Participants at our summer courses over the last few years will have noticed a growing range of nationalities coming to study and stay with us at Hurst, as well as coming for a wider range of services and experiences. In this blog we want to look at the ways we attract our students, and how we try to offer what the young generation and their parents want. In the next blog we will cover what these new courses offer and how they have developed.
Since MC became an accredited school with the British Council, we have been attending more and more industry events, including some of their promotional workshops and conferences. This has allowed the directors more face-to-face contact with existing and new agents, and parents, and the children themselves, than the opportunities offered by modern online trends. Yes, MC has been using its social media cautiously, sometimes relying on the expertise of its summer staff, and exploiting the wealth of great images we have from our expert photographers. Using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have given us a greater way to share our pride in what the students and staff do with our existing and older clients. But when it comes to reaching wider audiences we have many other methods. MC prefers to use these platforms for the children to share their memories and to stay in touch with us directly, and not to rely on this network for promotional purposes.
Finding new markets eg. in Japan, Vietnam, Peru etc.
Most recently MC has started promotions again in Japan, and hopes to welcome more students from there, who feel the need for greater contact with the international world. Jon Barnard lives in Okinawa, south Japan, where he works with his wife, both teaching English to children and adults. In 2016 and 2018 Mc welcomed some of these local children, and is now hoping to attract more to the wonderful environment our family business offers in the beautiful countryside. Jon is the Course Director, and has been a teacher, mostly in Japan and Taiwan, as well as UK, for more than 20 years.
See our Japanese profile from a British Council magazine here.
In 2017 we welcomed our first Vietnamese student, and the same student, plus family members, will return this summer. This contact with a new flourishing region led to Jon, and Nick, the Managing Director, attending big event in Hanoi in spring last year. This British Council organised event attracted parents and older teenagers looking at summer courses and universities. Clearly the UK is an attractive option for this career-minded future generation.
In fact, we developed a special package to appeal to these clients, with a more academic focused selection of afternoon sessions, including ‘leadership skills’ etc. as well as workshops supplying interested children with information about applying as an international student and attending universities in English speaking countries. Best of all was that our ex-student and her mother joined us all day at the desk, to give first-hand stories to the interested visitors.
Enquire by email to firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about this Academic Preparation Course.
Nick attended for the first time in 2016 yet another event, that time in Peru, breaking into the South American market. Being one of the first areas from the southern hemisphere led to enquiries for options for ‘summer courses’ that take place outside of the UK’s summer season. Now that we offer winter courses in UK, we hope the option to stay with homestay families and study alongside British local children appeals to some of both our old-time and new agents.
More on this Immersion Course can be found here.
The last few years have also seen the Directors visit Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok at either English UK organised events, or the big conference organised by Alphe. These events allow us to meet a wide variety of agents for short meetings at our sponsored desk, finding out as much about them and their needs as they find out about us and our services. A number of new partnerships were formed at these, especially one that led to MC offering their ground-breaking 1 week UK Tour. After studying at Hurst for a week, groups of children have taken private coaches that have got them round all the big sights of UK, as far as Scotland.
Enquire by email to email@example.com if you would like more details on this UK Tour.
Developing our network eg. in Europe, China etc.
The ‘tour’ concept has been developed now with a new partner, one from one of our oldest client bases, an new Italian partner. Our experience organised this, and our fortunate meetings with a ‘friend of a friend’ led us to meet Kitty and Fabio, who have been offering an ‘English on the Road’ package to local children from their base in Italy, where Kitty teaches English. 2019 sees the launch of a joint venture between them and us. again, after a week at Hurst, studying specifically with Kitty in classes orientated to their upcoming week, they leave the campus to spend a week in hotels in London. The contents of all their lessons are based around the very real and enjoyable experience of what they will see and do in London.
Find out more about English on the Road here.
Of course, every year we still look forward to the big event in Monaco (Forum des sejours Linguistiques). Ever year this event, and word-of-mouth around the small principality, brings in some of the most loyal families we have. Often we find these children return for another summer, and share their experiences with school friends and parents, encouraging each other to enrol. This spring Su and Nick, as always, will be at their regular desk at the Forum, hoping to see many new and familiar faces. Like Italy, this region has been one of our longest-standing client bases. Some of the original participants in summer school back in the early 1970s came from the south of France area, and now send their children to us.
Read about our History here.
Indeed, we also network around the UK. Every few years we join the biggest event in London, StudyWorld. At such events we learn more about the changes in the industry, and then get to meet clients and socialise with other language schools. Events like this also mean we get to meet existing agents, not just new ones. However, MC excels at letting the buyers experience the product, and so we regularly show agents round the College. Just before Christmas we took a team of office workers from one of the oldest and biggest agents in Spain round the school, ensuring that they could then give a better account to any enquiries about what the students will experience.
In autumn Nick was interviewed by a big Chinese industry online magazine in London. This summer we hope to appeal to some of the readers with our Performing Arts Courses that was suggested by them during summer. It was a lucky coincidence that last summer we happened to have developed such a course for a small group, from a different region. The agents came to visit and see it in operation, and this led to them sending a separate group to us last minute, they were so impressed.
Find out about the Performing Arts Courses here.
Welcoming new partners
Remember, MC is a very personal experience for every child, parent and agent that comes to us. We welcome visitors during summer, when they can sample the food, meet the students, observe the classes. Outside of summer, visits to the College involve sampling the food and visiting the facilities, meeting the Directors, and getting a great feel for the place.
Any of the Directors can be contacted via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. For parents that think they want to chat to them in Monaco in March, please contact Nick or Su. For parents or schools in Asia, please contact Jon at email@example.com, or phone 00 81 90 9131 1906, who can arrange to visit you anywhere in the Asian region, Okinawa easily accesses wherever you are from its new international terminal.
Lastly, our testimonials should be read, as they speak directly from the mouths of the students, parents and agents. Ask us if you would like to access more.
If you have any countries you think we should visit, or know about any event we should attend, let us know in the Comments below, and share your knowledge with us….