Contents - August 2007

Special Report
Changing direction
Since the events of September 2001 led governments around the world to begin paying closer attention to the visa-issuing process, procedures have, in many cases, been tightened. Over the past year, visa regulations have continued to be reassessed and revised, and while industry lobbying has in some cases shown results, procedures are frequently seen as a hindrance to the development of the language travel industry, as Jane Vernon Smith finds out.

LTM Star Awards 2007 shortlist
The LTM Star Awards celebrates its second year this year and industry support for the event has been overwhelming. Numerous industry players have contacted us to let us know how much they appreciate an industry awards ceremony and this year over 900 companies received votes from their partners! Here we talk to a selection of the shortlisted nominees for each category to find out why they think they were nominated.

Living Canada
To learn English in Canada is to live and breathe the country, and to become acquainted with the people and its culture. Gillian Evans reports.


Reaching potential

The language travel industry has traditionally been largely the preserve of those with a particular personal interest in the business. The first language schools were often set up and run by individuals who were personally involved in language travel and many of these schools have continued to be run by their owners or passed down to family members over the years. However, the face of language travel is changing and chain groups, mergers and take-overs are now commonplace.

It is perhaps a sign of the maturing face of language travel, and its potential in the business world, that it is finally being noticed by investors from other business sectors. The news that Cambridge Education Group has been taken over by Palamon Partners, whose Chief Executive Officer was previously Director of Capital One Europe (page 7), is surely a sign that the future growth of the language travel industry is being acknowledged. Indeed, a partner at Palamon identified the “tremendous growth potential of the sector” as a reason for the investment.

The expected growth of an industry, however, is only part of the story, particularly for a sector that relies entirely on the ability of students to be able to travel freely between countries. Government regulations and policies also have a role to play and in this issue we focus on visas in our Special Report, which gives an overview of recent developments (page 28). Overall, the outlook for many language travel destinations is good, with governments increasingly trying to simplify and regulate the visa issuing process. One country that is still suffering due to its visa regulations, however, is Italy and the school association in this country faces an ongoing struggle to keep visa issues for language students on the government agenda.

Malta is one country that is expecting enrolments from language students to increase in the future due to the introduction of a long-term student visa (page 37). Accessibility can also affect the ability of a country to compete effectively with rival study abroad destinations and Malta will surely benefit from the business decision by low-cost carrier Ryanair to introduce a number of new European routes from October this year (page 8).

If the language travel industry is to reach its full potential, the different forces of business and government policy must work together. The financial and experiential input of venture capitalists at this time can only increase the opportunity for this to occur.

Reaching potential

Tragedy in USA not putting off international students
Language schools turn to philanthropic works
IH Spain launches marketing plan
Schools report problems with agent
Increase in Toefl exam dates in South Korea

Travel News
Open skies between the USA and China
New routes from Europe to Brazil
New Singapore terminal completed
Canadians travelling beyond the USA

Agency News
EA hosts final workshop
Speak Out

Agency Survey
France flying high
Learning a language abroad has not lost its appeal for French students with agents reporting a steady flow of clients choosing to study away from home. However, top destinations have changed this year, according to our Agency Survey on France

This issue's Feedback survey of students studying Spanish in Spain revealed a larger proportion of Asian students enrolled at the schools, but a much lower rate of agent usage.

Course Guide
Ielts/Toefl in the UK
LIelts and Toefl preparation courses in the UK are popular with international students wanting to go on to higher education in an English-speaking country.

German exams
Language schools in Germany offer an array of examination courses and report that demand is increasing, particularly from students interested in studying at a German university.

City Focus
Colourful Christchurch
Christchurch is near to perfect for language travel students; close to both sea and mountains, it is small and friendly with lots to do, and, to top it all, has a wide selection of English language schools. Gillian Evans reports.

New Zealand
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. For the first time, it is possible to compare world market statistics.