Interview with Christopher Thebing, Marketing Director of CEL: “Technology is now an important part of the classroom, but online offerings can never replace the study abroad experience.”

CEL San Diego

Christopher Thebing, Marketing Director, CEL


Why would a student choose his school?

We have amazing locations with modern school buildings where you will have a great time. In addition, we have very friendly and highly qualified teachers who teach English in small classes (an average of 6-7 students per class), whereas most language schools in the world have a class size of 15 people. This makes a significant difference when learning a language.

We offer a wide range of carefully selected accommodation options for different budgets ranging from homestay over a hostel to shared apartments with pool and jacuzzi.

At CEL you will meet students from all over the world, have a great time with them and make new friends while improving your English.


In your opinion, what are the main benefits for a student studying abroad?

Studying abroad is totally different from learning a language at home or online. You will immerse yourself in the language, practice your skills much more and reach a completely different level of proficiency than you would at home or online.

In addition, you will get to know a new culture, meet lots of interesting people from all over the world and have a great time learning a language. I still remember my first language course more than 20 years ago: one of the best experiences of my life.


How do you see the future of language tourism?

After a disastrous year in 2020 because of Corona, our student numbers have risen sharply again in the last few months quickly returning to normal numbers. So I am sure that 2022 will again be a normal year for us. I am sure that the interest to travel and do a language course is still there and the need to make up for a lost year is great.

Technology is now an important part of the classroom, but online offerings can never replace the study abroad experience. We don’t just sell language courses, we sell experiences. In this respect, we will always strive to expand our offerings by listening to the wishes of our students and making sure that we exceed their expectations.


What is a day like for a student at your school and what is networking among peers like?

Many clients want to experience more than “just a language course”. We are experiencing increased demand in programs such as English and Surfing, English and Volunteering and our English Plus Experience program where students can practice their English skills in American companies. We also see an increase in our Pathway programs where students combine a language course at CEL with 1 or 2 semesters at a College or University to add a highlight to their CV.

Also for teenagers our Future Global Leader program which offers a project based learning approach to our teenage clients has become very popular.



CEL San Diego
Name of school



USA/San Diego



What are the most significant things the school can offer?

Our school currently has three desirable and accessible locations; just a 10 minute walk to the beach in downtown Santa Monica, in the heart of downtown San Diego, and just a 5 minute walk to the ocean in the vibrant beach community of Pacific Beach, San Diego. We have modern school buildings and offer classes in small groups (average 6-7 students, maximum 12 students/class).

What are the types of courses taught at school?

For adults (over 16 years old)
General English, TOEFL exam preparation, Cambridge exam preparation (FCE, CAE), private lessons, English and surfing, English and volunteering, English Plus Experience, Pathway programmes.

For teenagers (12-18 years old)
General English, English and Surfing, Future Global Leaders.

What are the biggest attractions around the school and in the city in general?

California has a lot to offer: great weather all year round, very open-minded people who will allow you to practice your English a lot, many places of interest such as beaches, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, amusement parks like SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Disneyland, … It’s impossible to get bored in California.

Our schools are located in amazing locations: near the beach or in the heart of Downtown. In any case there are shops and restaurants nearby.