Group of English Language Teaching students posing for a photo in a classroom.
17 December 2019

Around the World With Our International Team in 2019

December is the time of year to reflect on your achievements and set new goals for the year (or even decade!) ahead – and that is exactly what our International team is doing! 2019 saw us welcome students from countries across the world to study with us on our English Language Summer School, bespoke training programmes and year-round courses.

Here we take a look back at some of our favourite moments from 2019 (the year of the Pig, according to Chinese zodiac).


Many people like to try something new in January and our students are no exception. We welcomed over 70 teachers from Panama, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan to study bespoke professional development courses with us. We also enjoyed hosting a large group of Italian high school students who came to Edinburgh College to improve their English and Art and Design skills. We hope they stuck to their new year’s resolutions longer than our team did! 


February is the month of Valentine’s and we were delighted to welcome a group of Japanese students from the aptly named Kagoshima Immaculate Heart College for an English and Airline operations course. During their time here, they not only improved their language skills but also their industry skills by having practical classes and making use of our mock airline cabin. 


In March (or marzo as it’s known to our visitors that month) we continued our partnership with Panama Bilingue, a government education programme in Panama and were glad that they brought the sunshine with them for our trip to Edinburgh Castle. We hosted the group for a 16-week English language programme. 


In Spring we were joined by a group of teachers from Italy for an immersive cultural experience. They enjoyed a number of trips around Edinburgh and compared the school systems in Scotland and Italy. We’re not sure how impressed they were when we told them that we deep fry pizzas here – an immersive cultural experience indeed! 


We said ‘Xayr’ to our British Council group from Uzbekistan in May who had been studying a bespoke English language development programme with us for four weeks. As a goodbye, one of them learned and sang a song by Rabbie Burns (Scotland’s national poet). Watch the video here.


Our fourth group of Panama Bilingue students in 2019 arrived in June. They studied English language and teaching methodology with us for four months before returning to Panama to launch their teaching careers. 


Summer is always a busy time as we hold our annual English Language Summer School. This year we were joined by groups of students from Russia, Japan and Kazakhstan who integrated into the Summer School. We also welcomed another group of Italian teachers to Edinburgh and ran a four-week teacher training programme in Guangzhou, China for 100 teachers.


Whilst the Festival Fringe was in full swing, our Summer School came to an end in August and we said goodbye to our students from all around the world – everywhere from Spain to South Korea to Brazil. We then welcomed back our international students who are here studying Scottish qualifications for the year.


At the beginning of autumn, we ran a bespoke two-week course for Turkish teachers who will now take on leading roles in the development of English language teaching in Turkey. We were also lucky to welcome another 15 teachers from Panama for an eight-week professional development course.


October saw us welcome two delegations from China to the College to discuss future partnerships. We also worked with the British Council in Colombia to run an English and Performing Arts course for five professionals from Colombia. During their time here the group investigated the Creative Industries in Scotland through seminars, practical classes and industry visits. Thanks for hanging around with us!


During November we travelled in China to explore future partnerships and visit some of our existing projects. Particularly exciting was the launch of our new English and Childcare course in Guangzhou. We look forward to running the course during the year of the rat (2020) and beyond. 


Our team wrapped up the year with a trip to the Philippines and Qatar to raise the profile of the College internationally and to explore new projects. 

We’ve had a great year and are now ready to enjoy celebrating the festive season with our friends and families across the world. We hope all of our new friends from far and wide have a great New Year and we look forward to welcoming new visitors, partnerships and friendships in 2020.  See you next year!