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Contents - December 2007


Special Report
2007 – the year in review
The year 2007 has been another busy one for those in the language travel industry with new programmes, destinations and technology all making their mark. The combined efforts of government and school associations have also been influential this year, as Bethan Norris reports.


Direction
Agency extras
Agency extras, from arranging flights, insurance, hotels, excursions and providing phone cards, are often expected by clients as part of an agency’s service. Some agencies have branched out to provide a comprehensive service in these areas and many have found it to be worth their while in terms of adding value to their business. Jane Vernon Smith reports.




Destination
Massachusetts and New York states
For many English language students, New York State and Massachusetts are first choice destinations and with their many educational opportunities and tourist attractions it is not difficult to see why. Bethan Norris takes a look at what’s on offer.



Opinion

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.


Opinion
A good place to be


News
Wystc wows delegates in Turkey
Korean students getting younger
Value of ELT to UK declines, says British Council
Sprachcaffe opens school in Morocco
Schengen visa could cause problems in Malta
New focus on language skills for immigrants


Travel News
EasyJet eyes up France
Open skies between Singapore and the UK
Aviation boom continues


Agency News
Quality English visits Italy and the Balkan States
Cactus goes stateside with new office in New York City

Agency Survey
Brazil stays strong
Brazil’s outgoing student market continued to increase in 2006 and the beginning of 2007, fuelled mainly by a healthy economy and an increased interest in studying overseas.

Feedback
Canada
This issue’s survey reveals a higher proportion of Western Europeans studying in Canada, but agent usage was down on the previous year.

Course Guide
Other languages
Learning a different language is not just about English, French, Spanish or German. Students who want to be challenged by their language learning experience have a variety of non-mainstream languages to choose from including Mandarin, Greek and Arabic.

Spotlight
Executive courses in the USA
In an era of globalisation there is a large and growing need for Business English courses among business executives and schools in the USA report a steady influx of programme requests.

Status
Italy 2006

The Status survey gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through this initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics, a summary of which will be published in the March 2008 issue.