Loading

Contents - August 2003


Special Report
The global market
Accurate data about the size of the global English language teaching market is valuable information for all those involved in the language travel industry, yet while such data is often requested, it is not often researched. Amy Baker has worked with industry associations around the world, used Language Travel Magazine
's Status statistics, along with official government-issued visa statistics, to produce a picture that is as accurate as possible about global market size.


Direction
The workshop circuit
Attending agent workshops has increasingly become an essential part of an agent
's diary and there is now a wide variety to choose from, each offering a slightly different experience. While attendance was once restricted to certain types of schools, now many workshops have thrown their doors open to all types of educator and other industry-related businesses. Gillian Evans looks at the different workshops available throughout the year.



City Focus
Malaga
's magnetism
Malaga is the premier city in Andalusia and the gateway to southern Spain. Its charm for language travel students lies in its historic culture and party-loving spirit. Students soon acclimatise to the lifestyle, going out late, to lessons early in the morning and having a siesta in the afternoon. Many of the language schools here keep their students busy, while there are plenty of opportunities to relax on one of Malaga
's many beaches. Gillian Evans reports.



Opinion

State of flux
The last two years have brought trials and tribulations to both language schools around the world and language travel students. Many students have been hit by visa problems or economic issues at home that have prevented them from following their plans for language study abroad.

In Taiwan, for example, we hear from agents that the country's poor economic outlook has meant fewer language travel students embarking on their study abroad plans. And those that do study abroad are often likely to change their mind about which country to study in, following consultation with an agent . This is likely to be due to price or visa issues.

Similarly, language schools have been afflicted by their own types of visa problems, currency exchange rate issues and factors such as the Sars outbreak in the last few years, all of which have dampened demand. In this issue, one language school owner from Ottawa in Canada points out that his school has been affected by declining sales due to Sars, despite the fact that no Sars cases actually occured in the Canadian capital.

The global market is always in a state of flux, as student markets rise and fall and destinations become in vogue, or more problematic, to go to. Australia's government has unveiled a series of initiatives designed to increase the attractiveness and quality reputation of its international education industry. Government initiatives have a direct impact on determining trends in the marketplace.

One source in the USA acknowledges that the exponential rise of the Chinese market is relatively untapped by US language schools, because visa issuance problems mean that students studying English language only cannot obtain a visa.

Because student demand and student markets do change over time, it is important to try and analyse trends across the marketplace on a regular basis, to track these changes. This is, in fact, a very difficult task, as student visa rules differ per nationality in most countries, and therefore even when figures are available for student visa issuance, these do not reflect overall student numbers, including those on visitor visas.

Language Travel Magazine has used its own in-depth knowledge of the industry, the government information available, statistical data from the Status surveys and the professional opinions of key spokespeople in the industry to try and estimate global market share. Such analysis is essential industry reading, providing an indication of market share across the world.

Another way of keeping up with trends is, of course, through swapping market information with industry colleagues. As well as establishing fruitful business unions, schools and agents use workshops as an opportunity to find out about how each other is faring and trends in the respective market. We provide our annual summary of key events in the workshop calendar.

One interesting point arising from our global market analysis was that the number of Asian students studying in South Africa is significant, indicating growing popularity among Asian students for this relatively new English language learning destination.

There is a range of other language teaching destinations that attract niche interest language learners every year, and while languages such as Turkish and Dutch are certainly less common requests, agents need to know about courses in these countries too.


Opinion
The last two years have brought trials and tribulations to both language schools around the world and language travel students.

News
Australia's quality package, at a cost
Nafsa conference aims to break down borders
Chinese students slow to adapt
Ielts challenges fraudsters
Iranians hot for
study abroad

Travel News
Problem of Sars recedes
US Airways teaming up
Airlines keen to fly to Iraq

Agency News
Alto to increase interaction
EA workshop expands
Interest good from
Turkish students

Agency Survey
Taiwan's standstill
Disappointingly, another year of negative growth was experienced by Taiwanese language travel agents in 2002, and there appears to be little hope of revival in 2003.

Feedback
USA feedback
This year's USA Feedback survey reveals a higher proportion of students studying English for their future or current work, which also meant that the average length of stay was relatively low.

Market Report
UK steady
The English language teaching industry in the UK has had a lot to contend with in recent years, with military action in the Middle East and Sars being the most recent of global events that have hit language schools hard. Language schools report that while things were looking up in 2002, figures for 2003 so far have been disappointing, with markets as diverse as China, Italy and Japan being particularly affected.

Course Guide
Non-core languages

Learning another language overseas does not stop at popular languages such as English and Spanish. There are many languages and countries to choose from and a selection of schools is provided below.

Profile
Belgium

Sandwiched between France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands, the federal country of Belgium is divided into three largely self-governing regions of Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia, which differ from each other greatly in terms of culture, language and landscape.

Status
Status: Australia 2002
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, in collaboration with the Association of Language Travel Organisations (Alto), which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world.