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17 Years of ISSOS

17 Years of ISSOS International Summer Schools creating The Experience of a Lifetime and celebrating our amazing head office team who make ISSOS tick and Lisa Durno who has been with ISSOS for 10 years!

17 years of ISSOS

17 years of ISSOS, 17 years of creating The Experience of a Lifetime.

It has been an incredible journey developing and growing one of the world’s top international summer schools with a worldwide reputation that has developed hundreds of lasting friendships, opportunities, global connections, and even some marriages!

In 2005 when ISSOS was but an idea in Jen Munro’s heart there were no international summer schools in the UK that were based on a University campus that catered for native and nonnative English speakers, 13-18-year-olds or who capped their nationality mix to 10% - in fact there was no one quite like ISSOS that existed in the UK. 

ISSOS grew quickly from 51 students in St Andrews in the summer of 2006, then 180 students over two sessions in 2007. In 2010 ISSOS opened a second campus at Cambridge University and catered to 460 students across the two campuses until 2016 when we opened our third campus in the US at Yale University where we offer our most popular academic and electives.

All three campuses cater to 13-18-year-olds, all have a 10% nationality mix and have the same ISSOS values and culture running through them. We are proud of our Scottish roots and have a Bagpiper to welcome students at all campuses on opening day. ISSOS clans exist in all 3 campuses and we like to introduce students in St Andrews, Cambridge and Yale to Scottish country dancing as one of the many exciting evening programmes on offer. 

What makes ISSOS different from other summer schools? 

The ISSOS Family and international community for one, is something we take very seriously, and do everything we can to maintain and nurture this community in any way we can. 

The ISSOS Values, which run through everything we do, these have helped us grow and develop a summer experience for all involved.

ISSOS Clans are a part of ISSOS that promotes good sportsmanship, and healthy competition and offers students another way to mix with those they may not meet in the classes or groups - the Clans have become an integral part of the ISSOS experience and one of the highlights of the session. 

Limiting the number of students to 10% of one nationality allows us to offer a truly international student community and encourages students to mix with others from all over the world. 

Mixing native and non-native English speakers- not many summer schools do this and ISSOS was one of the first to do this and offer academics and electives for those who have English as a first language. By mixing native and non-native English speakers we can offer a truly immersive English language experience for all and significantly improve the English language and confidence of students who come to improve their English at ISSOS.

Award-winning International Summer School Experience 

Over the years we have been privileged to be named the UK’s number one International Summer School Provider, Best International Student Education Experience, and Best Educational Product at the Youth Travel Awards and have won numerous awards for education, experience, tourism, and business to name a few. 

In addition, our founder Jen Munro has been the recipient of a number of business awards including being a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of The Year Award.  Jen now speaks internationally about ISSOS, our Values and how to build and develop a service-led business, creating lasting experiences for all involved. 

Over the last 17 years, we have dedicated ourselves to becoming the market leader in our industry which spans education, tourism, and business. 

ISSOS Head Office - The Heart of the ISSOS Family

People are the key to what makes it come alive every day and our head office is at the heart of the people that make ISSOS what it is. Our head office is made up of 6 wonderful women who spend their year making sure that everything students, parents and staff experience during the summer is the best it possibly can be. 

Our head office boasts a team who have been with ISSOS for many years, proving that we really love what we do and that our values are ever-present every day of the year in our office as well as the summer schools. 

Last week Lisa Durno celebrated 10 years with ISSOS. Lisa started in 2013 as PA to the MD and since has had several roles in the head office including creating and developing the role of Summer School Co-ordinator, and in 2022 Lisa became the ISSOS Operations Director, where she coordinates all the different aspects of the summer schools at St Andrews, Cambridge and Yale. 

We hope Lisa is here in head office for another 10 years, making us laugh and giving the best Lisa hugs anyone could ask for but more importantly making sure all the bits that make ISSOS work during summer are seamless from the accommodation, catering, transport, all facilities, clothing, room allocations to communications with campuses and universities, to name just a few of the responsibilities of the Operations Director.

We are lucky to have Lisa and the other amazing ladies in head office that make ISSOS The Experience of a Lifetime for all involved. 

Who is in the Head office and how long have they been working with ISSOS? 

Louise O’Connor - Customer Experience Director - 14 years, Emma Horner - Admissions Director (On Maternity Leave) - 8 years, Freddie Kennedy - International Recruitment Director - 7 years, Amy McLean- Admissions and Communications Director - 4 years and Jen Munro, CEO and Founder - well since the beginning - 17 years.

If you would like to ‘meet the team’ and put a face to the name please visit; Meet The Team 

Thank you for helping us create The Experience of a Lifetime 

We are so proud of ISSOS and the ever-growing ISSOS family. Thank you to EVERYONE; students, parents, staff, subcontractors, associates and friends who have helped us grow and supported us over the last 17 years. You have all helped to make ISSOS what it is today - thank you and we look forward to welcoming more people into the ISSOS Family this summer and beyond. 


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