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Contents - August 2004


Special Report
Networking
Most agencies and educators attend two or three workshops a year and there are plenty of events for them to choose from. The value of workshops is not only in the possibility to meet new business partners and catch up with existing business contacts, but in being able to discuss wider issues with colleagues and competitors in an industry context. Social activties and fam trips can also improve the appeal of an event. Amy Baker finds out how industry players make their workshop selection.


Direction
Teacher courses
Demand for courses for language teachers, either practical or certificated, is increasing in demand, according to schools, as language learning becomes increasingly important in national curriculums around the world. Amy Baker looks at opportunities for agents in this sector.



Destination
US west coast states
The USA's west coast states of Washington, Oregon and California offer a wealth of opportunities for language students. Outdoor activities and beautiful natural scenery are a key attraction of all three states while the major cities offer another facet of American life, as Bethan Norris finds out.



Opinion

Essential industry
The Internet, fax machine and telephone are just three of the inventions of the modern age that have facilitated business connections and made doing business on a global scale much easier. As business technology has improved, so has the availability and scope of flights in recent years, with the boom in low-cost carriers now also meaning that very affordable flights are available in many parts of the world. Indeed, Singapore seems to be the next country that will see a spate of low-cost carriers offering competitive services in and out of the country.

Global politics has also led to the current situation where nearly all countries are involved in international trade and business to some extent and are dependent upon their ability to trade with their international neighbours to maintain their economic viability.

There is a further factor that is crucial to the globalisation of our nations - language learning. None of the above would be possible were it not for our ability to communicate with our neighbours in their native language. Without a common language as a means of communicating, the rest of the advances detailed above mean little in a cultural and business sense.

Language learning is not only important for a country's population from a progressive point of view, but, as many governments around the world are realising, there are inherent social benefits too of encouraging international education. International exchange expands the horizons of citizens, both those travelling overseas and those accepting visitors from overseas.

New Zealand's Education Minister remarks that international education is important, both 'socially and economically'. The economic advantage he refers to is the tremendous financial contribution that the education export industry brings to the country. Australia has equally noted the earning potential of its international education industry. The country's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has recently concluded that education exports represent the sixth-largest industry in the country.

Many countries are keen to encourage more language students, high school students and university students to come to their shores to study. At the same time, governments in the traditional student source markets are further promoting language learning within the mainstream school curriculum. This in turn is fuelling growth in another area of the market - teacher training. Language schools around the world testify to growing demand for both certificated courses and practical courses aimed at improving or introducing teaching skills.

A recent extension of the range of products on offer in the industry has come in the form of volunteer programmes, which takes international exchange one step further with the desire of nationals to help and integrate with communities in other countries. We provide a guide to such options in Latin America.

Despite technology making international communication so quick and easy, those active in the international education industry testify that nothing beats face-to-face contact for establishing new business relationships and deals. For this reason, international workshops that provide a professional environment for business networking remain one of the most important facets of professional life for agencies and educators. In this issue, we speak to a number of industry representatives who provide their opinions on the choice of workshops available.


Opinion
Essential industry
The Internet, fax machine and telephone are just three of the inventions of the modern age that have facilitated business connections and made doing business on a global scale much easier.

News
NZ backs ELT industry
Pelsa in Canada disbands
More members for Ialc
Korea/Japan scrutinise student overstay
Education is sixth-largest export industry in Australia
Study abroad expenses soar in Korea
Students now able to seek work in Germany

Travel News
Airlines react to fuel price rise
Ireland gains new low-cost service
Singapore is new hot spot for low-cost carriers

Agency News
Agency association for Hong Kong
Progress for European quality standards
Alphe Workshop in Miami for the first time

Agency Survey
Swiss optimism
The year 2003 was characterised by difficulties stemming from the conflict in Iraq and economic issues, according to the Swiss agencies that took part in our Agency Survey. But hopes for 2004 remain high.

Feedback
Ireland feedback

Central and Eastern European students play a more significant role in the nationality mix of respondents in our Student Feedback Survey of Ireland this year, and student satisfaction rates remain high.

Course Guide
Volunteer in Spanish


Profile
Portugal
Much of Portugal's charm lies in its traditional way of life - fresh, delicious food, a slow pace of living, outdoor markets and a friendly population that enjoys celebrations are all facets of life in Portugal that appeal to its international visitors.

City Focus
Sydney's style
One of the most popular cities in the world with language travellers, Sydney manages to incorporate top city attractions with a laid-back, outdoors-oriented lifestyle. Gillian Evans talks to local language schools to find out some of the many activities available to students in this city.

Status
Status: Spain 2003
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.