Languages International, New Zealand’s first registered private language school, has just celebrated its 40th anniversary at its heritage Merchant House buildings in Albert Park, Auckland. The founders (Chris and Frances Woolcott) celebrated Languages International’s 40th with current management - who took over ownership in 2017 - current and former staff, and colleagues and partners from across New Zealand’s international education industry.
Founded in 1978 by Chris and Frances Woolcott, the school’s early arrivals came from the French Pacific, Indonesia and the emerging Japanese tourism market. Chris and Frances slowly built the school by travelling the world, map in hand to explain where New Zealand and Auckland were.In 1986, Frances helped found what is now English New Zealand to market New Zealand collectively to the world and to assure quality in the quickly emerging industry. In the first decade, qualified managers and teachers had to be brought in from overseas, so in 1988 Languages International took the step of offering the first Cambridge English language teacher training courses in New Zealand, initially the certificate and then, from 1994, the diploma.
Over the years Languages International has brought tens of thousands of teenagers and young adults into the country from all over the world for a language and travel experience. They have also sent more than 1500 English teachers into jobs across New Zealand and around the world. The industry pioneered 40 years ago now contributes over $NZ 750 million per annum to the New Zealand economy.