A few days ago, ESL’s international workshop gathered together a broad range of partner schools from our portfolio to meet ESL managers from most of the cities around the world where ESL offers its services. This year, for its 2nd edition, the event took place in Barcelona. During three intensive days, reunions, meetings, presentations, feedback and training sessions took place between 130 language study specialists from more than 30 different countries.
The personal dimension
Touching base with our partner schools in a dedicated environment is a fantastic opportunity for all ESL staff to get detailed input first hand and to build up a personal relation with the people from the language schools we recommend.
A good relationship between a language school and an agency is based on trust, respect and sharing information. We collect a huge amount of student and staff feedback throughout the year, and the workshop offered the perfect moment to share this with 56 partners from around the world. In turn, schools passed on their insights into the latest trends, allowing everyone to fine-tune the student experience even further for 2016.
Barcelona is a fascinating city to organise an event. Being in the education industry, we always take great pleasure in the important task of highlighting the cultural dimension of the city where we host our workshop. And Barcelona offered so many opportunities.
“Welcome to the Sphere” – Spanish night in Montjuïc
On this emblematic hill overviewing the city, we welcomed our guests at the Esferic, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1929. A flamenco duo started playing while Fernando, aka “Chef Nando”, the director of one of our partner schools in Spain was giving the final touches to 4 huge paellas he had started to cook a few hours before for 130 guests. He took up the challenge to do it in Barcelona like it was nothing out of the ordinary…
The idea came when I attended one of his famous paella nights a year ago when I was visiting him in Valencia. So, this was like a tribute to what takes place at our partner schools for the students around the world, often leading to those great unforgettable nights that any person who studied abroad has experienced at least once…
Gala night at Casa Llotja de Mar
Barcelona is an ancient city, a very old harbour whose development and dynamism primarily had to do with the sea. Our gala dinner was held in a huge gothic room built in the 14th century: vertical architecture sustained by imposing columns that drive your eyes to the sky.
7 centuries of history surrounding us, there was a temptation to do something novel in this fabulous place that must have already seen so many things… So we invited an 11-piece salsa band who opened the show with a funky trombone riff to continue through with a classy afro-Cuban repertoire…
A really great night and a beautiful moment between ESL staff and partner schools in a magical place. One for the memory bank!
An exchange of information
The surroundings may have been glamorous, but there was serious work to be done. The best way to get information is directly from the source, and a tremendous amount of knowledge was shared between ESL regional staff and our partner schools. This helps everyone better understand student needs and expectations. With this information, ESL staff and partner schools can offer students an unparalleled study abroad experience.
Thanks to all participants, who contributed to these productive and enjoyable days in Barcelona. We look forward to seeing you again soon!