This summer 475 students traveled to Ireland under our care to improve their English and enjoy the unique aspects of our culture. 2019 heralded increased numbers (36% up on 2018) for Equinox Education Services’ summer programmes and another great international mix that included students from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Romania, Japan who were joined by local Irish students learning French among our five learning centres in Carlow, Athy, Thurles, Kilkenny and at our new location in Wexford.
As this time of year we also employ many seasonal staff with almost fifty people working with us to deliver a range of services for our students including centre managers, teachers, home-stay coordinators, Irish -buddies, activity and excursion leaders. This is in addition to our fantastic network of sub-contractors and host families, who all provide an invaluable and vital service to our operation during the six to eight weeks that the students are here. It’s a huge undertaking for Equinox, but one that we are immensely proud of and intend to invest in as we continue to develop the business in the future. As a follow-on to the previous summer we continued to implement a series of quality-assurance, planning and policy measures that equip us properly in advance of the period and then enable us to reflect and take stock of the effectiveness of our services at the end of it so that we can improve on what we deliver on behalf of our agents and students.
This summer we surveyed all of our students to ascertain what they thought of various aspects of the summer programme. Manual surveys were voluntarily completed between 27th June and 7th August 2019. The data was collated and any personal information (e.g. student’s name, age and sex) was destroyed in compliance with GDPR regulations. The range of nine questions asked the respondent to rank aspects of their experience of their learning, their host family experience, our leadership and their rating of our activities / excursions as either bad, average, good or excellent. Equinox scored exceptionally well in all categories, with 81% respondents scoring an ‘improvement to their English’ as good or above. Similarly, our host family network received as resounding endorsement as 95.5% of students rated their home stay experience as good or above. Below is a summary of some of the key findings.
Speaking about the survey, Paul Dunne, Equinox’s International Development Manager commented “the data has highlighted some areas we need to look at improving such certain activities for students and feedback about the quality of their food during their home stay. All, thankfully minimal issues, but ones we need to be mindful of. As with all surveys, they are a snapshot in time, but for us they will enable to track our service delivery levels and make the necessary adjustments to improve. In the meantime, we will continue to use surveys as a tool to build on the success of our programmes”. Equinox also carried out separate staff and agent surveys about their experiences of working with Equinox where they were invited to comment about what areas worked and what aspects need to be improved in our summer operations. As with the student surveys, the will help Equinox improve their service levels and employee conditions. For more information about Equinox Education Services Summer programmes please visit us on https://equinoxlearnabroad.com/ or telephone us on +353 85 7254280 today.