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Equinox: Our Journey towards Excellence

Published Lynne Farrugia on Friday, January 31, 2020

Equinox Interview

In today's interview, we talk to Equinox Education Services' founder and Managing Director, Noel Doyle's about his 25-journey within the education industry.

1. Tell us a little bit more about Equinox Education Services 

I formed Equinox back in 2005 and since then we have gone onto be a multi-award-winning organisation that promotes international education programmes and cultural experiences worldwide and in Ireland. Our mission is to deliver tailor-made learning and cultural experiences for groups and individuals and to promote internationalism through education and culture.

The seeds of Equinox's own story is rooted in my own desire to travel and see some of the world before starting my university degree in the UK. I subsequently met my wife Tomoko at Essex University and thus, began my journey in International education. Having then moved to Japan, I worked in my wife's father's business, ISES Japan, where for some year's I designed and delivered many tailor-made study and cultural programmes throughout the world. In 2004 we returned to Ireland with our family and decided to launch Equinox Education Services, seeing that there was plenty of scope to replicate the ISES japan model here. I am proud to say that ISES Japan is now one of our main, long-term partners.  

In my more than 20 years in the industry, I've naturally clocked up lots of air miles exploring new markets and seeing how educational systems work in other territories, learning from them and then adapting the best parts to apply within some of our own programmes in Ireland. In my career, I must have visited over 500 schools worldwide sharing ideas and learning new educational methods. In the past 15 years, Equinox has gone from strength to strength facilitating students of all ages coming to Ireland from all over the world to enjoy our programmes and conversely, with assist many Irish students wishing to travel overseas for cultural and learning experiences.  

2. Apart from teaching English to overseas students, what other courses do you offer?

What sets Equinox apart is that we are not a Language school in the traditional sense and we also do not operate in fixed locations and not necessarily, to defined curricula. Whilst we offer Specialised English and accredited Cambridge English courses, many of our courses and programmes are tailor-made around a client's specific needs. In that respect, we have designed programmes for groups as diverse as an International Japanese Choir, who incidentally won a major award during their time with us, through to very niche cultural-exchange, adult and school immersion programmes. We specialize in creating sister-school networks and unique educational and cultural programs Equinox also enjoy a relationship with over 100 schools and institutes in Ireland, so we are well placed to help students (both EU and non-EU) wishing to study in Ireland on a short-term or long-term basis in the Irish academic system.              

3. Which markets would you like to work with and for which of your courses?

I see Equinox as very much in an exponential growth period, with 2020 shaping up to be around 30% busier than last year. That said, I am very interested in forging links with new territories and engaging students about the wonderful cultural and academic study opportunities that exist here in Ireland for our academic year and summer programmes. We are particularly interested in developing relationships with North and South America, Australasia and additional territories in the EU, such as Scandinavia.  For our Irish students, we want to offer limitless options overseas cultural and study options.       

4. What sets Equinox apart, in the services you offer?

At the foremost of what sets us apart from our competitors is our very 'hands-on' approach when interfacing with students and clients. We pride ourselves in providing a very personalised service, whether it be looking after the welfare of individual students or building trust and personal relationships with business clients; these are all essential facets of our business.  

As mentioned previously, the bespoke nature of our' 'Tailor Made' programmes is a unique selling point as well as our approach to utilising innovation in our operations. Equinox is an award-winning company in this area, having won a regional enterprise award for innovation in 2018. An example of this would be Equinox's publication of two on-line guides (The Study Abroad Directory and The Study and Cultural Guide to Ireland) for prospective students seeking outbound (out-of-Ireland) and inbound (into Ireland) study and culture options. We also utilize various technological platforms to promote (e-brochures, blogging, social media) and other sites (www.schooldays.ie and www.schoolsandagents.com) to sell our services. Innovation also includes investment to recently upgrade our website at www.equinoxlearnabroad.com. The website incorporates several E-Commerce features such as ‘Paying an Invoice’ on-line, as well as booking and paying for various services that the business provides such as guardianship, airport transfers or booking advertising in the online guides. We have also recently invested in a proprietary database management system for managing our language centre administration, our individual and groups placements as well as our s host family networks. 

5. What does Equinox have in store for the coming year?

I'm really excited about 2020, as we will see not only more students pass through our care, but a multitude of new and diverse programmes such as our  'Japan: Ireland  2020 Vision' project, which is the culmination of more than four-year work 

In March 2020 Equinox Education Services and our Japanese partner ISES JAPAN in association with the Irish Embassy in Tokyo will facilitate the ‘Japan Ireland 2020’ initiative, which will see up-to 100 Japanese students travel to Ireland from different schools to participate in a unique bilateral Educational and Cultural programme. Six secondary schools from the Tokyo area of Japan will travel to Ireland for 10 days to link up with local Irish schools as part of a competition to produce a video aimed at promoting the island of Ireland as a tourism, cultural and educational destination to counties, particularly in Asia, where the green Isle can be somewhat of an unknown entity. The competition will comprise of over a dozen teams of 3-4 Japanese students, who together with their local counterparts will compete in regional finals, ahead of a grand final in Dublin. I am hopeful that the event will be attended by the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland... To close the programme,  the visiting Japanese schools will march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on 17th March 2020 as official volunteers of the St. Patricks Festival, further strengthening the special relationship between Ireland and Japan through this unique exchange of education and cultural awareness.

Noel can be contacted for further information on the wide-range of Equinox's programmes via + 353 87 997 5625 or info@equinox4study.com  

 



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