Among the important tasks carried out by our staff each year are “fam trips” – short for “familiarisation trips”. On a fam trip, members of ESL’s international team visit partner schools and explore the destinations, meeting staff at the schools and getting feedback from students.
These trips allow us to see how schools are innovating and developing, which in turn helps us provide you with up-to-date, insider information when you are choosing where to study. They are also an enjoyable and popular form of training for our staff.
Claudio Seri from ESL’s drop-in office in Lausanne says:
Fam trips are a mix of discovery, travelling and getting to know colleagues and partner schools better. It is very positive because you meet colleagues who you don’t see too often; there is a real energy when we are all together experiencing the same trip. You are sharing things with colleagues and are always given a friendly welcome by the schools. As an overall human experience it is very positive.
Sampling the student experience
Almost all of our staff have studied a language abroad and many continue to do so while working for ESL. But different language schools offer different courses and the student experience varies from school to school, destination to destination. That’s why it is beneficial for our team to sample various courses and activities at our partner schools, while getting honest feedback from students.
With this experience and feedback, we can provide a better service when helping you choose the course that is right for you.
For example, one fam trip in September 2012 brought our team to six locations in Great Britain to experience specialised programmes for executives. The trip included partner schools in Canterbury, London, Brighton, Portsmouth, Cheltenham and beautiful Brecon in Wales. The experience of these professional courses was relevant because our office and regional managers are young executives themselves – exactly the audience for whom the courses are intended.
Earlier in the year, some of our staff visited partner schools in London on a trip dedicated to Britain’s capital city, which is one of our most popular destinations. 2012 was a great year to be in London, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Summer Olympics. It was also the year when ESL opened a London drop-in office. Why not pop in for a cup of tea and a chat at 4th Floor, 24 Haymarket?
And “down under”
Another fam trip this year headed to Australia, taking in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Sydney. As well as visiting partner schools, meeting our students and exploring the destinations, our team put in the hard work necessary to really understand Aussie beach culture, including surfing, barbecues and a little bit of sunbathing! All this to bring you the best possible service.
Stay tuned in 2013 for much more information from these trips, including local highlights and insider tips from ESL team members.