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August 2007 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
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Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
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City Focus
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EA hosts final workshop

Representatives from Australian schools' association, English Australia, hosted their final agent workshop in April this year in Adelaide, SA. The association has been organising agent workshops for members in different major cities around Australia since 2000.

Sue Blundell, Executive Director of EA, said of the decision to stop running the workshops, “The organisation of a workshop is extremely resource-intensive and we decided that members had gained the maximum opportunities available from the six workshops that had been organised.” She added, “Workshops are not core business for an association like English Australia, however, we have been discussing with other interested parties the possibility of running a workshop that would be regionally focussed – ie, Australia and New Zealand – and would be open to all registered and accredited providers across all sectors in the two countries.”

Blundell revealed that the new workshop, called Australia New Zealand Agent Workshop (ANZAW), would be organised by EdMedia Student Recruitment and Icef, although EA would be represented on the advisory board. The first ANZA

Workshop is expected to be held in Sydney in May 2008.

Judy Collyer, Admissions Manager at Griffith English Language Institute at Griffith University in Nathan, QLD, attended the final EA workshop in Adelaide this year and said, “The range and quality of agents this year was very good and the dinner with agents was very useful.” Another attendee, Anders Ahlund from EF, said that “the ratio of agents to schools was not good”, although he added, “The organisation of the event was, as always, great.”



Speak Out

This month, Timothy Blake, Managing Director of the London School of English, asks how we measure student achievement in the industry.

“It is an old truth of marketing that people do not buy products and services, they buy benefits. It is natural to want to measure that in some way. But is it possible to really measure what we do? For a parent sending a child on a summer course, a smiling face on return – and no tearful phone calls during the course itself – may be enough (better grades at school next year will doubtless also be welcome). If someone needs to take an exam the benefit is clear enough – although they may improve enormously but still fail the exam. Is such a course a success or not? – For many people the objective may just be to ‘get better’. That’s too vague to measure really, and students, notoriously bad at judging their own progress, may be disappointed for no reason. Worst of all can be the corporate market. Here, the buyers are the most likely to want to measure what they have bought, but the courses are shortest and the benefits most intangible. In fact, an executive course participant can make tremendous progress even in a short time, but it tends to be in terms of comfort and confidence – someone who used to sit silent in a meeting may now be able to put across their point of view quite effectively, even if they have not learned much new language. But how does the company measure the value of the course? Probably with a quick and easy test that does not reflect communicative skills at all. If the person doesn’t add many points to their score the company may conclude, falsely, that it has wasted its money. They often know this conclusion is false, but the need to measure overrides all other considerations. The school may even do things that will improve the test mark even if they are not very useful so the attempt to ensure value may achieve the exact opposite. Oh for a quick and effective way to measure both confidence and communication!”


Industry issues - agents speak out

Q. Have you experienced much demand for work experience/volunteer programmes from your clients recently? 

Bilal Sezgin, Director, Avustralya Danismanlik ve Egitim Merkezi, Australia

“Turkish students will rarely, if ever, enquire about volunteer or unpaid work experience roles. The overwhelming majority seek paid employment to assist in meeting their living and study costs. This situation is unlikely to change as they often go overseas to study with limited funds. Therefore, finding suitable paid employment is a high priority. As we are based in Australia, we can often find some sort of casual paid employment once the student arrives depending on their English proficiency and experience levels.”

Jan Passoff, Owner, Star Travel, Russia

“In Russia, work experience programmes have always been popular and still are in high demand. In Moscow alone, 7,000 students went on work and travel programmes in the USA in 2005 and 12,000 in 2006. At the moment the problem is that Russian students do not have a lot of choices. The most popular is still work and travel in the USA, which allows students to work off the programme cost, get a great experience and explore the country. The majority of other work experience programmes for Russians (non EU) are non-paid, which are less popular in Russia. Volunteering is still a new concept and so very few are taking advantage of or can afford to do them. Russian students would prefer to work in Europe mainly – UK is very popular, Germany, France and Spain.”

Bistra Ilieva, BI Travel, Bulgaria

“Since 2000, the demand for work and travel programmes has been growing very fast. Considering the fact that Bulgaria joined the European Union in January 2007, more young people are leaving the country looking for a job themselves or asking for our assistance. The most popular destinations for work and travel programmes are the USA and UK. Recently the demand for Ireland, Spain and France has been growing but still these countries have restrictions about employing Bulgarians.”

Bulent Peker, Director, UKLA Abroad Turkiye, Turkey

“Yes we’ve noticed an increasing demand for work experience/volunteer programmes from our clients in the last few years. The USA, Canada and the UK are the most popular destinations for work experience programmes for Turkish clients. As a result of economic and social developments in the country in recent years, the number of people who are interested in ‘intercultural temporary work experiences’ will grow quickly each year. There may be several reasons why a client wants to undertake one of these programmes, including having an international life experience, experiencing a foreign work environment, developing their academic and working skills, making themselves more competitive in the employee market and creating their own contacts for their future professional life.”

Bella Gribkova, Principal/Director, Masterclass, Russia

“We do not actually work extensively with volunteer programmes, and the work experience programmes we have are quite limited. Nevertheless, we do have some clients wishing to undertake these. Generally, they are students seeking new cultural experiences and/or wishing to practise English with a view to improving their language skills. Among the countries that are popular with our clients are definitely the USA and Canada. The second place will be shared between Turkey, Egypt and Greece, with the UK, Spain and Italy to follow.”


Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Language Travel Magazine, we ask a different language teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or agent partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month, DID Deutsch Institut in Germany nominates Central de Intercâmbio in Brazil. Patrick Semidei, Managing Director of the school, explains this nomination:


“I’m very happy to nominate CI – Central de  Intercâmbio, one of our best and favourite partners, not only in Brazil  but worldwide. Working with CI is very productive and, more than anything else, stimulating in many different ways. CI is always growing, advancing and pushing the sale by developing new products and finding new, refreshing ways of promoting Did Deutsch Institut courses and programmes. Visiting CI headquarters in São Paulo this year was  a wonderful opportunity to satisfy myself that CI is innovative and forward-thinking in a way only few agencies are.

Victor Hugo  Baseggio, Director of CI, showed me the new CI online booking system... really impressive! And then, of course, we like the people working in CI. The entire team is very experienced in the world of language travel, well organised, efficient and always reliable. The staff at Did Deutsch Institut love working with CI since emails are answered immediately and you can imagine how much Germans appreciate professionalism and prompt attention! Tereza, Luiza, Juliana, Mari, André... and all the others... you are doing a fantastic job!”


On the move

Steve Harvey has joined the Cambridge Education Group (CEG) in the UK as Managing Director of university foundation programmes. Mr Harvey’s past jobs include Project Manager in the Ministers’ Strategy Unit at the UK government’s Department for Education and Skills, Managing Director at Study Group, Director of the International Office at the University of North London in the UK and the Principal Lecturer in Finance and Joint Head of the Business School at the University of Sunderland in the UK.

After a successful internship and several missions for Silc Spain, Volodia Maury-Laribiere has now become a permenant member of the team as Sales Co-ordinator for the Silc Group. His role involves liaising with agencies around the world, promoting inbound programmes to France, Spain and the UK, and providing a high standard service to agents.  

Gordon Clark, AAIEP President-Elect, is leaving his post at Ashland University in Ashland, OH, to become Director of the ELS Language Center at Idaho State University in the USA. He hopes to bring more international educational and cultural exchange opportunities to the university.

Erich Thaler is moving to the University of Basle in Switzerland. As Director of International Affairs, he will coordinate research and university cooperation programmes, focusing on South Africa and Asia-Pacific. Mr Thaler previously worked as the Head of International Marketing at Academia Language School in Basle. Previously, he has worked in similar positions in Berlin, Seoul and Paris.

Katya Bonello (left) has recently joined language school chain EC in the new position of Regional Sales Manager for the Italian and Scandinavian markets, based in Malta. Ms Bonello previously worked for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and has spent several several years teaching English. Annabel Camilleri has also recently been promoted to manage the new reservations department for the whole group of EC schools. Ms Camilleri has worked for EC for seven years and started in the role of Summer Residence Coordinator in Malta.


Q&A

The President of México Sí, Harriet Goff Guerrero, answers our questions about the Mexican schools’ association’s achievements and objectives.

Full name: Asociación Mexicana de Institutos de Español

Year established: 2005

Number of members: 12

Type of members: Private Spanish language teaching institutes

Association’s main role: to promote Spanish as an additional language and Mexico as the top Spanish language learning destination. The association is increasingly involved in setting best-practice standards for Spanish programmes in Mexico.

Government recognition: yes

Code of practice: yes

Complaints procedure: no

Agent workshops/fam trips: yes

Contact details: Harriet Goff Guerrero, President
Apartado 5-21, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Tel: +52 7773186407
Fax: +52 7773125418
Email: harriet@cemanahuac.com
Website: www.mexicosi.org

What has your association been up to in the last 12 months?
We have been busy consolidating our association. Our website is now up and running and here we have general information about what our schools have in common and what we guarantee people who come to study with us. There are also links to the websites of each of our associate schools in Mexico. We have had two national meetings – one in September 2006 in Cancun and the second one in Queretaro and San Miguel de Allende in April 2007.

We have attended several international fairs with the Mexican Tourism Board: the Tianguis in Acapulco in March 2006 and March 2007, the JATA fair in Tokyo, Japan in September 2006, and SITV in Montreal in October 2006. We are working in conjunction with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) as centres to offer the CELA exam. This is a standardised oral proficiency test to establish language levels.

Are you aware of any visa difficulties faced by students wanting to study Spanish in Mexico? What is your association doing to solve any problems?
Travellers from some countries are having trouble getting visas to come to Mexico, but that depends on bilateral international agreements between countries. Mexico Sí is an affiliate member of the National Tourism Council (CNET) which allows us to make specific suggestions regarding immigration issues at a national level. We feel this will have a positive influence on students’ abilities to obtain their visas more easily. People coming to study Spanish in Mexico can enter on a tourist visa as we fall into the cultural tourism category.


What marketing activities are you planning for the near future?
We will be offering some fam trips for agents and travel writers in coordination with the Mexican Tourism Board, so stay tuned. As soon as those dates are confirmed we will be inviting people to visit our different locations in Mexico.

We will also be attending several language fairs and plan to do some presentations in different cities in Europe, North America and Asia, in conjunction with the Mexican Tourism Board.


Grapevine


Bels language school in Gozo, Malta, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and threw a party to celebrate. Among those attending the event were the Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, as well as Feltom President, John Dimech. In the pictures above, school Director, Donald Brincat, celebrates with staff, while the Minister for Gozo offers her congratulations to Donald and Rebecca Brincat.


The recent IH agent workshop, held in Gozo, Malta, went off with a bang this year as delegates appreciated the fine weather and venue. Pictured right, are Sarah Spencer from Cactus Language in the UK, Dorotiya Ferenczy from ACE Hungary, Lszlo Busa from Oxford Hungaria, Nicola Lutz from Language Travel Magazine in the UK and Ana Maria Gonzalez Paquot from Enjoy Languages in Mexico enjoying a jeep ride to visit some of the attractions of the local area, while Patricia Mullen from IH Newcastle and Helena Mazo from IH Madrid (left) demonstrate a novel way of attracting the attentions of the wine waiters later on in the evening…!


IH London officially opened its prestigious new school in the heart of London with speeches from Trevor McDonald OBE, and Neil Kinnock, Chair of the British Council (pictured left with Michael Noonan, a trustee of the IH Trust). At the event, Michael Noonan announced a new scholarship for a student undergoing Tefl training at the school.


Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


AGENTS
Aseproce
Boa Lingua
CI - Central de Intercâmbio
Discover Canada
ESL - Séjours Linguistiques
NRCSA (USA)
TEducamos
TK Tours

ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS
Capls Canada
CLC
English Australia
Feltom
Ialc
MEI-Relsa
Quality English

INSURANCE
CareMed International Travel Insurance
Student Guard Insurance

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism Authority

WORKSHOPS / EXPOS
Alphe Conferences
CEC Network

AUSTRALIA
English Australia
English Language Company

CANADA
Academie Linguistique International
Algonquin College Ottawa
Bodwell College
Cowichan Valley School District #79
East Coast School of
      Languages (ECSL)
English Bay College
English Language Training College ELTC
Eurocentres Canada
Global Village
(Australia, Canada, USA)
Ilac - International Language Academy of Canada
International Language
      Schools of Canada (ILSC)
Intrax English Institute
Language Studies Canada
Lethbridge Community College
London Language Institute
Malaspina University College
National School of Languages
Pacific Language Institute
Richmond School District #38
Saint Mary's University
Saskatoon Catholic Schools
Stewart College of Languages
Study English in Canada
University Canada West
University of Toronto
Vancouver Community College
       International Education
Vancouver English Centre
Vanwest College
York University English
       Language Institute

ENGLAND
American Intercontinental
       University, London
Aspect
      (Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand, UK, USA)
Bell International
InTuition Languages
       (Australia, France, Germany,
       Ireland, Italy, South America,
       Spain, UK, USA)
Islington Centre for English
LAL Language and Leisure
      (England, Malta, South Africa, USA)
Liverpool International
      Language Academy
Malvern House College London
Millfield School
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's College
Sels College London
Southwark College
St Giles Colleges
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada, England,
      France, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
      New Zealand, South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Twin Group
University of Westminster
West London Business College

FRANCE
France Langue
French in Normandy
Home Language International
      (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil,
      Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic,
      Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France,
      Germany, Holland, Hungary, Ireland,
      Italy, Japan, Malta, NZ, Norway,
      Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain,
      Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA,
      Venezuela)
Institut Linguistique Adenet
SILC - Séjours Linguistiques
     (England, France, Spain)

GERMANY
Carl Duisberg Centren
      (England, Germany)
F+U Academy
      (Austria, Germany, Russia)
Humboldt Institut
inlingua Berlin
International House Berlin - Prolog
Lichtenberg Kolleg E.V

IRELAND
Atlantic Language Galway
Centre of English Studies
MEI -RELSA

MALTA
EC English Language Centre
      (England, Malta, South Africa)
Feltom
inlingua Malta
Linguatime

NEW ZEALAND
Christchurch College of
      English Language
Languages International
Riccarton High School
Seafield School of English
University of Canterbury

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

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies
Good Hope Studies

SPAIN
Babylon Idiomas
      (Argentina, Costa Rica, Spain)
Enforex
      (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica,
      Cuba, Ecuador, Dominican Republic,
      Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Spain)
International House Sevilla - CLIC
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispánico SL

SWITZERLAND
EF Language Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador,
      England, France, Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain, USA)
Eurocentres
      (Australia, Canada, England, France,
      Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta,
      New Zealand, Russia, South Africa,
      Spain, Switzerland, USA)

USA
ALCC - American Language
      Communication Center
Kaplan Educational Centers
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Zoni Language Centers
      (Canada, USA)


WORKWISE

CANADA
Global Lifestyles
IH Vancouver

ENGLAND
IH Newcastle
Tellus Group
Twin Group

GERMANY
Hermann-Hesse-Kolleg
Malta Tourism Authority