and International House Aberdeen. In addition to visiting the centre premises, the showcase element provided the agents with opportunities to observe and participate in sample lessons, view student residences, try local cuisine (including Haggis, Shortbread and Cranachan) and to undertake some sight-seeing activities, helping to give the agents a real feel for the cities they visited. Highlights of the tourist elements included a guided tour up the Royal Mile and a luxurious champagne boat cruise on Loch Lomond.
On the Tuesday evening, English UK Scotland organised a 3-course candlelit dinner at George Hotel, Edinburgh, enabling the group to network with around 12 Scottish member centres.
The inward mission concluded with a farewell drinks reception and dinner with members of English UK London at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Bloomsbury, London. This mixer dinner provided the agents with an opportunity to network with representatives from a further 15 member centres and for some participants consolidated business relationships formed at English UK Fair Muscat earlier this year.
There was a productive and friendly atmosphere during the mission and feedback from agents and members alike was very positive. Nargiza Makatsaria, General Director of ELL.Ltd in Georgia enthused 'I once again want to outline that I am truly impressed by the event and its organisation'. Nadezhda Anisimova from British Council Kazakhstan advised 'having visited English language schools, I feel more comfortable and confident now promoting English UK schools…and particularly schools in Scotland'.