“When we were researching the project we found many offers for Chinese language courses, private classes and one day camps but nothing offering two weeks of Chinese summer camp,” said Albert Llorens head of communications at English Summer. “This is what was missing from the market.”
The Chinese summer camp will follow the same structure as the company’s English version: students will participate in a combination of grammar classes, extracurricular activities and social events.
English Summer will be working in collaboration with Chinese-Catalan interpreter and textbook publisher Jiajia Wang Liu. Chinese-born Jiajia arrived in Catalonia in 1997 when she was eight years old. After graduating from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona she received the top enterprising prize from UPF, UPF Emprèn Fundació Banc Sabadell, along with €20,000 to start her publishing company.
“We did research and a Chinese summer camp is what was missing in the market”
“We’re comfortable with the partnership with Jia Jia and our know-how of summer camps,” said Llorens.
To start, the company is expecting to host between 30-to-50 students at the company’s largest site in Prades. “Our expectations aren’t that high for the pilot test,” said Llorens. “We’re just proud to be the first to open the door to this side of the summer camp business.”
It has already reached about half of its projected target of applicants after launching the camp two months ago.
“The majority of applications we have received are from people who are currently taking Chinese classes and want to reinforce those lessons with a summer camp or who want to start learning Chinese in September and will use the summer camp as a starting-off point,” said Llorens.
If things go well, English Summer can expand the offer to include other students outside of Spain – something they’ve already experienced with their English summer camps.
“We are seeing a lot of Russian students who come to Spain to learn English”
“We are starting to internationalise the programmes that we already have. We are seeing a lot of Russian students who come to Spain to learn English because it is less expensive than travelling to England and the weather is nicer.”
Based in Catalonia, English Summer has been teaching English as a second language for the past 32 years. Summer camps are its main focus and it hosts about 3,000 students every year.