Partner agency interview: Stan Shchegolskiy
4 August 2016

Stan Shchegolskiy is a director of Interintellect Fund Ltd, working in its Russian office.

What did you do before you became a study travel agent?

I was a simultaneous translator for my career: I used to work for the government and high up people like your prime minister, Mrs Thatcher.

You met Mrs Thatcher? What was that like? 

She was very good. I met her in London in 1979, exactly a month after she was elected. There was a big Russian show going on and I was the senior translator - it was the very first contact with the Russians she made.

So how did you get into study travel?

When the Soviet Union ended, I began to look for a job and one day through a friend of mine met Russian managers in the oil market who asked over dinner if I could place their children in UK schools. My boss said 'why don't you do that as your own business?'

In 2000 my first group of students arrived in the UK - last year we had 160 in the UK and one in Canada but this year numbers have gone down because of the exchange rate and politics mean parents fear their children will be mistreated in the UK.

We managed one group because of the initiative of the parents, and they enjoyed their holiday, and I explain that the children will have a better and more interesting life if they know more languages beyond Russian.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the people: you feel so much younger when you are with young people. I usually take them to the embassy myself, or my daughters help me, and they address me by my first name, telling me about their lives.

And it's nice to be at workshops like StudyWorld London, where I am a regular now and every year people produce new programmes, and make things more interesting.

What made you want to be in the Partner Agency Scheme?

Sometimes you need advice from the partners who are in the same community, and sometimes the prestige of your agency will go up for schools which are in English UK.

It gives some weight to the brand of the company if people look at the website and see this is an English UK partner and there is more trust. I think it is a good thing to be one of the partners.

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