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St Giles aims to turn int’l students into ‘locals’

St Giles is set to launch an English language course with a new format which aims to transform students “from tourists to locals”.

One of the activities included in the courses' timetables. Photo: St Giles

Beyond attending 20 hours a week of General English classes, the students will set off to discover their host city with excursions three mornings, two evenings and one full day a week.

Named St Giles Secret Cities: English + Unique Experiences, courses will start next summer in four of St Giles’ eight international locations.

“I first came up with the idea having looked at the success of ventures like Airbnb”

Teachers will take the lead in showing students around their city and sharing their local hangouts and their favourite activities with them.

The course takes the lead from shifting trends in the tourism industry, with a growing demographics of travellers looking for activities that are both local and off the beaten track.

St Giles group sales and marketing director Hannah Lindsay came up with the idea of this new course taking inspiration from the increasingly popular immersive travel experiences offered by tourism giants such as Airbnb.

“I first came up with the idea having looked at the success of ventures like Airbnb, that offer unique, immersive local experiences of destinations, that differ completely from the standardised sightseeing vacations of previous generations,” she said in a statement.

“Offering this course to students creates a truly unique, unforgettable experience of a city, transforming our students from tourists into locals.”

Students will participate in activities, from cycling tours to dinners out, with programs varying in every city – Brighton, London, New York and San Francisco.

A separate young learners version of the program, with activities suited to younger students, will be offered at St Giles London Highgate.

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