December 2009 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
Market Report
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus

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Italy’s UK bias

Growth has been somewhat stilted for the outbound student market in Italy, while the UK won the lion’s share of business in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, short-term study programmes are certainly the preferred choice.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by nine of the 11 agencies in our survey was 5,700

• Individual agencies placed between 30 and 3,700 students on courses per year

• Average business growth was two per cent in the last 12 months

• The average length of stay for Italian students was three weeks

• Overall, 49 per cent of Italian students stayed in host families when studying overseas

• Six agencies charged their clients a handling fee of between e50 (US$73) and e80 (US$117)

• In the last 12 months, agencies worked with an average of just 12 different providers

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 71%
2. USA 9.5%
3. Ireland 4%
4. Australia 3%
4. Spain 3%
6. Germany 2%
6. Malta 2%
8. New Zealand 1.5%
9. France 0.5%
Other 3.5%
1. General 36%
2. Summer 20%
3. Intensive 14%%
4. Junior 9%
5. Language & work experience 5%
6. Business 4%
7. Academin / exam prep. 2%
Other 10%

Reasons for language travel Average percentage agency business
1. Studies at home 54%
2. Future work 27%
3. Current work 9%
4. Pleasure 6.5%
5. Studies overseas 3.5%
1. Language progr. 83%
2. Work & travel 5%
2. Internships 5%
4. Higher education 1%
Other 6%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new business partners?
1. Word-of-mouth 53%
2. Website 31%
3. E/online 7%
4. Seminars to students 5%
5. Mail shots 3%
6. Advertising in press 1%
1. Workshops 36%
2. Fairs and expos 28%
3. Internet 5%
3. LTM/ETM 5%
Other 26%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 27%
English Australia 45%

Languages Canada 45%

Souffle 45%
FLE.fr 9%
L'Office 9%
Unosel 27%

MEI 91%

Asils 36%
Italian in Italy 27%

Feltom 73%

New Zealand
English NZ 36%
Aeple 9%

South Africa
EduSa 18%
English SA 18%

Fedele 54%

ABLS 45%
English UK 91%
British Council 91%

Accet 45%
CEA 9%

Eaquals 64%
Ialc 82%
IHWO 18%
Quality English 82%
Tandem 45%

Market growth
There was mixed opinion concerning the state of business growth for Italian travel agencies this year. Out of the 11 agents that took part in this month’s Agency Survey on Italy, four posted a growth of between 11 and 50 per cent, while four reported that business had slowed by between –12 and –30 per cent. Two reported that business had remained stable. Such disparity in the poll meant that average business growth was quite low, two per cent compared with the four per cent in 2008 (see LTM, April 2008, pages 14-15). Meanwhile, Italian students are still showing a preference for shorter courses with average length of stay coming in at a moderate three weeks compared with 2.5 weeks previously.

Language and destination trends
The UK remains the number-one language destination for Italian language students, increasing its market share by a massive 25 percentage points to 71 per cent. Meanwhile, the luck of the Irish appears to be waning with just four per cent of the Italian contingent opting to study English in Ireland this year, compared with 24 per cent previously. Canada, accounting for a seven per cent share of the student market in 2008, was noticeably absent from the poll this year, replaced instead by other English speaking destinations such as Australia (three per cent), Malta (two per cent) and New Zealand (1.5 per cent). Spain, chosen by just 3.5 per cent of agency clients, was the most popular non-English speaking destination, followed by Germany (three per cent). Meanwhile, English remains the number one language of choice for Italian students, accounting for 91 per cent of all bookings.

Student and course trends
Further education at home was the primary reason Italian students gave for learning another language overseas. Fifty-four per cent cited this as their main reason, compared with 36 per cent who were said to be learning a language with current or future work endeavours in mind. Popular programmes included general and summer vacation courses. Meanwhile, two agents reported that high school programmes and mini-stays topped the list of requests this year.

Agency business
Italian agencies primarily relied on personal referrals from previous clients to recruit new students, up 13 percentage points to 53 per cent this year. An agency website was the second most productive recruitment tool, accounting for 31 per cent of new business. However, e-marketing via the Internet – a method not profiled in last year’s survey – also proved fruitful (seven per cent). On average, surveyed agents represented a total of 33 partner schools in eight different countries, however, in the last 12 months, active business had taken place with an average of just 12. When looking for new business partners, respondents rated workshops (down eight percentage points to 36 per cent) and fairs & expos (up eight points to 28 per cent) as their primary channels.

Looking ahead
Opinion concerning the future was somewhat mixed, with half predicting some sort of market stabilisation and the other half forecasting an upturn in business. Junior and executive programmes were flagged and one agent noted that “continuous innovation and substantial differentiation from competitors” were the key to recovery in 2010.

Economic overview

• Italian investments, imports and exports declined in the second quarter of 2009, leading the economy to contract for a fifth-straight quarter. Investments fell 2.9 per cent from the previous quarter and imports fell three per cent, while GDP shrank 0.5 per cent.

• The euro region’s deepest recession since World War II has hurt demand for Italian goods and raised the jobless rate to a four-year high. Still, the rate of the economic contraction is slowing, and consumer and business confidence have rebounded as France and Germany emerge from recession.

• The government’s incentives to buy cars and home appliances helped boost consumer spending, which increased 0.6 per cent in the second quarter.

Sources: Bloomberg

Italian agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Germany: Carl Duisberg Centren, various. In Ireland: Horner School of English, Dublin. In Malta: Clubclass Residential Language School, St Julian’s. In Spain: AIP Language Institute, Valencia. In the UK: Oxford English Centre, Oxford; English Language Centre, Bristol; Hampstead School of English, London; Melton College, York; Totnes School of English, Totnes; Harrow House, Swanage; Language in London, London; ISCA School of English, Exeter; Concorde International, Canterbury; London School of English, London; Regency College, Brighton; Oise, London; Southbourne School of English; Francis King School of English. Worldwide: St Giles, Embassy CES, Language Studies International; Kaplan International College (KIC); Centre of English Studies.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: WEP, Torino; Auriga Centro di Lingue e Culture, Montesilvano; Ballocchi Travel, Thiene; Ciao, Rome; Education Consultants, Puegnago del Garda; ATW - Across the World, Rome; Godspeed, Milan; Coming, Prato; Language Team Srl, Milan; ALP Corsi di Inglese, Bergamo; MB Scambi Culturali Srl, Padova.

Contact any advertiser in the 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  
MEI Ireland  
IALC International  

Alphe Conferences  
IALC International  


Alphe Conferences  
College Bound
Student Marketing  

Malta Tourism
      and Training
      Trade Queensland  

Twin Group  
      (Ireland, England,

English Australia  
Embassy CES  
      and Training
      Trade Queensland  

College Platon  
Elmwood School  
ILAC - International
      Language Academy
      of Canada  
Richmond School
      District #38  

IH Xi'an
Mandarin House

ABC Languages  
      (England, Ireland,
      USA, Cyprus,
Bell International  
      (Malta, UK)
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)
Study Group  
       (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy,New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
Twin Group (
      Ireland, England,
Queen Ethelburga's
SUL Language
University of Essex -

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

MEI Ireland  

Kai Japanese
      Language School  

      Language School  
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism

Dominion English

Holme Park  

Malaga Si  

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

Inlingua Language
NYC Language
University of
      Nebraska - Lincoln  
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)  

Celtic School  

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