Friday 24 May 2013

Learning the Principles of the Principal

Andrew Edwards the principal of LSI has recently given an interview which has been published on the IALC website.

This month, we speak to Andrew Edwards, Principal of LSI Portsmouth who tells us about the school and how it feels to be part of IALC.

Q: Hello Andrew, when did you join IALC and why?

I was already a member of IALC for many years with my previous school, the wonderful ELC Bristol, and now that I’ve joined the equally fantastic LSI Portsmouth it’s great to still be part of the IALC family for so many reasons. To be able to share ideas and best practice with so many experienced and like-minded people around the world is something I value massively. What makes an organisation is its people, and the people in IALC are really special.

Q: How does it feel to be part of this exclusive global community of quality language schools?
It’s a real pleasure and a privilege, to be honest. For me, despite IALC’s growth over the years, it still feels like being part of an exclusive and very supportive group of friends who are all working towards the same goal – to make their school as good as it can possibly be and to give their students the time of their lives. IALC is also great fun too and the annual workshop is always the highlight of my social calendar! (Anyone who remembers Jude Hands and the rendition of ‘Hey Jude’ at the Toronto workshop last year will know exactly what I mean. Still very much a YouTube hit, I believe :-)) ...
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Friday 10 May 2013

How Will We Manage?

So it’s a very sweet and sour day here at LSI as one of our really lovely, much loved people is leaving us!  Nati Ruiperez is leaving to have a baby after ten years of working with us at LSI. 

Getting ready to leave

“So Nati how do you feel about leaving?”
“This is my 35th week, and I’ll be going on maternity leave for a year.  I’m a bit nervous, I know things are gonna be fine and everything, I’m just not sure how I’m going to  cope, I have never had so much time not working, though I know Christian (is the name of my baby), will give me a lot to do.”

with students at the Christmas party
“Let’s go back to the beginning, how did you come to work at LSI?”
“Well, I spent the last year of University in Galway in Ireland, on an Erasmus programme, then after I went back to Spain, but I wanted to work abroad again.  So, I applied and was taken on here for work experience for five months.  After the five months was finished I went back to Spain and was on holiday.  Suddenly out of the blue I received a call from Allan (the Marketing Director) who asked me if I wanted to come back to LSI.  Then after some years I met my husband and now I’ve been here ten years!”

with Bill at the leaving ceremony
“Over these ten years what have been the biggest changes?”
“Oh I think the biggest change for me was when Peter and Najat left (the founder of the school and his wife), that was such a big change, and then of course Andrew (the new Principal) coming.
A couple of years after I started here Rosalia started (another Spanish employee) and that was really nice working with another Spanish person, she left three years ago, but we do keep in touch a lot.  I think it can be hard to be in another country if you are not in a couple, you can feel very lonely, without your family or a big group of friends. But I have my lovely husband!

How did I meet my husband? It’s a funny story.  The husband of one of my friends knew my (now) husband and tried to set us up on a date.  So we went out as a group and had a lovely time.  I kind of played hard to get for about five or six weeks, and let him to do the running.  He used to come with me to the Salsa lessons that we had with the students every Wednesday.  After about 6 weeks he asked for a proper date.  I said if he wanted a date he had to ask permission from my parents, I was just joking you know. I had a wedding back in Spain at the weekend and I said if he wanted to ask them he could come to my cousin’s wedding and ask them there!  I never thought in a million years he would take me seriously. So that was on the Wednesday. I had to fly to Spain on the Friday. Can you imagine? On Friday he was knocking on the door with a taxi to take me to the airport!  So he came to the wedding with all my family, cousins and parents but he got on well with everyone and it was really nice. And that was also our first kiss, in front of 150 people!  In Spanish weddings it’s typical to say ‘the mother in law kisses the father in law’ and then they kiss with everyone clapping. They did that to us ‘Nati kisses Richard’ and that was our first kiss, in front of all those people!”

with students at the nightclub

“What do you do here and what will you miss the most?”
“I take care of reception and the social events for the General students, I used to look after the self access for the General students as well. I also look after the General student welfare.  What is the best thing about working here and what will I miss? It has to be the people, the students and my colleagues.  You know after a long time a job is a job but the people here are special and I think I’ll miss the staff the most.”

We'll miss you Nati!

Nati, we will miss you and your lovely smile and all the help you have given us so much, we wish you and Richard and Christian all the love and luck in the world!

If you know Nati - leave a message for her below

Friday 3 May 2013

From Russia with Love

Having returned from my very busy trip to Moscow meeting some of our partners I thought I’d share my views and experiences of this trip with the readers of the LSI Blog.

If you’ve never been to Moscow before I say book your flights now as it’s definitely one fascinating place.

What I liked the most about the city is the beautiful Moscow Metro that amazes its commuters with the extravagant design and structure. The beautiful marble floors, fresco ceilings and chandeliers are quite breathtaking so when you do admire the beauty of this cultural phenomenon make sure you keep an eye on the time if you’ve arranged to meet someone for a cup of Russian tea with bubliki.  If you’re generally not a soup lover trying Russian borscht will prove to be a life-changing experience. If you have time do pop into one of the local cafes or restaurants on Arbat and try this rich, beetroot soup served hot or even cold in the summer. I loved having this soup with some dark Russian rye bread sitting outside of my favourite café Mu-Mu (Му-Му) on the Old Arbat. Finally, make sure you visit Red Square on a sunny day for some amazing views of Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Spasskaya Tower that are probably one of the most visited sights in Moscow. You’ll also be able to enjoy the views of the Moscow river and maybe jump on one of the boats to take a tour around Moscow all while avoiding the traffic of the busy Moscow streets.


While there I met up with our friend Dmitry
(shown here with one of his teachers

Moscow without a doubt is a tourist gem that has a lot to offer to anyone looking for adventures with a Russian flavour!
Explore, enjoy and share!
Margarita Atlasova
Sales and Marketing