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What IALC Means to ICLS

In a world where choices are as abundant as they are overwhelming, it can be difficult to make the right decision.  We risk being oversold and misled by media kits full of beautiful stock photos, convincing content, and catchy taglines. Navigating through the purchasing journey is both time consuming and challenging, and many of us must make decisions under tight timelines. For these reasons, language learners often seek the guidance of their local travel and study agencies that help them choose a school to study abroad. These agents are tasked with the difficult role of matchmaker: pairing various student preferences, financial budgets and personalities with one of the language schools in their portfolios, each of which vary in location, size, and educational offerings.

Moreover, studying abroad is not a decision to take lightly – it is a leap of not only financial faith, but also personal risk, choosing to learn in a country whose culture and characteristics you may have little exposure to. If only there were a common denominator that could eliminate the key doubts that students and agents often face during this process: Can I trust and work well with the staff members at the school? Does the school have high quality teachers? Will I be living in a comfortable accommodation? Is the city that the school resides in interesting and fun? Luckily for ICLS (and unluckily to other language schools in dc) the solution to this problem has been answered in four letters: IALC.


Think of IALC (the International Association of Language Centres) as a good pair of sunglasses that serves two practical purposes: it shields you from UV rays that can damage your eyes and enhances the quality of your view with glare reduction. Translation: working with IALC member schools shields students and agents from poor quality institutions and guarantees a successful learning experience for all stakeholders involved. How? It’s a simple formula that requires extensive research, effort, and execution behind the scenes. IALC’s quality assurance committee demands consistent adherence to its Code of Ethics, and in effect, does not allow membership from a large quantity of unqualified language providers across the globe, leaving agents and students who work with IALC member schools extremely satisfied. In fact, within this multi-billion-dollar industry of language learning, there are only 160 IALC schools in the world.  ICLS DC is fortunate to be only 1 of 10 schools representing the USA, and the only school representing the nation’s capital, Washington, DC among all the language schools in DC.

The beauty of IALC schools is not only in their guarantee of quality, but also in their personal touch. This can get lost in the language study market due to the growing consolidation and acquisitions among chain schools, schools which experience high employee turnover and often outsource admissions and customer service. In short, bigger doesn’t always equal better and with IALC, only independently owned language schools  are invited to be members.

Just as important, agents and students (and their parents), have a direct line to the school’s owner, who works at the school on a daily basis. This may seem like a trivial point, but in a time of crisis, who would you rather speak with: an admissions’ employee who might live in a different country than the school, or the owner of the school who is on site every day? Additionally, working in partnerships should be a fun experience for all involved because at its core, that’s why we are passionate about working in language learning and culture exchange in the first place – because it’s fun, engaging, and helps students on their way to global success!

IALC also proves that among the language schools in Washington DC you should choose ICLS :) 

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