What about the future of the industry? How do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?
Ieva: I believe there is a bright future for this industry! It’s becoming more and more popular to study abroad and it’s not a surprise as there are so many benefits of living and learning in another country. This experience expands our minds and in general positively changes lives of people.
When you study abroad everyday is a new adventure full of discoveries! I wish everyone could live and study in another country at least once in their lives, even for a short time and I am guaranteed- magic will happen.
What does the future hold for Omeida Chinese Academy - any exciting new programs to share?
Ieva: The list of activities to do in Yangshuo is endless. Therefore we decided to combine learning Chinese language with Tai Chi practice or rock-climbing for example. We believe it will be a very fulfilling experience for our students: not only to learn Chinese but also develop and improve their skills of Tai Chi or rock-climbing.
For example, did you know that Yangshuo is fast becoming the rock climbing Mecca of Asia?
What was your favorite traveling experience?
Ieva: It is very hard to choose one, as the list is endless. But one of the most favorite would be hitch-hiking to Morocco from Spain and meeting a local student in Tanger, who then invited us to visit and stay with his family in another town called Tetouen. We spent a night in his place and it was unbelievable.
His family opened not only their arms, but their hearts to us, strangers from another part of the world. We cooked food together, drank tea, shared stories with each other. His family trusted us; wanted to share everything they have, even though they did not have a lot themselves. They even gave us gifts! Moroccan hospitality at its best! World IS a beautiful place, let’s just not be afraid to embrace it.
What unique qualities does your company possess?
Ieva: Omeida Chinese Academy is like a big family. There is this very warm and positive atmosphere around the school, everyone is smiley and happy, willing to help each other, share stories and laughs. Students tell me that they never feel alone here!
We (Chinese teachers and other staff) do many outdoor activities together with students. Last weekend for example we went camping to this huge cave that has a mind blowing view to the Limestone Mountains, we made a fire, sang songs and cooked food. Unforgettable memories for sure!