Nadia Zammal, Groups and Social Organiser, Excel English
Seven important elements of successful group stays
We asked our Social & Groups Organiser, “What makes a successful group successful?”– Here’s what she had to say:
- The group leader is an essential element and can often make or break the experience for everyone. The ideal group leader is organised, responsible, takes initiative, has an open mind, and knows they aren’t on holiday!
- Trust needs to be built up on multiple levels (assuming an agent is involved): the agent trusts the school, the group leader needs to trust the agent, the students need to trust the group leader, and the group as a whole needs to trust the school staff. If one of these links is broken, it could mean trouble.
- Pre-departure orientation is key for groups coming from very different cultures, or with students travelling for the first time. In some cases, if expectations are not addressed at this stage, it can lead to conflict on arrival.
- High quality English lessons. Because, after all, isn’t that why we’re here? Teachers should be engaging, interesting, make lessons fun, and ultimately help students reach their goals.
- Welcoming accommodation – a clean environment and a belly full of good food will work wonders for anyone, especially someone who may be feeling homesick or just out of their element. Friendly hosts and a safe place to stay will definitely play a major role in a group’s overall satisfaction.
- FUN! There should be a planned social programme, not only to keep the group busy, but also to allow them to enjoy their time abroad and learn about their new surroundings.
- Speak English. Finally, possibly most importantly, students hoping to benefit the most from their time abroad should remember to speak English at all times! With each other, with their group leaders, with the school staff, and with anyone else they meet!
Authors: Nadia Zammal, Groups and Social Organiser; Laura Mould, Sales Executive – Excel English, London (School profile | www.excelenglish.co.uk)
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