Why we love the IH Family

Over more than 65 years, International House has created a family of language schools around the world, and help more than 200,000 students achieve their goals and ambitions every year. 

International House founders, John and Brita Haycraft, believed in the idea of an international family and of sharing ideas. That shaped their approach to teacher training (when they created the forerunner of the CELTA in 1962), and this has remained at the core of International House.

We asked what our international colleagues love about being part of the IH family?

The feeling of belonging to a huge international family that may be incredibly diverse but is united by a shared belief in providing learners with a high quality learning experience. Janet Sinclair, IH Braga


All of my colleagues around the world. It’s a pleasure to work with, and be associated with, such intelligent, committed and caring individuals. Tim Eckenfels, IH Sydney


What I love most about being part of the IH family is the opportunity to work with people from all over the world. John Haycraft, the founder of IH, developed the IH network to promote international understanding through the learning of a language and to promote excellence in teacher training. This ethos continues today and it's lovely to think that IH helps to promote in a small, or maybe not so small, the idea of international understanding around the world. Mary Grennan, IH Galway


With so many staff in far-flung locations operating from different time zones, International House is always looking for innovative ways to make them feel part of the family and share ideas and best practice. We know that teachers can’t always fly to exotic places to attend conferences, so we have regular online conferences, webinars, networking groups, specialist coordinators and much more.  

Regional events often allow teachers to attend something nearer to them. IH schools all over the world organise conferences, from Poland to London and Kviv to Milan.

We do know that sometimes it’s really nice to go to an actual conference, but the money can be an issue. We are keen to foster new talent and encourage and inspire all the excellent teachers, trainers and DOSes in IH schools around the network to take on the challenge of standing up in front of their peers at external events and talking about topics close to your heart.  So we provide some financial grants to support teachers doing exactly this.

Even though you said it would be great, it was even more amazing than that! We were a bit scared at the start because we’d never done this before and there were lots of famous names who were much more important than we are. The topic was a bit risky (LGBT themes in ELT) but in the end we were so thrilled that we’d been able to represent IH and build a new community of friends and similar-minded colleagues. BTW, Venice is A-mazing! The people, the architecture, the food and the gondolas are as good as it gets!!!!!!! Norman Cain and Giovanni Licata from IH Rome (speaking at “All In”, Venice)


I’ve been an English teacher since 2011, and for half of those eight years I’ve been lucky enough to work for International House schools in various cities in Central Europe. One of the things I love most about IH is their commitment to teacher development and student achievement, as exemplified by the large number of conferences IH affiliated schools around the world organise on a yearly basis. This past year alone, I’ve attended excellent conferences in Prague, Budapest and Torun. On April 13th, I attended my first ever non-IH conference as a speaker (supported by the “Speak for IH grant”) in Brno, Czech Republic. With more than 300 attendees, it was a very large conference and I was delighted to share my ideas on promoting autonomy and student-centeredness in the classroom. Chris Bain, IH Bielsko Biala


Until April this year, if asked to think of potentially terrifying experiences, presenting at IATEFL was right up there with bungee-jumping and living for months without chocolate, at least for me.  But, in a rare moment of valour / madness (delete as appropriate) I decided to submit my workshop idea.  When I received the email from IATEFL to say my proposal had been accepted, I felt a tinge of nervous excitement but I am pleased to say that I needn’t have been worried at all because the whole experience was an enjoyable and rewarding one, and one that has helped me develop in so many ways. Lucie Cotterill, IH Reggio Calabria


The reason for all of this is that we want to support teachers in their efforts to be the best they can be. That is why all IH schools invest in training and development and we will keep innovating and improving to ensure International House remains one of the best places to train, work and study.

Learning a language opens so many doors that it can literally change someone’s life. As a teacher you will play an essential role in this. You are about to embark on a wonderfully life enriching experience. Enjoy the journey!