We talked to Elina about her music, but also about languages since she sings in many different languages. How many actually? Watch our interview to find out and learn more about this charming Swiss-Albanian vocalist.
Elina Spiro Duni is a jazz singer, born in Tirana, Albania. Elina made her first steps on stage at the age of five. Born to an artistic family (her mother and grandfather were writers, her other grandfather was a singer, whereas her father was an actor and theater director), she was exposed early to different types of art. When living in communist Albania, the only opportunity for her was to sing in the “palace of pioneer” (Albanian: Pallati i Pioniereve). In 1992 she settled in Geneva, Switzerland along with her mother. READ MORE
The Importance of Student Testimonials – An Agent’s Perspective
In this day and age selling has become quite an aggressive business – be it the selling of tangible products as well as the selling of services. Education, is by no means an exception to this rule. Nowadays we are living in a world which uses every possible medium to spread the world about whatever it is that Company X or Business Y has to offer. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that when it boils down to making a decision about their future, students all over the world need all the reassurance they can get. READ MORE
FEDELE, which consists of seven associations and 96 Spanish language schools accredited by Instituto Cervantes, invited PRODIREKT and the Verbalists Language Network, as well as 26 other world leading language travel agents to Tenerife for an annual gathering. This year the event took place from September 30 to October 2 in the city of Tenerife, followed by 3-day long familiarization trips to the regions of Andalusia, Valencia and Madrid. READ MORE
Berlin, Germany – 7 November 2016 – The Verbalists Language Network had one of the most successful education fair attendances this year in Berlin. Over the course of the three-day workshop, 1,583 organizations from 100 countries came together at ICEF Berlin to network, learn, and build meaningful connections through 27,267 onsite business meetings. Among the 2,444 participants 1,032 were education agents and 1,412 were educators, service providers, industry associations, or work and travel organizations.
The following ICEF video postcard features highlights from the world’s most important education workshop and the event feedback of Maja Merdovic, Education Program Manager with Verbalists, made by Schools & Agents. READ MORE
Last week, PRODIREKT and Verbalists representatives enjoyed the privilege of being one of the select few companies to be invited to an exclusive Manchester City Football Language School VIP event, organised by Experience English, the leading UK educator, owned by FTI Travel Group. We also used this opportunity to pay a visit to our other partner schools, making this 10-day visit a real island adventure. With a tight schedule, we toured 5 UK cities in 10 days, quite fascinating, to say the least. What made it so? Read on… READ MORE
The Study Travel Magazine, one of the best known and most read publications in the education and travel industry, published in its December issue several responses from the leading education agents in East and Southeast Europe on the subject of the strength of the British Pound and its impact on language education opportunities around the globe.
Commenting on how the rise of the British Pound has affected people’s choice of destination for language learning, Maja Merdovic, Education Program Manager at Prodirekt, said that “it has created significant problems for language travel in price sensitive markets”. Students from the Balkan region are somewhat adjusting their preferences, opting for more affordable opportunities to attend language courses and summer camps. In addition, the rising school fees in the UK only exacerbated the whole situation. Consequently, Prodirekt and its Verbalists Language Network “experienced an increase in bookings to Malta, an alternative English learning destination to the UK,” added Maja Merdovic.
This slight shift in destination choice to more accessible areas is also partly due the UK’s lengthy, complex and costly procedure for obtaining an entry visa, which is not needed for Malta.
Agents from regions close by the Balkans, such as Turkey and Russia, noticed a similar trend in their students’ interests, with growing number of students considering Malta in 2015.
After the Manchester United football club, the representation of Manchester City added to the Verbalists Language Network’s programs portfolio for the great rivalry on the pitch but also in the classroom.
Educational group PRODIREKT LLC, along with its Verbalists Language Network, took part for the 5th time in the most important annual educational workshop held in Berlin, from 1st-3rd November, which was organised by the revered Berlin’s ICEF organisation.
More than 2,400 participants from over a hundred nations attended the 2015 workshop, particularly special as ICEF celebrates its 20th year in existence. Over the course of three days, filled with meetings and seminars, those who attended had the opportunity to reaffirm existing business partnerships, as well as create new ones, whilst catching up with the latest trends in the education sector on a global scale.
Maja Merdovic: “United vs City – Verbalists are very excited to be able to create in this way a distinctive worldwide position – a healthy competition on the pitch but also in the classroom.”
Maja Merdovic, PRODIREKT’s Language Education Program Manager, commented on the importance of providing quality education to language learners of all ages, and more specifically offering new learning opportunities for young learners that combine sports and language studying. She pointed out that prestigious sports brands make the learning experience for the young much more attractive and enjoyable: “Three years ago, in an exclusive partnership with the famous Manchester United (MU) Soccer & English School, we brought this unique educational opportunity to the Balkan region. The MU language with football program has proved hugely popular – so much so that some of our students have already decided to go back for the third time next summer.”
Besides this prestigious summer camp, Verbalists have been offering language learning and sports development with tennis, through NIKE tennis camp held in London, and summer outdoor activities with the GLS Water Sports camp near Berlin.
“As the leading provider of young learners programs, we continually seek out new and exciting learning opportunities for our students. We are pleased to announce that during the ICEF workshop we have finalized regional representation for more world famous brands, the first of which is none other than – Manchester City, the fiercest Man Utd’s rival! Verbalists are very excited to be able to create in this way a distinctive worldwide position – a healthy competition on the pitch but also in the classroom. Other famous sports brands will be revealed soon on our Facebook business page, so stay tuned, you will love our new programs,” revealed Maja Merdovic.
In 2014, apart from the language group, PRODIREKT created the academics department to focus on educational consulting for secondary, further and higher education abroad. During the workshop in Berlin, PRODIREKT’s Managing Director and founder Dejan Trpkovic met with representatives from leading high schools and universities in the world. “Language education is closely connected to and often a prerequisite for a successful entry into high schools and universities abroad. Our achievements in language education over the years have been recognized by many renowned higher education institutions, and our meetings in Berlin were an ideal opportunity to agree with them on a unique approach in presenting them in South Eastern Europe. I consider it too early to talk about significant figures in terms of the number of students from our region studying in the well-known universities, for example, in the UK or the US, mainly due to their high tuition fees. Nevertheless, there is a large number of lesser-known high schools and universities in the world with outstanding standards of education. I believe it is important to make those institutions known and accessible in the Balkans.”
Dejan added that his company intends to “acquaint students and their parents with different educational systems in the world, and make them aware of the pitfalls of enrolling in high schools which do not have a proper accreditation and/or a high acceptance rate into universities. There is also a risk of enrolling into universities which do not have a proven track record in enhancing students’ employment prospects. I trust that PRODIREKT is well suited to offer these valuable educational insights. Most of our team members have obtained their undergraduate or postgraduate diplomas at reputed universities abroad and worked as senior managers overseas. Perhaps, it is equally important that we have long been the leading management education and recruiting firm in the Balkans, providing services similar to academics consulting.”
ICEF prides itself on having the strictest, most comprehensive and diligent educator and agent quality controls. Agencies who have received ICEF Agency Status are evaluated every two years to ensure ongoing compliance with ICEF’s standards. PRODIREKT and the Verbalists Language Network were among the first organizations from the Southeast Europe to pass ICEF’s strict screening process and were awarded ICEF Agent Status in 2011, which is an indicator of their quality and professionalism.