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iTEP Growth in the Middle East

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 1.47.14 PM The popularity and reach of iTEP are rapidly expanding in the Middle East. iTEP Executive Director Michael Salenko traveled last month to Iraq, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia to meet with distributors, institutions and government officials.

In addition to visiting many high-level institutions in Riyadh, Michael held training sessions with iTEP Saudi Arabian distributor SOUKS HR Solutions. For this leg of the trip, he was escorted and aided by an official from the Department of Commerce.

Michael is seen to the left in Istanbul with Salih Baycan, Owner, and Director of Discover English. They discussed marketing strategies and opportunities to provide more companies and institutions with affordable English assessment.

In Iraq, Michael visited the beautiful new campus of the  American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. He also met with the Interchange Institute and several potential partners in the Kurdish region of the country.

With the increasing prominence of academics and business in this part of the world, iTEP is thrilled to have the opportunity to be the language assessment tool of choice for many organizations.

The Future of Study Abroad

The British Council recently released a report titled, ” The future of the world’s mobile students to 2024.” The PIE News has a handy breakdown of the 45-page document, which predicts the total number of students studying abroad rising from just over 3 million in 2011 to more than 3.8 million in 2024.

This growth will likely be mirrored in the market for English proficiency testing, since, according to the report, the US will remain the top destination for students studying outside their home country. An IIE spokesman points out that with more than 4000 institutions of higher learning, the US can simply accommodate more students than the UK or Australia, which also ranked highly on the list of destinations.

Within a decade, the report predicts, China and India will account for about a third of the world’s outbound international student population. Countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, and Turkey–all of which are home to iTEP test centers–will also contribute greater numbers. China will become a top host destination as well, the report says.

iTEP Leadership in the Middle East

February found iTEP President Sharif Ossayran and Chairman Perry Akins trotting the other side of the globe, helping expand the reach of the world’s most innovative English proficiency exam.

Sharif started in Istanbul, where he met with the test’s primary distributor in that city, Osman Nuri Eroglu, owner of Istanbul Language Center, a group of English language schools. Mr. Eroglu is among the most enthusiastic iTEP distributors. When he learned about the product, he wanted to become a distributor right away. Mr. Eroglu is also well connected in the academic and corporate fields that iTEP serves. He and Sharif discussed plans to introduce the exams to schools and companies throughout the region. Both believe local organizations will be thrilled to learn of the numerous benefits of iTEP over its competitors.

From Istanbul, Sharif flew to the Kurdish Region of Iraq to make a presentation about iTEP to the Ministry of Education. Next up was Beirut to explore areas in which iTEP could be of help to the thousands of Syrian refugees pouring into Lebanon. Many are without money, but there is no lack of enthusiasm for an education in the US.

Meanwhile, Sharif’s business partner, Perry, was visiting iTEP’s very successful Saudi Arabian distributor, SOUKS HR Assessment Company, who brought him to meetings with potential clients. Among them was Dale Carnegie-Saudi Arabia, who agreed to make iTEP available to their female clients who are interested in knowing their English level. The program for Dale Carnegie for women is one of the premier soft skills training programs for women in Saudi Arabia.

Perry also met with a member of King Abdullah’s advisory board. He provided a wealth of information about the plans for the Saudi scholarship program, its administration and its mission. Together, they took steps toward making iTEP one of the tools used to determine eligibility of scholarship students planning to go to the US.

All of us at iTEP are extremely excited to have such wonderful partners in the Middle East, and such great enthusiasm for international education and our product.