Bernhard Roters is director of CLIC Seville and Cadiz. CLIC offers a wide variety of Spanish courses including Spanish intensive, Dele exam preparation, customized courses for juniors and seniors, internships, private classes and teacher training. The busy cultural activities programme includes meeting locals for a language exchange. CLIC's teacher training centre is recognised by Cambridge Language Assessment (teachers of English) and the University of Barcelona (teachers of Spanish).
CLIC has been uniting cultures for more than 30 years.
Q1. What do you like most about being part of this exclusive global community of quality language schools?
What I most like about IALC is that member schools are of highest quality and independent and the very practical way they help each other with marketing and PR issues. The exchange of know-how for Study Abroad Schools is a vital tool to help network successfully with the most important agents around the world. IALC is the benchmark for the study abroad industry based mainly on agents and school collaboration, the IALC workshop being the most social, entertaining and productive event of its type.
Q.2 How is 2015 going and what are your goals for 2015-2016?
Our schools have 4 important income streams: Spanish as a foreign language which seems to have overcome the crisis that started in 2010, Teaching foreign languages to the local market, which seems to have passed the peak in demand, our very successful Training Programmes for Teachers of English and Spanish and a tiny Study Abroad Department. We also run our own Apartment Buildings and Residence Halls all right in the city centre of Seville, within walking distance of the schools.
The main goal is still to grow a minimum of 5% in Seville and 10% in Cadiz in 2016. As per local market, we aim to recoup at least a 15% of the local market share.
Q.3 What are your plans for next year?
For next year we plan to participate in even more European Mobility programmes especially with Germany, and Erasmus Plus programmes for teachers and groups.
Q.4 What is your secret for being so successful after 30 years in the business?
Apart from the 3 main ingredients: quality, quality and quality... It makes a difference that we offer products for very different markets and we have never put all eggs in one basket. Our schools are medium-sized and in very beautiful, original Spanish destinations that cater for everybody, our goal is to "never say no to a client's demand." We are a constant and reliable partner and we have many longstanding and excellent collaborations with our large network of agencies around the world.
On top of that, our staff and teachers work as a team and participate in continuous training programmes; we are proud to still have many of the same staff with us from the very beginning of CLIC in 1983.
Q.5 What do you like most about your job?
Since the very beginning I have always enjoyed the global aspect of my work. Travelling around the world to tell everybody about the excellence of CLIC and Seville and Cadiz as ideal destinations to study Spanish. Meeting agents that have now become friends wherever I go and mingling with our students here on the CLIC School patio. I believe one of the most important and exciting parts of our job is to help international students learn a different language and embrace a new culture. It's definitely one of the last romantic adventures in our ever more global lives.
Q.6 What do students like most about your school, culture, and city?
What comes first on students' feedback forms is the quality of teaching. Our teacherï¿½s qualifications (all International House qualified and 50% hold a Master in ELE), their enthusiasm, personal attention and humour make classes very productive and fun. Furthermore, the combination of up to date teaching techniques relating study subjects to daily news, personalization of class topics and use of multimedia during classes.
Multicultural life in our school patio, the new cafeteria and more than 500m2 roof terraces including a plunge pool.
Besides the classes, students very much enjoy our very varied cultural programme consisting of orientation walks, weekly sports, fiestas with Spanish students, visits to museums and monuments, cooking classes, flamenco and salsa dancing lessons, wine tasting, the beaches, two free cultural lessons per week in Spanish film, literature, art, phonetics and pronunciation. Guided weekly tours to Ronda, Cadiz, Granada, Cordoba, Morocco, and Portugal... (Every single Saturday all year round).
Students very much enjoy the flexibility of the school and the way in which we decisively solve problems.
Q.7 Why CLIC Seville & Cadiz?
The openness of its welcoming people, genuine Spanish towns and their historical city centres, great climate, beautiful natural beaches and mountains in the vicinity. In both cities it is very easy to meet the local people and actively participate in a culturally rich city life.
100% of our students live within walking distance of the school, no public transportation is needed.
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Your favourite recent book:
Der Trafikant written by Robert Seethaler from Austria. This book set in Vienna in 1930 and talks in a very personal way about an employee in a little magazine and tobacco shop, his friendship with Siegmund Freud and the arising Nazi movement against Jewish and critical citizens.
In your free time you like to:
cook at home, invite friends round, travel, spend weekends at the beach or in the mountains, ride on horseback, go to the cinema or theatre, and learn to do new things.
A place to visit (that you haven't been) and a place that you would like to go again.
One of my favourite countries to visit again is Iceland and a place to go: Zanzibar.
Dream dinner guest:
Why not Pedro Almodovar and his group of actresses such as Carmen Maura, Rossy de Palma, Victoria Abril, Chus Lampreave and Antonia San Juan. I am sure it would be a very funny and entertaining evening..!!
Bernhard Roters, Director of CLIC Sevilla and Cadiz