April 2008 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
Market Report
Special Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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Italy feels the pinch

Economic and political troubles had a negative effect on the study abroad industry in Italy last year, although agents hope that new programmes and increased marketing will bring in new business over the next 12 months.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by 12 of the 14 agencies taking part in our survey was 9,667

• Individual agencies placed between 30 and 4,500 students on courses per year

• Average business growth was 4.2 per cent in the last 12 months

• The average length of stay for Italian students was 2.5 weeks

• Overall, 67 per cent of Italian students stayed with host families when studying overseas

• Three agencies charged their clients a handling fee of between e30 (US$44) and e70 (US$102)

• On average, agencies worked with 21 schools in the last 12 months

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 48%
2. Ireland 24%
3. USA 8%
4. Canada 7%
5. Spain 5%
6. Germany 3%
6. France 3%
1. General 29%
2. Junior 23%
3. Intensive 19%
4. Summer vacation 13%
5. Business 5%
5. Lang. + work 5%
7. Acad./exam. prep. 2%
Other 4%

Accommodation choices
Average percentage agency business
1. Host family 67%
2. Residential 24%
3. Private 7%
Other 2%
1. Lang. programme 89%
2. Work & travel 6%
3. Internships 3%
4. Volunteer 1%
5. Higher ed. 0.5%
Other 0.5%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Word of mouth 40%
2. Website 29%
3. Mailshots 10%
4. Seminars to students 6%
5. Advertising in press 5%
Other 10%
1. Workshops 44%
2. Fairs & expos 20%
3. Internet 8%
4. LTM/ETM 4%
5. Other press 2%
Other 22%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 36%
English Australia 50%

Capls 43%
CLC 43%

Souffle 50%
L'Office 14%
Unosel 21%
FLE 7%

MEI~Relsa 93%

Asils 21%
Italian in Italy 14%

Feltom 86%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 14%
English NZ 29%

Aeple 0%

South Africa
Eltasa 7%
English SA 0%

Fedele 64%

ABLS 43%
English UK 86%
British Council 100%

Eaquals 79%

Accet 64%
CEA 7%

Ialc 86%
Quality English 0%
Tandem 50%

Market growth
For the 14 agents taking part in this year’s Agency Survey on Italy, business growth was very mixed and overall grew by just four per cent across the board. Three agencies actually reported a decrease in their business volume in 2007, of between six and 20 per cent. Others reported muted growth of between two and 30 per cent while one agency said that their business had stayed the same. Agents who gave a reason for any decline in their business pointed to an “uncertain economic and political situation in Italy” and the fact that Italian families no longer have so much disposable income to spend on overseas language travel trips.

Language and destination trends
The top four language travel destinations for Italian students were all English speaking countries this year, with the UK taking top position and Ireland gaining a greater market share – namely 24 per cent, compared with 20 per cent in last year’s survey (see LTM, January 2007, page 16-17). In our previous survey, Spain was the fourth most popular destination for Italian students, taking six per cent of the market share, but this year Spain attracted just five per cent of the market, behind Canada on seven per cent. Spanish was still the second most requested language after English for Italian language travellers. Meanwhile, German was chosen by four per cent and just two per cent of agency clients requested to study French.

Student and course trends
The Italian student market is an important one for language schools specialising in short-term general, summer vacation and junior courses as over 65 per cent of agency business was for these types of courses. The average length of stay at 2.5 weeks was quite low compared with other student markets, for example, Russia, where the average length of stay is eight weeks (see LTM, February 2008, pages 14-15). Italian students showed little interest in language programmes with an academic focus this year and work programmes also decreased in popularity – chosen by five per cent of clients compared with seven per cent in our previous survey.

Agency business
Agencies in Italy rely heavily on word of mouth to attract new clients, with this method accounting for 40 per cent of new business, slightly down on the 46 per cent recorded last year. Instead the Internet increased in importance as a recruiting tool, from 26 per cent previously to 29 per cent in this year’s survey. Language travel placements dominate agency business in Italy, with 89 per cent of business taken up with advising students about such programmes and a further nine per cent of business relating to work and travel or internship programmes. Higher education programmes overseas are not very popular with Italian students, making up just 0.5 per cent of overall business.

Looking ahead
Many agencies reported that they hoped business would remain stable in 2008, with the current economic conditions making things difficult for everyone. One agency predicted that interest in language programmes combined with work opportunities would increase and another said they would be increasing the number of workshops they attended in order to expand their portfolio.

Economic overview

• Italy’s economy has slowed along with many other countries worldwide as a result of the downturn in the US property market in 2007. It is expected that Italy’s economy will expand at an annual rate of around one per cent in 2008 and 2009.

• Consumer inflation is expected to average just over 2.5 per cent in 2008, dropping to around two per cent at the end of the year. This reflects the price increase in world crude oil and agricultural goods.

• Exports are likely to expand at a slower pace than international trade, reflecting the loss of price competitiveness of Italian goods, which is forecast to continue in 2008 and 2009.

Source: Banca D’Italia

Italian agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Canada: Language Studies Canada, various; In France: French in Normandy, Rouen; In Germany: BWS Germanlingua, Munich; Sprachcaffe, various; In Ireland: Atlantic Language School, Galway; Cork English College, Cork; Horner School of English, Dublin; Pace Language Institute, Bray; In Spain: IH Madrid, Madrid; In the UK: Churchill House School, Ramsgate; EAC, various; ELC, York; English Language Centre, Bristol; English Language Training, London; Hampstead School of English, London; Hilderstone College, Broadstairs; OISE, London; Oxford English Centre, Oxford; Regent, various; Twin, London; Worldwide: Embassy CES; Geos; Kaplan Aspect; International House; St Giles.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: 3 Esse Agency, Across the World, ALCE Study Abroad, ALP Corsi di Inglese, Auriga Servizi, Coming, Drion Viaggi, Education Consultants SAS, Indirizzo Inghilterra, Leitmotiv – London School Parma, Mundolengua, New Lands, New Beetle – Thema Viaggi, World Travellers.

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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.





Britannia Student

Feltom Malta  
International House
      World Organisation  
MEI-Relsa Ireland  
Quality English  

Alphe Conferences  
LTM Star Awards  


Bright World

InterGlobal Ltd.  
Student Guard

Your World On


Malta Tourism

CERAN Lingua
      (Belgium, France,
      Spain, UK)

Bodwell College  
Centre Linguista
College Platon  
English Bay
Hansa Language
      Centre of Toronto  
National School of
Quest Language
Richmond School
      District #38  
Stewart College
      of Languages  
University of
Vancouver English
YMCA Greater
      Lang School  

iMandarin Chinese
      Training School  
Mandarin House  

Bell International  
      (Malta, UK)
International House
      World Organisation  
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Malvern House  
Princes College
      School of English  
Queen Ethelburga's
South Thames
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,

Home Language
      (France, Ireland,
Langues Sans
Silc - Séjours
      (France, Spain, UK)
Université de Paris

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

ISI - International
      Study Institute

Swan Training
University College

Kai Japanese
      Language School  

      Language School  
EC - English
      Language Centres  
      (China, England,
      Malta, South Africa,
LAL Malta  
Malta Tourism

Wellington High

EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps  
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)
Edinburgh Academy

Cape Studies  

ESADE- Executive
      Language Centre  
Idiomas ˇSí!  
      Internacional de
      Idiomas Ibiza  
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,

ALCC - American
      Language &
Brown University  
ELS Educational
Global Immersions
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,   
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
Monterey Institute
      of International
Zoni Language


Bright World
Twin Group  
      (Ireland, UK)