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Contents - April 2005


Special Report
Standing apart
Work experience programmes overseas enable students to become culturally assimilated in a country and perfect their language skills, while either gaining relevant professional experience, earning money or, for those with a social conscience, undertaking a volunteer programme. Gillian Evans talks to operators active in this field and finds out that demand from students keen to improve their life skills and work overseas is outstripping supply.


Regional Focus
Queensland
Queensland in Australia is well known for its natural attractions and climate. Students choosing to study English in this region look forward to exciting sporting activities and discovering the natural environment. Bethan Norris finds out more.



Destination
Fun-loving Spain
Spain is a popular destination for language students due to the wealth of different programmes available as well as its well-earned reputation for fun. Language schools say that their students are keen to fully experience the local way of life.



Opinion

Professional respect
The Feedback survey in this month's issue canvassed students enrolled on English language courses at university-based centres in the UK. Satisfaction rates were up on last year's results, and the proportion of students who had booked through an agency was also up. There may not be a connection between the results, as different institutions were involved in the survey, but it is easy to assume a link between professional counselling and placement by an agency and high satisfaction rates among students.

As some readers reveal in our Industry issues section this month, placement of a student is only part of the job for a professional agency. They say that they all ask for feedback from students once they have finished their language course placement so that the agency can refine its service, better understand what students want and what makes a good language course and share information with their partner schools.

Having a partner agent who cares about the success of a school as much as the school itself is an inestimable advantage, especially when the school may be going through difficult times, as testified by one school in New Zealand.

I attended the Canada Language Council conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, earlier this year, and enjoyed meeting many Canadian educators and sitting in on sessions and presentations. While participating on a panel discussion about working with agents, I realised that a number of universities in Canada have not yet begun working relationships with agents, being in some cases concerned about the concept of ''agent'' or alarmed because of stories of bad practice.

While university-based institutions have traditionally been slower to embrace commercial ethics concerning student recruitment - and this is true of all countries - nevertheless, most now seem to acknowledge that in the business of selling education services, business strategies such as using partner agents, or student recruiters, are a good idea.

In New Zealand, education agents are so valued by the main education export body for the country, Education New Zealand, that it was instrumental in persuading the government not to include education agents in the new licensing of migration agents bill. Such respect for the important role of professional education counselling is heartening to see.


Opinion
Professional respect
The Feedback survey in this month's issue canvassed students enrolled on English language courses at university-based centres in the UK. Satisfaction rates were up on last year's results, and the proportion of students who had booked through an agency was also up.

News
Accreditation in France on the cards
CLC conference in Canada goes well
UK profits report: OISE on the rise
Students settle in Australia
TB testing for students in New Zealand
CES Ireland in UK
Rice to support foreign students in USA

Travel News
China's tourism list enlarges
NZ extends visa-waiver status
Budget airline in UAE flying high

Agency News
NZ to license most agents
Bank loan for NZ-bound Chinese
Korea backs internships overseas
Brazilian agency hosts student fairs

Agency Survey
US market evolves
Agencies based in the USA still cater for a high proportion of clients learning a language for pleasure only, although college-aged clients are tipped to increase in number.

Feedback
UK tertiary sector
Larger class sizes, a heavier reliance on Asian student markets and higher student satisfaction rates characterised this year's Feedback survey on the UK tertiary language teaching sector.

Course Guide
Summer activity courses in Malta
Malta has always been a favourite destination for school- age language students wanting to combine language tuition with activities during the summer months.

Direction
Adding value
Members of regional or ''special interest'' groups of schools can have the edge over competitors as they are able to market themselves more effectively and efficiently, as Bethan Norris finds out.

Spotlight
UK high school
Studying in a UK high school gives students the chance not only to improve their language skills and become culturally assimilated, but, if they wish, to prepare for exams and academic life in the host country.

Status
Canada 2004
In our global comparison article, we provide a breakdown of results from our Status surveys over the past year. In this article, it is possible to compare the nationality breakdown for international students across the major language teaching markets in the world in 2004.



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