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A Message from Fluent City CEO James Rohrbach

EARLY DAYS

When I first encountered Fluent City three years ago, I was knocked off my feet.  

I had never seen such a vibrant community.  Every class was filled with curious, dedicated students and passionate, energetic teachers.  Plus, the classes were fun.

And while I loved that students were learning languages for all sorts of reasons — for work, travel, love or just to live their lives to the fullest — I was struck even more by the common threads.  

Fluent City’s DNA – reflected in the students, teachers, and staff – comprises deep curiosity, open mindedness, a commitment to serving the world, and a passion for culture.  That mindset and drive resonated powerfully with my own values.

I’ve had a passion for culture and languages for as long as I can remember. I’ve studied seven languages, including French, which I learned by fully immersing myself in the culture while teaching English in Lyon. I’ve wandered art museums around the world and have committed my career to impacting the world through cultural education.

I knew from Day 1 that this wasn’t just any old language school – Fluent City was a very special place.  So I enthusiastically signed on board as the CEO, knowing that this community had the potential to become a powerful positive force for connecting people across cultures, globally.

CURE FOR THE CURIOUS

Since then, everything we’ve been doing as an organization — our values and our design, the overall student experience and our teacher support structures — has been about amplifying that original spirit that I saw so much promise in.

Each day we’re getting better at helping students achieve their goals. We’re now in five cities including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. We teach 11 languages including English.  And we recently expanded into teaching lessons online, with more online tools and content coming soon. With online lessons, we’re now, for the first time, teaching students outside of the United States – which is just so cool to see.

We’ve now taught over 25,000 students.  I’m inspired by the stories I hear every day about why students are learning and how they are using their language skills.  These stories run the gamut: from a student learning Spanish to offer legal help to minors under threat of deportation (through our Language Grant program); to two students meeting in a German 1 class and eventually getting married; to the very sexy work our teachers are doing consulting and tutoring for some of the biggest shows on TV, like “Madame Secretary” and “Mozart In The Jungle.”

Those stories are amazing, and we want to help create as many of them as possible.  Today we are taking a big next step towards that goal.  I’m thrilled to announce a new funding round of $3 million from some of the top Education Technology investors in the world.  You can read more about this news in some of the press coverage.

JUST GETTING STARTED

We’re so grateful to have a truly world class group of partners who recognize how special this community is.  Our plan with this additional investment is to take our impact to the next level.  That means more classes and lessons; expanding our work with leading nonprofits and companies; increasing our support for our amazing instructors; and, perhaps most exciting, a greatly expanded set of digital tools.  These online tools will both allow us to serve a global audience of learners and help students in our group classes and private lessons.  Our goal is to blend technology and in-person instruction to create an uniquely exceptional, effective learning experience for all Fluent City students.

It has been such a pleasure watching the Fluent City community grow and blossom over these past three years.  Thank you for learning and teaching with us – everything we do is about trying to make your experience as great as possible.   I’m so excited for this next chapter and all the new initiatives we have planned towards that end.

À bientôt,

James Rohrbach

CEO, Fluent City

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