- Ilinca Stroe
After 18 years: International House Bucharest’s coming of age, a mission in full swing
On Thursday 10 October 2019 International House Bucharest, officially called IHB Language Training Centre SRL, had its coming of age party. At Hotel Caro in Bucharest we welcomed our guests, the representatives of our corporate clients’ Human Resources Departments: Deutsche Bahn Cargo, Mondelēz, BRD, Engie, Holcim, JTI, KPMG, Merck, Philips, Adecco, etc.; other guests joined us representing our non-corporate clients and partners: the Competition Council, The Embassy of Slovakia or The Comic Opera for Children.
We shared stories of projects and achievements, we talked about exciting challenges and the joy of finding solutions, about trust and working together and friendship. And then... what better companion to a good story than a glass of good wine? The event’s sponsors, Produse Moldoveneşti and Sweet Moments, made sure that the wine tasting and candy bar available at the party sweetened the time spent together. That included the thanks and thoughts addressed to the guests by Mr Mihai Laurenţiu Gânj, the President of IHB, but also a play called ”The Method”, by Jordi Galceran, performed by four actors from the Nottara Theatre.
But what exactly is it that we celebrated on our 18th anniversary? In 2002, when we started to make our first steps, we were one of the relatively few language centres in Romania. We were providing mainly English courses to company employees and courses of Romanian to expats living in our country. As the years passed by, our range of courses for adults expanded (to include courses of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, etc.), and especially since 2005 our offer of English courses for young learners has become increasingly substantial and innovative, due to the remarkable work of our young learner unit, English Kids Academy (EKA).
Step by step, project after project, IHB has grown for the past 18 years, so that today, on reaching our “coming of age”, we do so much more than improving the language competence of adults and children.
1) Conferences: in the last few years we have organised the EKA conferences about a range of topics relevant to the parent-child relationship (emotional intelligence, father’s role, teenage success, children and technology), and on 12 October 2019 we co-organised “The Cyber Effect”, an event with hundreds of participants where the main speaker was the most important world expert in cyberpshychology, Dr Mary Aiken, and which was covered by media outlets like Hotnews, Digi24 or the daily „Libertatea”.
2) Child development programmes: the freshest initiatives put into practice by EKA include the launch of a Counselling Programme for parents about the balanced use of technology by children and teenagers, and the start of the Young Readers Community, which sets out to consolidate through reading, outside English classes, the childrens’ socio-emotional abilities while shaping them as “lifelong readers”.
3) Teacher training centre: this year we set up the Teacher Training Centre where English teachers from everywhere can enrol on two internationally recognised courses. The first, accredited by the University of Cambridge, is called CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults), and is the most prestigious teacher training course for teachers of English to adults worldwide. The second, IHCYLT (International House Certificate in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers), assures the qualification of teachers of English to children and teenagers.
4) Awards: in 2019 only we have been awarded for the second year consecutively the 2019/2020 iStudy Guide Award for teaching excellence (with special appreciation for the quality of the course curriculum, the facilities and professionalism of IHB), as well as four prizes at the 27th edition of the National Top of Romanian Private Companies, organised by the Council of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Romania, for productivity and the value brought to the community and the Romanian economy.
Thus, after 18 years on the market we are grateful for the achievements attained, we renew our commitment to our young and adult students, and we reassert our dedication to education and development. And we are getting prepared with the same constructive enthusiasm for the future!