English UK held another successful inward mission in early October for 11 participants from Latin America. The agents came from across the region, including Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia for a trip designed to introduce them to the north of England.
This autumn inward mission was run in partnership with the British Council.
Things started on a great note as the agents arrived to a spell of unseasonably hot weather in London. Following a full-day workshop attended by 10 English UK members from throughout the UK, the group headed by train to the north of England for the showcase element of this mission.
Showcases give educators the opportunity to present their courses, facilities and services to agents. On Tuesday the group's visit to York College additionally included a lunch cooked by students studying on the college's catering course. The afternoon was spent in Leeds with Leeds Language Centre where the agents were given the opportunity to observe and participate in lessons before exploring a little of the city.
Liverpool extended a warm welcome to the group, starting with a memorable evening outing to the Cavern Club. In addition to visiting the centre premises of both LILA* (Liverpool International Language Academy) and The Liverpool School of English, the group enjoyed both a walking tour of the city centre with lunch at the Bluecoat and a minibus tour that introduced them to some of the city's major attractions. Liverpool left a deep impression on all of the participants.
On the Wednesday evening, English UK North hosted a reception and buffet dinner at the British Council's offices in Manchester enabling the group to network with around 15 Northern member centres.
The mission continued to Chester where they visited English in Chester and then enjoyed sightseeing activities, giving them a real feel for the city. The final showcase was Apex College in Manchester where highlights included chatting to students and participating in a sample pronunciation lesson.
The second mini-workshop was held in Manchester on the Friday. 10 member centres attended including representatives from the FE and HE sector. The agents were delighted to see the variety of providers represented within the English UK membership.
The inward mission concluded with a champagne ride on the Wheel of Manchester and a farewell dinner at the Market Restaurant, a very traditional restaurant serving locally sourced, modern British dishes.
The agents showed serious interest in doing business with English UK members and a productive and friendly atmosphere prevailed throughout the trip. Feedback from educators and agents alike has been extremely positive.
Carlos Gonzalez, Director, Take Off Ltd enthused 'The whole experience was amazing, starting from the organisation, the people, the educators…as a company is a change in culture and minds after this experience. We will offer better options in England. We never imagined in the north of England the cities were so nice'. Han Steen, Director, Universo Educativo, remarked 'My goal was to get to know the north and I certainly feel more confident to promote this part of the UK – it has so much to offer language students'.
Click here to view pictures of the inward mission.