||After a dire business year in 2010, the Spanish study abroad market is once again on an upward trend with the junior market in particular being singled out as a growth area in the future.
|• The total number of students placed by the 15 agencies in our survey was 7,906
• Individual agencies placed between 45 and 1,700 students on courses each year
• Average business growth was 24.8 per cent
• The average length of stay for Spanish students was 2.7 weeks
• Overall, 55 per cent of Spanish students stayed with host families when studying overseas
• 30 per cent of Spanish students were studying abroad for their studies at home
• 43 per cent of the agencies in our survey charged a handling fee, of between e45 (US$66) and e200 (US$294)
||Most popular courses
|1. UK 46%
2. Ireland 19%
3. USA 12%
4. Malta 8%
5. Canada 6%
6. France 2%
6. Germany 2%
6. New Zealand 2%
||1. Junior 39%
2. General 36%
3. Intensive 11%
4. Work 4.5%
5. Summer 4%
6. Academic/exam prep. 3%
7. Business 2.5%
|Reasons for language travel
||Average percentage agency business
|1. Studies at home 30%
2. Future work 29%
3. Pleasure 22%
4. Current work 12%
5. Studies overseas 5%
No reply 2%
||1. Language programmes 82%
2. Secondary education 6%
3. Internships 2.5%
4. Higher education 2%
4. Volunteer 1%
|How do advisors recruit students?
||How do advisors find new business partners?
|1. Word-of-mouth 50%
2. Website 32%
3. E/online marketing 7%
4. Seminars to students 5%
5. Mailshots 2%
6. Press 0.5%
||1. Workshops 46%
1. Internet 29%
3. Fairs & expos 9%
4. STM 8%
|Percentage of advisors who recognised each of the following organisations
English Australia 50%
Languages Canada 50%
Groupement FLE 21%
Italian in Italy 7%
English NZ 50%
English UK 93%
British Council 100%
Quality English 86%
Compared with last year, the Spanish study abroad market has experienced a sharp turnaround in fortunes in 2011, with 73 per cent of the Spanish study abroad advisors that took part in this year’s survey indicating that they have experienced an increase in student bookings of between five and 150 per cent so far this year. In our 2010 survey (see LTM, September 2010, pages 30-31), only one agency reported business growth, while 50 per cent of advisors had experienced a drop in bookings. In contrast, this year only 27 per cent of respondents said their business had decreased in 2011 by between three and 10 per cent. Overall, the average business growth across the advisors who took part in this issue’s survey was just under 25 per cent.
Language and destination trends
While English remained the number-one language choice among Spanish study abroad students, accounting for just over 82 per cent of bookings, its share had fallen from 91 per cent last year. This year French language programmes took a 5.4 per cent share of the market and German just over three per cent. Other language choices included Japanese and Chinese. In terms of destination, the UK was at the top of the league table although its share had slipped from 56 per cent last year to 46 per cent this year. Both Ireland and Malta had also experienced a drop in market share of around two and three percentage points respectively. Gaining share of the Spanish market were the USA, whose slice was up from seven to just over 12 per cent, and Canada which grew from two to six per cent.
Student and course trends
The selection of study abroad advisory centres that took part in our survey this year mainly concentrated on the junior sector of the Spanish market. This is reflected in the fact that junior programmes were the most popular courses and the main impetus for agency clients to take a language travel programme was for their studies at home. In addition, after language courses, which made up the lion’s share of advisors’ business, secondary education places made up the second most important part of agency business overall.
The agencies that took part in this issue’s survey worked with between two and 200 language schools in between one and 22 countries. The most popular way of finding new business partners for Spanish agencies was agency workshops, followed by the Internet. Looking at student recruitment, word-of-mouth recommendations were the main source of clients, accounting for an average of 50 per cent of business. Agency websites have increased in importance as a marketing tool, this year attracting 32 per cent of clients compared with 22 per cent last year.
Although a further drop in government grants for study abroad is forecast, coupled with the decrease in disposable income and a high unemployment rate, the Spanish study abroad market is relatively resilient to these economic factors, according to one respondent, and the majority of our survey respondents were upbeat about business in the coming year. Junior summer camps and long-term study packages were earmarked as being growth areas, although one agency mentioned that the market remains highly price sensitive.
• The Spanish economy was hit hard by the global recession but has begun a slow recovery in 2011, recording a growth of 0.8 per cent during the first quarter, compared with the same period the previous year the strongest growth rate since the second quarter of 2008.
• Spain is home to almost a third of the euro zone’s unemployed, and its unemployment rate continues to rise. In the first quarter of 2011 it was 21.3 per cent, surpassing the historical high of 20 per cent in June 2010.
• For the full year, the National Statistics Institute forecasts that Spain’s GDP will increase by 1.3 per cent.
Source: National Statistics Institute
Spanish advisors named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Canada: CCEL, Vancouver, BC; iTTTi, Vancouver, BS; LSI, Toronto, ON; PLI, Toronto, ON. In Germany: GLS, Berlin. In Ireland: Centre of English Studies, Dublin; Emerald Cultural Institute, Dublin; Galway Cultural Institute, Galway; ISI, Dublin; North Moon Language Institute, Cork; Slaney Language Centre, Wexford. In Malta: Chamber College of English, Gzire; Inlingua, Sliema; Linguatime, Sliema. In the UK: Celtic School of English, Cardiff; Central School of English, London; Concord College, Shrewsbury; EAC, Edinburgh; Hampstead School of English, London; Frances King School of English, London; International Summer School, Eastbourne; ISIS Group, various; King’s College, London; London School of English, London; Malvern House, London; Melton College, York; OISE, various; Regency College, Brighton; Stafford House Study Holiday, Canterbury; Sussex Downs College, Lewes; Thames Valley Summer Schools, Windsor; UIC, London. In the USA: California School of Languages, Santa Monica, CA; ELC, various. International: EC; LAL.
Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Academic Global Network Consultancy, S.L; Active Global English House; Aston Idiomas en el Mundo; Aula Ingles; BCN Groups International Camps; British Summer; Go Languages; GSC Study Abroad; Language-in Study and Go S.L; Language School Worldwide S.L; LanguagesGo! S.L; On Spain; Studyglobal Spain; Tirant Lo Blanc Cursos de Idiomas; Twist Gestion de Ocio Educativo.