GEOS, the Japanese-based international English-language schools company came to Moscow on Tuesday 10 July to describe their operation to local businesspeople and educators. They held a day-long series of presentations in the Swissôtel at Krasnye Kholmi. Passport went along and was impressed by the information presented.
GEOS was founded in Japan as an English-language school but soon expanded outside that country, opening its first foreign branch in Vancouver in 1973. Today it has schools in fifteen countries world-wide, from New Zealand to Malta. There are none in Russia, but Russians go abroad to study in GEOS schools in ever-increasing numbers.
The emphasis is as much on learning about the local culture as it is on mastering the English language. Thus at the branch on Bondi Beach, Sydney, students can go surfing in the afternoons, while in Eastborne, England they are taken to see nineteenth-century Ducal relics. GEOS now has an office in Moscow, and it was the local Director, Miss Nadezhda Desinova, who officiated at the presentation, and translated for the benefit of the Russian attendees.
The GEOS staff were all in Moscow for the first time. “You read and see so much about Moscow,” Gary Maseron said by way of introduction, “but when you get here it is totally different. Please excuse my English. I have learned only one word of Russian: Êàê äåëà."
Mr. Maseron was followed by Pat Powell from New Zealand who said of her country that it was “clean, green and the place to be seen.” She added that she had learned four words of Russian: “Äà, íåò, ñïàñèáî and âîäêà.” At least one person in the audience wondered why, given that list, she had bothered with “íåò.” .”