“SEIZE the day, take the bull by the horns, strike while the iron is hot!” What do all these English idioms have in common? They all strike a note of optimism which is what we need during this period of “We’re all doomed! Captain Mainwaring.”

So, in light of “beware the ides of March”, the Bournemouth School of English has put its “head above the parapet” and decided to open its doors and say “‘Bournemouth, Dorset, England and the World – we are open for business!’

Read today's other letters

We have “jumped through the hoops”, covered ourselves in “red-tape”, sanitised every “nook and cranny” and have been rewarded with the “We’re Ready To Go” certificate awarded by the National Tourist Board.

On a serious note, Bournemouth needs overseas students; they are the lifeblood of what Bournemouth has always been about – visitors! They add to the town. The benefits are huge. There are a number of language schools in Bournemouth, many of which have been here for decades. Much longer than many other businesses, large or small. They provide employment to hundreds of people. They provide income to thousands of local host families.

In Bournemouth, during an average summer, there can be upwards of 15,000 students living, studying, socialising in and around the town. It is also the essence of the town. Whether you like it or not, this is a cosmopolitan town with an incredible reputation worldwide. Overseas students love this town. They love the warmth of the people. The politeness, the hospitality and the wild and weird humour of the Brits! Yes, okay the weather can be wearing, but funnily enough many students do come here for a break from their own temperatures of 40C to 50C.

That is why we have thrown open our doors – well, not exactly thrown, more opened slowly, sanitised, and then protected by staff wielding thermo-guns. All students, staff and families will have to follow government and industry guidelines, which have been meticulously rewritten to cover all our students, staff and families.

We hope to see overseas students begin to move out of isolation from their own countries and those who are already in Bournemouth who may be working and need to improve their language skills.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Chin up! And hang in there! Everything will turn out well.


The Bournemouth School of English

St Stephen’s Road, Bournemouth