Kurus English goes big. The Pie Review counts us to the most influential figures of the industry! Check out the article and the whole interview with Johannes, Director of Kurus English.
Click here to read the article: www.i-studentgroup.com/thepie/02/english/
Interview with Johannes Kraus:
By The PIE Review, Amy Baker
Q Why did you decide to set up Kurus English – what inspired you?
I have always had an interest in Education, but was inspired to approach it from a different angle; wanting to work within the education field itself, but not only in the standard teaching way. After my own language studies experience in Cape Town in 2004, followed by a year of study at the University of Cape Town, I came up with the idea of founding an English language school integrated with an experiential learning concept. During my initial language studies in Cape Town, I had at times found it rather annoying to remain seated during somewhat lengthy communication classes, indoors, until 15h30 – whilst just outside, and tantalizingly so, Cape Town was waiting with so many opportunities and experiences to offer.
So, I partnered with experienced, creative teachers and a finely-networked cultural tour operator, Coffeebeans Routes. Together we developed what we call our Language Excursions. Any innovative approach, however, requires focused and efficient operations management, so, additionally, I was delighted to be joined by my long-time friend and companion who also hails from Germany, and our small team was finally complete.
Our Language Excursions are personally accompanied by our teachers and these learning journeys provide our students with opportunities to meet the diverse people of Cape Town; they are out-of-classroom communication classes. We have developed 12 different themes and at least 3 Language Excursions associated with each theme. Due to the authentic learning environment, language-learning outcomes are high: aiming to provide our students with maximum opportunities for success in communicating in English, especially by guiding and supporting the learners, promoting their natural confidence in the use of their new and developing language.
Q How has your business developed?
Starting from zero meant we have had growth every single year from the start. However, the first 2 years were much slower than anticipated, which translated into a big challenge in the management of cash flow; this especially apparent during the winter months. Our summers, on the other hand, have been good from the very beginning, mainly due to the aforementioned existing networks.
Q What are your plans for Kurus for the future?
I still refer to Kurus English as a young start-up company, so the main goal is to establish the school with its unique concept in the market and to build further relationships globally, especially with language travel agencies. I don’t think it would be a good idea to increase the size of the school just yet. We are a small, privately-owned and independent school, which ensures individual and personalised attention to all our clients/students; I would very much like to keep it this way. A second campus may indeed make sense in the future, we will see…
Q Age/nationality/size of business please?
I am 33 years old and originally from Germany. I have been resident in Cape Town, South Africa for 7 years.
Kurus English is 4 years old and into its 5th year of operation. We have 4 classrooms and a maximum capacity of 32 students.
Q What do you enjoy most about your job?
The first thought that springs to my mind is the challenge. I love the challenge of being an entrepreneur. As I mentioned before, it hasn’t been easy, but it has always been exciting, fun and challenging – and I need that! Furthermore, I love being so closely involved in Education and working with people. It’s a real pleasure for me seeing all the happy faces from all around the world when our students arrive, and later when they leave Cape Town. And our school embodies a truly inspiring and stimulating atmosphere; it feels like we’re working with the whole world every day and I really enjoy this a lot.