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Abridge Academy

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Abridge Academy has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

About

Abridge Academy is a social enterprise based in the UK, offering fully-funded teaching and cultural exchange programs in Asia for students and young people as well as accredited online TEFL courses and cultural activities. Our aim is to "bridge East and West through education" - reflecting our commitment to promoting cultural understanding and language exchange.

We offer two programs - the EduCamp (summer camp) and EduCare (homestay) programs, as well as our online Language Buddy (English conversation tutoring) and accredited TEFL programs. Unlike other organisations, our in-country programs are fully funded (including flights or an allowance), thus making them more accessible to students and young people. Additionally, we provide full pre-departure support and TEFL training, ensuring you are fully prepared to make the most of the opportunity.

Founded
2017

Reviews

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Jadwiga
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have been a tutor of the LoPair Language Buddy programme since its launch, and I have enjoyed every moment of it! I have taught Chinese children, teenagers and adults previously online as a freelancer, and so I possessed some teaching experience prior to this. Thanks to LoPair, I was able to further broaden my teaching skills, learn new things and build more confidence.The students that I have taught so far have been absolutely amazing and I really enjoyed helping them improve their English. I hope to spread my passion for languages further and help even more students. I like to design my own lesson materials, but the language buddy hub also has a huge variety of materials available which the tutors are free to use for their lessons. The programme itself is very well organised and there is both Katie and the LoPair staff who are willing to help you out and support you. Thank you so much for all of your hard work! I recommend the programme and really look forward to watching the programme grow, develop and become even bigger!

Response from Abridge Academy

Hi Jadwiga, thanks so much for your great review - really appreciate it! We've loved having you on the Language Buddy program, you've been an amazing tutor so far and also been keen to take on additional responsibilities such as helping with content development. Thanks for your great work, looking forward to having you continue tutoring with Abridge Academy and Lopair!

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Cindy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I truly believe Lopair Language Buddy is a wonderful program and that it has been one of my most enriching experiences. I have experience teaching children ages 3-16, but I still learned many things from teaching online at Lopair! You are presented with the opportunity to teach children of all ages and at all speaking levels, so you really get the chance to learn different ways to engage with each one. Language Buddy has lots of content you can use for your classes, but you can always opt to create your own. The program also offers free weekly Chinese language classes for those who are interested, as well as the opportunity to become an au pair in the future. Outside of the classes, the coordinators are very easy to contact if you run into any issues, need advice, or simply just to chat. Since joining in, I have felt very welcomed and have learned a lot. Whether you are thinking of pursuing a teaching career or hoping to learn something new, I would highly recommend this program to you.

What was your funniest moment?
- First meeting with a 4y/o -
Me: What's your favourite sport?
Child's mom: ...
Child's mom: say chocolate and mangos
Child:
Child:
Child: Elsa
Response from Abridge Academy

Hi Cindy! Thank you so much for your great review, really appreciate the support :) It's great to hear that you are enjoying your experiences on the Language Buddy program with Lopair and Abridge Academy, you've been a fantastic asset to the team - always keen to share resources and kindly helping us out with some of the TEFL training videos too!

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Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have loved my work as a language buddy so far! I have taught students from 5 years old to 12 years old, which has helped me develop my own teaching skills, and have had so much support whilst doing so. You can commit as much as you want to this job, as there are guidebooks and pre prepared lessons, although once you get more comfortable there are opportunities to create your own content to suit your students. The Chinese cultural and language activities have also made me think about the opportunities available to me after graduating from university, which has been really exciting to think about.

What would you improve about this program?
Genuinly have very little to complain about - it is the perfect student job!
Response from Abridge Academy

Thank you so much Grace for your wonderful review, great to hear you are enjoying your time on the language buddy program! You've been an absolutely fantastic tutor - really appreciate your hard work :)

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Felicia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A few months ago I had the chance to become an online language tutor for Abridge Academy, which is an opportunity I am extremely grateful for. Thanks to this company, I now have the chance to work with brilliant students, learn about their language and culture, as well as improve my teaching skills. No words can describe how enthusiastic, kind and supportive this team has been: they offered teaching materials and pedagogic support, they even helped me set up my WeChat account and figure out my schedule! They are so amazing that they give us, the tutors, the opportunity to learn Chinese and gain a TEFL certificate, which I think is incredible! Abridge Academy is truly committed to offering its tutors a rewarding, enjoyable and well-supported experience.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
To be perfectly honest, I would have applied to this position earlier as I really enjoy it and the team is incredibly nice.
Response from Abridge Academy

Hi Felicia! Thank you so much for your wonderful review, great to hear that you are enjoying your experiences on the language buddy program - thanks for your hard work and support! You have been a fantastic tutor, always keen to share ideas and help out the team :)

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Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have been teaching English to Chinese students through the Abridge Academy Language Buddy Scheme for the past few months. Katie and everyone at LoPair are always happy to help you create the best lessons for your students and offer useful advice. It is really rewarding to see students improve their English and show real enthusiasm in lessons. The Chinese language and culture activities available to all language buddies are really interesting and provide a valuable insight into life in China. Also the new opportunity to gain a TEFL certificate in is an amazing opportunity to enhance your CV.

Response from Abridge Academy

Thanks so much Alex for your great review, really appreciate it! You have been an incredible tutor on the language buddy program so far, not only with the tutoring aspect but also helping us develop some fantastic new reading courses and sharing resources to help other tutors :) Looking forward to having you continue your teaching journey with us at Abridge Academy!

Jobs

Programs

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
5 new reviews
Abridge Academy
Online Language Buddy: Teach English and Enjoy Chinese Language and Culture Activities
Online
10 •5 reviews

Looking for an online English teaching job with a difference? Be paid...

1 new review
Abridge Academy
Accredited TEFL Courses - 10-150 Hours with Specialisms in CLIL, Experiential Learning, Online Tutoring
Online
10 •1 review

Interested in teaching abroad, becoming an online English tutor, au...

Abridge Academy
Teach English or STEM / Business at Summer Camps Across China
China
9 •1 review

Teach English or your degree subject at summer camps across China this...

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Katie Prescott

Having studied, volunteered and taught in China, Katie set up Abridge Academy to share her passion for genuine cultural exchange. As a qualified teacher, she hopes to inspire more young people to consider teaching as a career, as well as promote language learning more generally. Katie loves to travel and is always looking for new opportunities to offer our international exchange programs worldwide!

What is your favorite travel memory?

There are so many memories I could share for this! Probably one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences came from my year abroad in Harbin, North Eastern China (a rather industrial city I wouldn't particularly recommend!). There, I got to know a local Chinese family who basically adopted me as a second daughter - inviting me over every weekend and always looking out to make sure I was doing ok (including a rather crazy Chinese hospital experience I've attempted to block permanently from my memory...).

One of my favourite memories with them was a trip during Chinese New Year to visit their family restaurant in Tianjin, a full day's drive away, where we spent a wonderful week exploring their favourite local sights. It was incredible to be invited to be part of their family Chinese New Year celebrations, a truly local experience I don't think any group tour could replicate. I am still in contact with the family five years on, and have met up with them almost every year in China or the UK.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Abridge Academy has been a huge growth opportunity for me personally - before setting up the company, I had relatively limited experience in business and hadn't anticipated just how many additional skills would be required in addition to my teaching/ travel related expertise! Over the past few years, I have learnt everything from website design skills (our website is 100% created by myself, check it out haha!) to marketing and crisis management.

Additionally, running Abridge Academy has really changed how I view the world - as a student, I was often quite self-centred and focused on my personal achievements, always striving to achieve the best grades for myself. Over the past few years, I have begun to measure my success more by the achievements of our incredible team of interns and volunteers, finding ways to support them in order to achieve more together. As a social enterprise, we measure success not in terms of profits but instead by analysing our social impact, and this change in mindset has been critical for our growth as an organisation.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Some of the best stories we have heard are not of huge adventures or crazy "only in China" moments (although there have definitely been plenty of those!) but instead smaller, more personal experiences. Just a few weeks ago, one of our former 2018 summer camp volunteers (who has since returned to join our new language buddy program) shared a sweet video sent to her by one of her previous students, who still remembered her and invited her to come back to teach them again. Seeing the impact these more personal connections can have is incredibly humbling, reminding us of the importance of our programs to the children they support.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Definitely the homestay program! I have always been more closely involved in our summer camps and online training courses, which is where my expertise lies. However, I would really love to go on the homestay program as it offers a much deeper insight into the local culture, and of course the free Chinese classes would definitely be welcome (my language skills are already going a bit rusty!!).

During my time studying in China, the best experiences always came from befriending people I met and becoming part of the local community, and what better way to experience this than living with a local family?! Our homestay participants always return with incredible stories of their experiences - from randomly appearing on a Chinese fashion show to being invited on a spontaneous trip to the other end of the country! While the program is definitely challenging in many ways, it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience which I would love to join if I had the chance.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Abridge Academy prides itself on being a small, community-focused social enterprise offering a more personal experience. We work in close partnership with local schools, community groups and educational organisations to offer the very best experience for our volunteers. As a social enterprise, our mission always comes before profits - we are passionate about developing cultural relations, promoting language learning and inspiring the next generation of teachers.

For this reason, our programs offers participants the highest level of training and support, ensuring they are fully prepared before they go. We are the only major China summer camps organisation offering fully accredited and specialised TEFL training - something we have invested significantly in as part of our commitment to quality education. We also provide the highest level of travel funding and scholarships in the industry - including a full travel grant (worth the value of a flight ticket) as standard for all internship volunteers, and a range of full and partial scholarship programs.

Finally, something I personally feel very proud of is the incredible community of volunteers, alumni and supporters we have. Even through challenging times such as the current coronavirus situation, they have come together to share experiences and offer their best wishes. Last year, over 50% of our applicants came through friend recommendations, clearly demonstrating the power of this community and their passion for our programs.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The most important advice I can give is to listen to your customers and always consider their point of view. The current coronavirus situation has definitely highlighted those organisations who have built a positive relationship with their customers and those (no names!) who have suffered serious PR disasters due to poor communication or refusing to issue refunds.

One factor which has really helped Abridge Academy thrive is building this positive community of people passionate about our programs and who really understand us as an organisation. By listening to your customers and keeping good lines of communication open, almost any issue can be overcome - this year, despite mass coronavirus-related cancellations, every message we have received has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants thanking us for our support and understanding despite their disappointment. Although we offered everyone a full refund, many have instead opted to postpone their place until next summer, which is definitely a positive sign.