It's not just Formula 1 drivers who spray champagne around after winning a competition: StudyWorld delegates do it as well.
Two of the victorious teams in the ten-pin bowling competition held during the event were so delighted with their success that they decided to spray their prize over their colleagues, rather than drinking it. But the Brit Pop 'n' Bowl night was that kind of evening, with opportunities for delegates to relax, whilst doing a little extra networking.
"We've had an amazing time," said one of the champagne wielders, David Wood, of victorious bowling team, the Unbowlievables (and English UK corporate member Endsleigh Insurance). Judith Hands of TIS agreed. "It's much better than a stuffy reception."
The plan was to create a new evening social event on the second night of StudyWorld, allowing English UK's members and corporate members and attending study abroad agents to take time out from more formal receptions. Organised by English UK with corporate member Lost in London, the intention was also to showcase the type of social event students may enjoy during their stay in the UK.
The result was the Brit Pop'n'Bowl Party, held at the intimate Bloomsbury Lanes which has a distinctly retro feel, plus a couple of karaoke rooms and space for a live band to play. Almost 300 guests were fed on the London delicacy of pie and mash (with gravy), treated to a glass of Pimms, and serenaded with a mix of English pop and rock tracks and performances from local band The Shoestrung.
Most of the 24 teams were put together by English UK, creating excellent opportunities for members and agents to meet each other (although one or two of the more competitive teams were organised by those who joined them, even creating special T shirts for the occasion).
Agent Jos van Kerkhol from Study Travel in the Netherlands, a member of the Beer Goggles team, was enjoying himself: "It's a very nice evening, very interesting, and it's very nice to be doing something. Sometimes you only stand around drinking, here we are in a competition with our team and following what's going on. It's professional and social." Team-mate Andrew Edwards of LSI in Portsmouth agreed. "It's been fantastic, fabulous. It's given us a bit of focus. We've got to know new people through the team. Our team was about the bowling... and the beer."
Paul Delaney of EAC was also relaxing, and liked the format of the night. "It's great to be mixing with people in this informal way, and much better to all be doing something," he said.
"We wanted to do something different, and create a fun social event which would bring together our members and agents for a great evening, and also get them to experience the kind of social event which international students enjoy while they're here," said Roz Rozidor, English UK's international manager, who organised the event with corporate member Lost in London. "It's been fantastic."
English UK intend to make this an annual event, with ambitious plans to make tickets available to all StudyWorld delegates in 2013.
And the winners? The wooden spoon for lowest team score went to Bowling for Gold, whilst the top three were The Unbowlievables, The Strike Club and The Incredibowls.
View an album of photos from the Brit Pop 'n' Bowl party on the English UK Facebook page.