A good place to be
I’m back in the office after a sabbatical of six months, which was spent getting to grips with my baby boy, George, who is rather vocal although not multilingual - yet! While some of my mum chums weren’t so keen to return to work, I have to admit it’s been nice being back at Hothouse Towers. Emailing and speaking to people all around the world allows one to feel part of an international network of friends and colleagues, which is a pleasure and you realise when you’re not at work fairly unusual compared with many people’s lives.
As if I needed further reminder that language travel is not a run-of-the-mill industry, I see pictures from the latest Wystc event in Turkey oh, it’s a hard job networking, as I can see (page 12). It’s not only fun being in the industry, it’s also fun travelling overseas to study or undertake a work placement too, at least, that is the idea. That is why so many agencies offer a raft of extra services designed to ensure a client is adequately prepared for their trip abroad and can concentrate on enjoying themselves once they are there. This may mean orientation sessions are offered, or even that trips and excursions have been pre-booked, in some cases (pages 22-23).
The industry continues to diversify, with work experience programmes really growing in popularity and availability (page 26). In Australia, one internship provider underlines that they too put a strong focus on orientation in-country, to make sure their students get the maximum benefit out of working while there housing assistance and social activities are on offer to interns (page 48).
The type of experiences on offer now for young people keen to travel and learn are so much more varied than even 20 years ago. Volunteering, for example, is another particular sector taking off. Indeed, i-to-i, one of the more established operators of volunteering placements and an organiser of Tefl courses, is now actually part of a large European conglomerate, TUI (page 46). This is testament indeed to the future of this sector given that large corporate money is flowing into the industry. TUI has specified that it is looking at acquiring other “adventure travel” companies.
For a taste of adventure, South Africa is a good choice for language students, report schools there. Not only is South Africa grabbing agents’ attention this year, but new schools are cropping up in Cyprus and Fiji (page 25). Plenty to get excited about for everyone.