Bell established its first ever centre in the city in 1955. Now known as Bell International College, Cambridge, the centre provides English language training and exam & university preparation programmes to international students. The Bell story began over a half a century ago when a young British army officer – Lieutenant Frank Bell - was captured as a prisoner of war. Confronting the daily hardship and boredom of prison life, Frank began teaching his fellow prisoners Spanish and French, a simple act of defiance that quickly led to the creation of a secret university – teaching a broad range of subjects - right there in the harsh conditions of the prison camp. After the war, Frank Bell returned to England where, reflecting on his experiences, he became convinced that the route to international co-operation and understanding lay in learning. This led him, in 1955, to open his first language school in Cambridge, which still operates today. In 1972, he established an educational charity - the Bell Educational Trust. Its main aims remain: to provide language education, mainly in English, for adult students and young learners; to train teachers of English; and to offer language learning and teacher training experiences that will promote international understanding and intercultural exchange.
The Trust has no shareholders, and money from fees is reinvested in developing and improving the services and facilities for students, and the worldwide services that are offered.
Although Frank might be a little surprised at the size of the Bell organisation today – 37 teaching centres in 16 countries, teaching over 100,000 students from more than 120 countries each year – he would certainly recognise the quality philosophy which has been at the heart of what we do for over 50 years. That is because at Bell our goal remains a simple one: to change lives around the world by offering people learning experiences that will remain with them forever. Through the wide range of English language courses Bell offers to young learners, adults, professionals and teachers, there are numerous opportunities to grow and develop your skills and experiences. As we face increasing change and an uncertain economic climate in the world today, it remains as true as ever that everything you invest in your education and development will bring priceless and lifelong rewards. Whatever your language goals – in life, work or education – in Bell you have a partner committed to help you achieve them.