International School of Storytelling

storytelling-hutThe International School of Storytelling has worked out of the Storytelling Hut at Emerson College for over 2 decades, first under the umbrella of Emerson, and since 2011 as an independent Charity. In that time thousands of students from over 17 countries worldwide have visited to take courses with the School.

A storyteller is more than a teller of tales. Stories can entertain, heal, inspire, educate, and help us connect withappy storytellersh our deepest selves and longings. Story tellers have a long-standing tradition behind them and hold a great passing the ancient tales, questioning, renewing, and creating new stories for the world today - whilst exploring new inspirations, to allow the development of the art. In their exploration of oral storytelling, tutors draw on the traditional elements of the craft: performance and education, as well as pioneering new ways of working.

With a huge variety of courses ranging from autobiographical storytelling, to working with story in education, health, and healing, to traditional (last year the School offered a home to the last known tradition bearer, the Drut’syla, of an oral tradition that has been passed down through generations of Jewish women from grandmother to granddaughter) or contemporary performance, the School is constantly growing and exploring. The art of storytelling is a powerful medium, with the ability to inspire change and development. This new paradigm, exploring the new story emerging and working with stories for well-being and self-development is a running theme thorough the School’s teaching practices, the use of the imagination and personal stories to inspire 21st century audiences, building connections and community.

practising-storytelling To learn more about the School of Storytelling please visit their website.



Emerson College is a learning and research community that helps people to develop and integrate the spiritual, social and practical dimensions of life and work.


As a widely recognised and respected centre for learning and transformation through education, practical initiatives, research and community building, Emerson College develops, exemplifies and disseminates ways of working and living that encourage freedom, imagination and responsibility in the world.


  • We recognise the value of Anthroposophy (also known as Spiritual Science) and consider ourselves part of the world-wide Anthroposophical movement.
  • We live what we teach.
  • We honour our environment and work sustainably.
  • We respect each other and work ethically.

Students and community

Who studies here?

People of all ages and from all over the world come to study and learn as part of the Emerson community. Emerson’s student body typically comprises about 20% students from the UK, 35% from European countries and 45% from non-European countries, so a wide variety of cultures and languages is represented. The age-range of students spans the full scale of adulthood, from young adults recently emerged from secondary education to older adults with a lifetime of experience to share. Course content will be experienced quite differently according to the perspective of one’s stage in life, and sharing these perspectives  is  an important part of the learning that goes on.

Students come to learn and develop their understanding of a broad range of issues. They often bring underlying questions around "what does it mean to be human in our time?", "how can I / we develop responsible and sustainable ways of working with the earth, and each other?" Emerson is often a place people come to find what their true questions are, and to take next steps to develop meaningful work out of a fuller understanding of their own and the world's needs.

Click here for further student information and resources.

Note: Students coming from outside the UK and EU are required to have a visa. For more information, click here to see our helpful visa guidelines. 

Learning community

Students, staff, faculty and residents together form a rich and diverse learning community. Through formal and informal meetings and collaborative work members of the community cultivate on ongoing process of inquiry about its work, methods and practice. The aim is be continuous learners, deepening and renewing insights and creativity to act wisely and responsibly in the world.

In 2015 the Emerson Living and Learning Community was formed as a new concept for sustainable living and social development which responds to the needs of humanity at a time when there are many concerns about the way we live together and relate to nature.  You can read more about it here..

Life on campus

The campus of Emerson College is home to many students and some staff and their families. We try to maintain a quality of life on campus which respects and reflects this. Students and community members are asked to help once a term with our estate working day and, if they take meals at the College, once a week with lunch set up and wash up. Through working together, we become a community with a shared purpose. 

Everyone who lives, works, studies or visits Emerson College benefits from the learning community here. Many people contribute to the social life of the college with performances in storytelling, music and drama as well as evening and weekend activities, festival celebrations, lectures and visits.

Find out about different ways to get involved in Emerson and its learning community here: Getting Involved

About Emerson College

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson College is a centre of education for adults that addresses the need for human approaches to today’s urgent questions. It provides opportunities for learning and transformation through education, practical initiatives, research and community building. Emerson's aim is to develop, practice and share ways of working and living that encourage free thinking, imagination and responsibility in the world. 

Emerson College offers accredited vocational courses, and non-accredited programmes for personal learning and development. Its mix of full time, part time and short courses includes:

  • biodynamic horticulture and natural ecology
  • education
  • health, healing and care
  • performing and visual arts
  • social ecology and community building
  • inner development and consciousness studies

Emerson's approach works not only to deepen students' understanding and ability in each subject, but to explore the contributions that each subject can offer to the other - for example, the connections between healing and the arts, or natural ecology with inner development. Theoretical study is combined with practical work to integrate learning through head, heart and hands.

We also offer venue rentals, conference facilities, performances and events on our beautiful campus. 

Emerson brings together ideas and people from all over the world to learn, work, and live in a sustainable, transformative, and natural environment. On these pages you can learn more about who studies and works here, life at the College, our ethos and governance.  

Student facilities 

The college has a library, bookshop, telephone, fax, internet facilities, a small food shop and a laundry. There is a variety of shops in Forest Row (20 - 25 minutes walk from the college).

Accommodation and meals

The college provides single room accommodation in student houses on the college campus. The college kitchen prepares wholefood, vegetarian meals with primarily organic/biodynamic produce.

Social and cultural life 

Each week, there is a range of evening activities that are open to all students and staff, such as: choir, study and craft groups, and occasional lectures. There are weekend workshops on many weekends of each term, which are open to all, as well as storytelling performances, concerts and plays. In addition, throughout the year there are college events, such as poetry evenings, performances and festivals.

Faculty and staff