December 2011 issue

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USA Feedback

Although the proportion of students who first found out about their course through an agent was similar to last year, the proportion of students who actually booked through an education advisor was much lower.

USA Feedback at a glance

Total number of students: (female 39, male 36, unknown 1) 76
Average age in years: 23.4
Average length of programme in weeks: 14.5
Average number of students in class: 9.7
Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 17.6
% of students who found out about their course through an agent: 38
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 40
% of students who had been on another language programme: 28
% of students who would recommend their school: 95

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
1. Asia 44%
2. W Europe 27%
3. Middle East 12%
4. Latin America 9%
5. C & E Europe 7%
6. Africa 1%
1. Japanese 16%
2. Saudi Arabian 16%
3. Korean 11%
3. Spanish 11%
5. Chinese 5%
5. Turkish 5%
7. Russian 4%
7. Swiss 4%
7. Taiwanese 4%
10. French 3%
10. German 3%
10. Mexican 3%
10. Romanian 3%

In my class there are... How easy is it to practise your language skills with native speakers?
1. The right amount of students (66%)
2. Too many students who speak my language 17%
3. Too many students from one other country 10%
4. Too many students 1%
1. Very easy (51%)
2. Quite hard (29%)
3. Quite easy (13%)
4. Very hard (7%)

How did you find your programme? Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. Recommended by an advisor (38%)
2. It was recommended by a friend/relative 33%
3. I found it on the internet (25%)
4. I saw it advertised 3%
unknown 1%
Yes (40%)
No (55%)
Unknown (5%)

Student reasons for school selection included:
“The website was good – all the students looked like they were having fun – and there was a good mix of nationalities”
“I liked the school’s location and it had dormitory accommodation”
“It had a good reputation and is downtown”
“It had the perfect programme for me”
“My brother studied here before and was very pleased with it”
“I liked the fact that I could do an internship while I was studying”

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (89%)
No (9%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (63%)
No (34%)
Unknown (3%)
Yes (54%)
No (42%)
Unknown (4%)

Student nationality
Propelled largely by the Saudi Arabian government’s investment in study abroad scholarships, Saudi student numbers have been on the rise in the USA in recent years. This is reflected in this issue’s Feedback survey of international students studying English in the USA, where Saudi students (16 per cent), alongside Japanese students (16 per cent), accounted for the largest group of repsondents. By contrast, last year Saudi students were in third place with an eight per cent share (see LTM, December 2010, pages 30-31). Taking a broader look at the origin of students by world region, Asia remained the most significant source of English language students for US educators, accounting for 44 per cent of student respondents, followed by Western Europeans with 27 per cent. Spanish were the largest Western European nationality in our survey this year, accounting for 11 per cent of respondents. Latin America’s share has dropped by seven percentage points on last year, making up nine per cent of respondents.

Student motivation
When asked what they currently used English for, 37 per cent of students said for their studies, while 17 per cent said they used English for their work. Looking ahead to how they would use their new language skills in the future, 38 per cent indicated that they needed English for their future studies in the USA, a significantly higher proportion than last year’s 25 per cent. This may be owing to the greater proportion of Saudi Arabian students that took part in this year’s survey, as 84 per cent of this nationality were specifically learning English for further studies in the USA. A further 15 per cent of all students were going to study at a university in another English-speaking country, and 32 per cent were intending to use their English skills in their future employment.

Student enrolment
Using an educational advisor was the way in which 38 per cent of students first found out about their school – similar to last year’s 39 per cent. However, this year only 40 per cent of respondents actually booked through an advisor, compared with 50 per cent previously. Personal endorsement of a school from friends or family was important, with 33 per cent of students indicating that this was how they first heard of their programme, while the Internet accounted for the method in which 25 per cent of students found their course.

Standard of the schools
Class sizes ranged from two to 15, averaging out at just under 10 students per class, and this seemed to be satisfactory for a majority of students, as 66 per cent of respondents agreed that their class size and nationality mix was just right. However, 17 per cent of students indicated that they thought there were too many students who spoke their language in their class, and this was made up of mainly Chinese and Japanese students. Overall, students were highly satisfied with their courses, evidenced by the fact that 95 per cent said they would recommend their programme to others.

Living in the USA
The cost of living was found to be high by 64 per cent of respondents. Average weekly spend for tuition and accommodation was US$514 this year, compared with US$498 last year. Finally we asked students what their top reasons for studying in the USA were. Language, lifestyle/culture and people topped the list.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: American Language Program, Columbia University, New York, NY; California ESL, Los Angeles, CA; ELI at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; English Language Institute of Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY; Geos, various; Hawaii Tokai International College, Honolulu, HI; Intercultural Communications College, Honolulu, HI; Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI; Kaplan International Colleges (KIC), various; University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE.
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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.






Britannia Student Services  

STA Travel Co (FELCA)  
IALC International  
International House World Organisation  
NEAS Australia  
Quality English  

Cambridge Esol  

Alphe Conferences  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

Malta Tourism Authority  

NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  

Bow Valley College  

Hutong School  
Mandarin House  

Camp Beaumont  
IALC International  
International House World Organisation  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House College London  
Mont Rose College of Management & Sciences  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Study Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  

Clare Language Centre  

Dialogo Language Services  

Kai Japanese Language School  
Sendagaya Japanese Institute  
Yokohama International Education Academy  

Capital Education  

Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  

Inturjoven Spanish Courses   

EF Language Colleges Ltd  

ELS Language Centers  
Hawaii Tokai International College  
Zoni Language Centers  


Britannia Student Services  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

Bow Valley College  


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