T.D. Erikson started the business in Rome in 1982, as a consultancy service to Italians who wished to go abroad to the UK and other English speaking countries to take EFL courses. From 1982 he was the consultant to IRI, the vast Italian state-owned holding company (President was Romano Prodi, later president of the European Commission) for courses abroad for their top management, until 1992 when IRI was wound up by the Italian government and its companies were privatised. TDE carried on offering a consultancy service to Italian individuals and corporations, and an agency service to the schools he represented, as sole trader until 1999, when the business and its assets were acquired by Independent English, a UK based company. From having been locally based in Rome, by setting up an Italian-language website, www.1000-corsi-di-inglese.com, the company reached out to a clientele all over Italy and elsewhere (e.g. Switzerland). Subsequently an English-language website was set up, to cater for clients all over the world. So far, however, the clientele remains predominantly Italian. A unique feature is the online database of 1,000 courses, directly accessible by the end-user, which has 29 fields for each of 1000 records. A new venture is "English in comfort and style" for the top end of the market. The client takes a suite in a 5-star hotel and receives a teacher sent by one of the major (English UK member) schools in his suite for an intensive private course. We have courses for all comers, as long as they want to take a course of English in one of the nine English-speaking countries where we have schools that we represent. We provide a wide variety of solutions for school groups although we do not ourselves form groups out of individual requests we receive. Individuals who come to us will be offered individual solutions, matching their requirements exactly. We are particularly interested in Parent & Child programmes, where a family group travels together, and takes accommodation together - preferably in a short-let self-catering flat - and then family members can follow separate courses appropriate to their ages, levels, and particular interests.
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