Offering Internships At Your Language School: A True Win-Win

Many language schools do not have a big marketing budget, because of having quite lots of staff that is important to run your day to day business.

A really good working solution is to offering language students the option to become an intern and work as a volunteer for your language school in exchange for discounted rates or even in exchange for free language classes.
Some language schools see it as problematic if they have interns that get the classes for free and get into contact with other students who pay the full price, so discretion is advised. It would make sense not to offer such classes for free, but maybe rather offering language students free accommodation of food instead.
Many language schools offer “work and life” packages where they actually act as an intermediary to find local companies who offer such internships and connect their potential students with those businesses.

And it might be actually smart to be one of those companies yourself. If a language student wants to gain faster exposure to the language they want to master, working on a language school itself will improve the success rate in obtaining an official language certificate and it will look good on their CV as well.
The key is to put a value on the internship and look how much you would need to pay a regular employee for the position that you offer.
Avoid the trap to appear like another company that is promising the sky and then the intern finds themselves standing several hours at the copy machine and making coffee all day long. This will backfire and will damage the reputation of your language school.

Gaining work experience in a real job and being able to improve and accelerate the ability of a language is a proven way.
A smart way is to limit the level of language entry for such an internship. For example, if you require that a student needs to have a certain level of basic language knowledge then you ask them to first book (and pay!) the entrance language level training and then offering them additional language courses once they show that they have achieved the necessary skill level to be accepted for the internship.
This way you avoid to attract “freeloader” students that just try to get everything for free.
In the end, it is a fine balance of providing value and getting value and creating a win-win work relationship.
Not abusing the volunteer as a free cheap work slave, but also not providing someone a “free ride” with someone not willing to put in necessary work hours and energy to significantly contributing to the workload of your language school.
An additional bonus for getting language school students as interns is that they often provide extremely valuable insights about the language school itself to you – being on both sides as a student themselves and also working behind the scenes and seeing it from the business perspective.
As for you as a business owner, you will get fresh sets of eyes that might discover problems and coming up with solutions you never thought before – because being in any business environment for an extended time comes with the risk of overlooking day to day details that are crucial for your language school business success.

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