August 2009 issue

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LTM Star Awards 2009 Shortlist

The countdown has begun…here we announce the 119 agencies and educators lucky enough to be shortlisted in the LTM Star Awards 2009 and give some of them the opportunity to tell our readers what it means to be nominated. Laia Soldevila reports.

With over 3,000 educators and agents casting tens of thousands of votes in 22 categories, the fourth LTM Star Awards has proven to be the biggest yet. As an annual focal point, it’s a chance for educators and agents to throw on a posh frock (or suit!), make a toast and thank partners for all their hard work.

For some this might be the second or even third time they have been shortlisted, but for others, like Montañita Spanish School in Ecuador, this is a wholly new experience. Warwick White at the school relates just how special an occasion it is. “We are extremely surprised to be honoured in this way. A thousand thanks to agents for believing in our school!” he says.

“I’ve just fallen off my chair! Speechless, speechless, speechless… wow!” enthuses Andrew Roper at British Study Centres in the UK, another first-time nominee. “This nomination feels like a vindication for our decision to launch the schools and a recognition by our partner agents. I’m blown away by this!”

Joining him in the LTM Star English Language School Europe category are fellow first-time nominees, Beet Language Centre, UK and Studio School of English, UK, as well as EAC Edinburgh, UK, Atlantic Language Galway, Ireland and Centre of English Studies, which has campuses in Ireland and the UK.

Ernesto Sarrion, Director of Spanish training agency, Oneco – up for LTM Work Experience Provider – says their nomination has been long awaited. “After so many years of effort following the best quality standards for professional training, to be shortlisted in the LTM Star Work Experience Provider category is a very good way to be recognised and recommended by many agents of the educational industry,” he notes.

Meanwhile, school association, Languages Canada, also makes its awards debut in the LTM Star School Association category. Linda Auzins, Administration Manager, says that for such a fledgling association this is high praise indeed. “That’s such great news, and we’re such a young association – it’s quite an honour.”

The awards also honour non-mainstream language providers for their contribution to the industry and the LTM Star Other Language Provider category this year showcases three new Japanese language schools; Kudan Institute of Language & Culture, ISI Language School and Genki Japanese and Culture School. “We’re ecstatic to have been shortlisted,” explains Evan Kirby from Genki Japanese and Culture School and he puts their good fortune down to good agent relationships, labelling them the “cornerstone of our business”. Up against more experienced shortlisters like Mandarin House in China, Liden & Denz Language Centre in Russia and Kai Japanese Language School also in Japan; it promises to be an interesting category indeed.

Meanwhile, the LTM Star New Agency category looks to celebrate newcomers; representing a new generation of agents working their way up through the ranks. “We are very, very happy to hear just one year after our first student went to Ireland that our partner schools appreciate the way we work and the plans we have!” states Wojciech Lapacz, General Manager of Polish agency, Travel Solutions. Vanessa Lenssen from UK-based, GolearnTo.com, reasons that their innovative ideas and “fresh approach” to language travel has got them noticed this year while Ludmila Motova, from Language Collection in Russia, notes that triumph over adversity almost certainly led partner schools to nominate them. When asked why her agency was shortlisted she said, “Maybe because not so many agencies dare to start new business in times of crisis, or maybe because in the last few years, numerous Russian students travelled more intensively and my agency is Russian.”

The newest category to have joined the ranks this year is the LTM Star Agency Middle East & Africa. Kate Clarke from nominated Al Ahlam Training Services in Oman says, “[The awards] give recognition to our company, not only in Oman but in the whole of the Middle East.” Anita Siegel from Lingualink in Israel agrees and says their nomination is, “a tool to promote Lingualink, a tool that acknowledges Lingualink as an internationally recognised agency”. Almajd Center of Education, also in Israel, Educom in Lebanon and Saudi Arabian agency, International Group for Education Consultants (IGEC), complete the running order for this new category.

The key to innovation
Being creative with course offerings or services not only helps stimulate industry interest but can make an agent’s job easier. Contenders for the LTM Star Innovation category present a variety of ideas that lend new scope to teaching practices. At Mountlands Language School in the UK, Ella Tyler explains that their Witches and Wizards language programme invites students to learn about a very famous fictional wizard, Harry Potter. “The students join in with normal Summer School lessons in the morning then in the afternoon they either attend Harry Potter workshops, where they watch the film, analyse the books or do role plays centred around the story,” she says. “We find that agents are always asking, ‘so you run a summer school, but what have you got that is different?’ So this is what we came up with, and it’s been a big success!”

Meanwhile, Ian Josephs from Home Language International notes that their Farmstay Programme, where students can experience life on a genuine working farm, was born out of an unusual client request. “Like all our programmes this has been developed simply due to clients or agents asking for something of that kind. I do not claim to be a great originator as nearly all our programmes result from requests from clients or agents, as indeed did the whole concept of living in the teacher’s home.” And he notes that they will continue to respond to innovative ideas in the future. “If clients were to ask me to arrange a language lesson in a hot air balloon, I would do it!” he enthuses.

Meanwhile, a new streamlined admissions process made real headway at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Canada this year and Christopher Gas, Chief Marketing Officer at the university, notes the maxim “time is gold” played its part in their new fast-track 48 hours admissions process; another product nominated in the category. “The close relationship between agents on one side and strongly empowered international admissions and marketing on TRU side has contributed to our ongoing success,” he notes.

Over at EC Malta, a programme targeted at younger learners has garnered interest. Entitled the Freestyle Programme – and available at the Malta campus only – it looks to attract younger students aged between 16 and 20 years. English lessons are specifically tailored to the teenage market – covering interesting topics students can relate to – while leisure activities including boat parties, salsa dancing and scuba diving aim to make the language learning experience a fun one. And finally, the Career Development Programme (CDP), launched by Twin Group, looks to combine work experience and language study under the framework of new visa rules. Claire Coulson, Marketing Communications Manager at Twin, explains, “The CDP is a unique programme which allows students to study and do accredited work experience. The study element is geared to preparing international students for vocational training and the placement enables to them to get the best cultural and educational experience in the UK.”

Pat on the back
“When your partners vote for you in such a manner, it attests not only to your professionalism, but your inherent qualities”, says David Oancia, Marketing Manager at Hansa Language School in Canada (nominated in the LTM Star English Language School North America category). In fact, all of those shortlisted see their nominations as recognition of their hard work. “This nomination is very rewarding to us because it means that we’re on the right track,” notes Alessandro Adorno, from Babilonia Taormina in Italy, shortlisted in the LTM Star Italian Language School category.

Receiving positive feedback from clients is a sure-fire way to evaluate business processes. “We are so happy when we have good feedback from our students and our partner agents”, comments Jean-François Vouilloux, from France Langue, one of the few schools to have secured shortlister status every year so far. “Thank you so much to our partners for their support. Being shortlisted for the fourth year running is great news for our team in Paris and Nice.”

Many of those canvassed for this article said the awards were also an incentive to work that much harder next year, a sentiment that Peter Janicina from Student Agency in the Czech Republic (nominated in the LTM Star Agency Eastern Europe category) certainly shares. “Being nominated is an excellent sign of our daily work and the enthusiasm and passion we put into this work and it motivates the whole Student Agency team to work even harder,” he says. Lucy Greaves from Embassy CES (LTM Star Chain School) agrees and says they will continue to listen to their agent partners in terms of what they can do to improve services. “Being shortlisted for a Star Award for the fourth year running is hugely rewarding for the entire Embassy team!” she says. Meanwhile, Christopher Thebing from Academia Columbus (LTM Star Spanish School category) says securing nominee status helps instill a little ambition in everyone. “We take this nomination as an honour and motivation to continue providing the highest possible quality to our clients.”

Working relationships
Having a good working relationship with a partner school or agency is, according to nominees, paramount. Philippe Minereau from French language school, St Denis European School (in the LTM Star French School category for the first time this year), notes that as an educator it is their duty to invest time in getting to know their agent partners better. “We take the time to visit agents in their own country and participate in many incentives with them. Therefore, it is fair that they shortlisted us because of this close, not only business, but also human relationship,” he states.

Nicole Kennedy, Sales Director at Studio English School observes, “We understand the pressure that agents work under and we make a special effort to respond to their requests quickly, accurately, and sympathetically; and we treat our clients – agents and students – with respect and we really like them!”

But according to Nicky Park from Let’s Uhak in Korea (LTM Star Agency Asia), being passionate about your working environment helps too. “We are a bunch of positive and active young people who are truly enjoying themselves with every step of the challenge in this business,” she enthuses.

Star staff
According to Jens Von Wichtingen from Cape Studies in South Africa (LTM Star English Language School Southern Hemisphere), good staff equals good business. “Our staff are diligent, efficient and friendly and for all of the above reasons our partners overseas enjoy working with us,” he vouches. Karel Klusak from Czech agency, Intact, agrees and says, “I have great staff who know their job and do not cause a headache for the schools we work with!”

Eleri Maitland from French in Normandy relates that being nominated means as much to her staff as it does to her. “I am sorry that I did not have a camera to snap the real pleasure on staff faces when I told them,” she relates. “The words they used were ‘merveileux’ and ‘c’est formidable’!” Meanwhile, Margaret Ranum from UniCare International Travel Insurance Services (LTM Star Insurance Provider) in New Zealand comments that experience in the field counts for something, “We think that the real difference we make is in sharing our 20 plus years’ worth of knowledge and experience in the unique insurance requirements of those involved in international education,” she says.

Cathy Lee from Bodwell High School in Canada (LTM Star High category) thinks the journey they have made with their partner agents is reflected in their nomination. “In the past 18 years that Bodwell has been working with agents we have made so many friends and have learnt so much about different business environments around the world,” she recounts.

A word of thanks
“The general feeling was that to say thank you does not express strongly enough our gratitude to those who voted for us,” summarises Maitland. Anastasia Sverkunova from DEC Educational Consultancy in the Ukraine felt the same – she wrote a poem (alas too long to reproduce) thanking schools for their support!

The Shortlist

LTM Star Innovation of the Year 2009
Twin Group, UK - The Career Development Programme
EC, Malta - Freestyle Programme
Thompson Rivers University, Canada - Fast track 48 hours admissions process
Home Language International, International - Farmstay Programme
Mountlands Language School, UK - Witches and Wizards Course
LTM Star Chain School 2009
Kaplan Aspect
Embassy CES
St Giles
Zoni Language Centers
LTM Star Spanish Language School 2009
Babylon Idiomas, Spain
Academia Columbus, Mexico/Costa Rica/Ecuador
Clic-IH, Spain
Malaca Instituto, Spain
Montañita Spanish School, Ecuador
Escuela de Idiomas Nerja, Spain
LTM Star French Language School 2009
France Langue, France
Institut Linguistique Adenet, France
Accord, France
Elit Groupe St Denis (St Denis European School), France
French in Normandy, France 
LTM Star German Language School 2009
GLS Sprachenzentrum, Germany
BWS Germanlingua, Germany
Humboldt Institut, Germany
did deutsch-institut, Germany
Carl Duisberg Centren, Germany

LTM Star English Language School Europe 2009
EAC Edinburgh, UK
Atlantic Language Galway, Ireland
Centre of English Studies, UK and Ireland
Studio School of English, UK
British Study Centres, UK
Beet Language Centre, UK

LTM Star English Language School Southern Hemisphere 2009
Good Hope Studies, South Africa
English Language Company, Australia
Cape Studies, South Africa
Languages International, New Zealand
Langports English Language College, Australia
Academic Colleges Group, New Zealand
LTM Star English Language School North America 2009
ITTTI Vancouver, Canada
Ilac, Canada«Hansa Language Centre, Canada
Tamwood International College, Canada
ILSC, Canada«King George International College, Canada
LTM Star Italian Language School 2009
Dilit-IH, Italy
Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci Florence, Italy«Linguaviva, Italy
Babilonia, Italy
International House Milano, Italy
Torre di Babele, Italy

LTM Star High School 2009
St Clare’s Oxford, UK
Millfield School, UK«Bodwell High School, Canada
Langley School District #35, Canada
Nova Scotia High School District, Canada
Abbey College, UK
LTM Star “Other” Language Provider 2009
Kudan Institute of Language & Culture, Japan
Mandarin House, China
Kai Japanese Language School, Japan
Liden & Denz Language Centre, Russia
Genki Japanese and Culture School, Japan
ISI Language School, Japan
LTM Star School Association 2009
Languages Canada, Canada
Quality English, international
MEI, Ireland
English Australia, Australia 
Ialc, international  
English UK, UK
LTM Star Work Experience Provider 2009
Tamwood International College, Canada
Twin Group, UK
English Bay College, Canada
Oneco - the training agency, Spain
Professionals UK, UK  
LTM Star Insurance Provider 2009
AVI International, France
Endsleigh Insurance Services, UK
Student Guard, Canada «VSK Insurance House, Russia
UniCare, New Zealand
LTM Star Agency Asia 2009
«iAE Edunet, Korea «Ryugaku Journal, Japan«EDM Education (LondonUhak), Korea«GIO Club, Japan«Let’s Uhak, Korea
LTM Star Agency Western Europe 2009
Cosmolingua, Switzerland
SI Study International, Sweden
ESL - Language Studies Abroad, Switzerland
Boa Lingua, Switzerland «Cactus, UK
LTM Star Agency Eastern Europe 2009
DEC Educational Consultancy, Ukraine
Intact, Czech Republic
Student Agency, Czech Republic
Students International, Russia
Global Vizyon, Turkey
LTM Star Agency Latin America 2009
Universo Educativo, Mexico
Experimento, Brazil
Central de Intercambio (CI), Brazil
STB, Brazil
Teducamos, Colombia
LTM Star Agency North America 2009
The Learning Traveller, Canada
Lingua Service Worldwide, USA
Amerispan, USA«NRCSA, USA
JP Canada.com, Canada 
LTM Star Agency Middle East and Africa 2009
Lingualink, Israel
Educom, Lebanon«Al Ahlam Training Services, Oman
Almajd Center of Education, Israel
International Group for Education Consultants (IGEC), Saudi Arabia

LTM Star New Agency 2009
GoLearnTo.com, UK
Dr. Bubo, Slovakia
Travel Solutions, Poland
Stein Study Abroad, Ireland
Language Collection, Russia
Agence Babel, Switzerland 

LTM Star Agency Association 2009
Salta, Switzerland
Belta, Brazil
Ialca, Italy
Aseproce, Spain
Tieca, Thailand

Contact any advertiser in 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.





English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
IALC International  
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
Perth Education City
Quality English  
WYSE Travel

Boa Lingua  
Central de
       Intercambio - CI  
      Studies Abroad  

English Australia  
IEFT- International
      Education Fairs of
LTM Star Awards  
Quality English  
WYSE Travel


Student Guard

LTM Digital  

Malta Tourism
Perth Education City

Engliah Bay College
ONECO - the
      training agency  
Professionals UK 

English Australia  
English Language
Perth Education City

Bodwell College  
Canadian &
      Student Services  
      (Canada, Ireland)
English Bay College
Hansa Language
      Centre of Toronto  
ILAC - International
      Language Academy
      of Canada  
ILSC - International
      Language Schools
      of Canada  
ITTTI Vancouver
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
Ottawa International
Thompson Rivers

Beet Language
Bell International 
      (Malta, UK) 
British Study
EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps.
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)
Embassy CES  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy,New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
IALC International
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      UK, USA)
LAL Language
       and Leisure  
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
      Language School  
Professionals UK 
Quality English  
St Giles Colleges
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Studio School of
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy,New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
Queen Ethelburga's
Twin Group  
       (Ireland, UK)
University of
       Essex - International

France Langue  
French in

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  
IP International
      Projects GmbH  
      (England, France,
      Germany, Spain)

Atlantic Language
Centre of English

IH Milano  

Kai Japanese
      Language School  
Kudan Institute of
      Language &

      Language School  
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism

Home Language


Cape Studies  
Good Hope Studies

Almeria Spanish
Escuela de
      Idiomas Nerja  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Malaga ĄSi!  
ONECO - the
       training agency  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Costa Rica,
      Ecuador, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Malta, New Zealand,
      Africa, Spain, USA)

IEFT- International
      Education Fairs
      of Turkey  

Angelo State
California State
      University Long
Eastern Washington
Human International
San Diego State
St Timothy's School
University of
      California Riverside
University of
      California San
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)

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