|The total number of students placed by the 13 agencies in our survey was 5.715
Individual agencies placed between 35 and 2.450 students on courses per year
Average lenght of stay for German students was 11 weeks
The average length of stay for Italian students was three weeks
Overall, 52 per cent of German students preferred host family accommodation
29 per cent of German agency clients were studying abroad with further studies overseas in mind
Language learning is the most lucrative sector of the study abroad market for German agents
|Most popular course requests
||Average percentage of agency business by sector
|1. General language 27%
2. Intensive 18%
3. Academic/exam prep 14%
4. Junior 13%
5. Summer vacation 8%
6. Business 5%
7. Lang plus work experience 4%
8. Under/postgraduate 1%
||1. Language programmes 56%
2. Secondary education abroad 18%
3. Volunteering 11%
4. Internships 7%
5 Work & Travel 3%
6. Higher education 1%
|Reasons for studying overseas
|1. Future studies overseas 29%
2. Further work 18%
3. Pleasure 13%
4. Current work 2.5%
5. Further studies at home 7%
6. Other 22%
||1. UK 28%
2. Malta 12%
3. USA 12%
4. Spain 7%
5. France 6%
6. Ireland 6%
7. Canada 5%
8. Italy 5%
9. New Zealand 4%
10. South Africa 4%
11. Australia 3%
12. Japan 0.5%
|How do agents recruit students?
||How do agents find new schools to represent?
|1. Word-of-mouth 30%
2. Website 29%
3. E/online marketing 13%
4. Advertising in press 3%
5. Mail shots 3%
4. Seminars to students 3%
|| 1. B2B conferences
2. Internet 28%
3. Language fairs and student expos 12%
4. STM 2%
|Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
English Australia 40%
Languages Canada 40%
Groupement FLE 40%
Italian in Italy 30%
Eng NZ 40%
British Council 100%
English UK 90%
World Organisation 80%
Quality English 50%
For the third successive year, the German study abroad market documented healthy business growth with all but one agency reporting either increased or stable business over the last 12 months. Five of the 10 agencies that took part documented a business increase of between 10 and 50 per cent. Average business growth was a respectable 10.5 per cent, compared with 17.2 per cent in 2011 (see STM, June 2011, pages 32-33) and 7.7 per cent in 2010 (see LTM, April 2010, pages 24-25).
Language and destination trends
The greatest proportion of agency clientele requested English-taught programmes (53 per cent, compared with 72 per cent previously). However, as evidenced in our 2010 survey, Spanish (20 per cent), French (12 per cent) and Italian (nine per cent) programmes are also requested. Surveyed agencies documented 13 study destinations, nine of them English-speaking. The UK remained the number one ELT destination choice for German students, accounting for a 28 per cent share of average agency business, down nine percentage points. After recovering marketshare last year, the USA lost it once more, with just 12 per cent of clientele requesting this study destination compared with 21 per cent previously.
Student and course trends
In 2010, the most common reason given for learning abroad was for future work purposes. In 2011, current work was the main motivator. This year, there were more clients learning overseas with further study abroad in mind (29 per cent). Programme types are heavily biased towards language learning, with 27 per cent of clientele requesting a general language course and 18 per cent an intensive language course. Junior programmes, the second most common course requested in 2011, dropped eight percentage points to 13 per cent this year. On average, German students were studying abroad for a longer period of time: 11 weeks compared with six previously. German agencies represented an average of 35 schools in 11 countries.
In our 2010 report, the language learning sector accounted for 71 per cent of all business generated by German agents. In 2011, this figure dropped to 58 per cent and this year this sector dipped a further two percentage points. Rather than specialising solely in the language learning market (although two agencies said 100 per cent of all business received was for this sector), agents looked to be branching out into other sectors, catering for clients requesting volunteering packages (11 per cent), secondary placements abroad (18 per cent) and internships (seven per cent). German agencies indicated that specialist b2b workshops were the best way to meet new school partners (46 per cent, compared with 48 per cent previously), followed by the Internet. In terms of marketing, the most effective method was word-of-mouth referrals from previous clients (30 per cent), closely followed by agency websites (29 per cent).
German agents are keen to build on the positive business experienced over the last 12 months, with two agents predicting continued growth. Two were a little more cautious, forecasting stable business. As well as becoming more competitive, one agent noted that the language travel industry in Germany had begun to stagnate. They also warned that new start-up agencies online could be compromising on service for price.
• The Bundesbank said Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, will continue to grow even as the sovereign debt crisis spreads uncertainty.
• “The German economy made a very good start to the summer quarter, [and recent data] speak in favour of Germany continuing its upward course for now,” said the Frankfurt-based central bank. “Still, the outlook for future economic developments continues to be subject to great uncertainty.”
• German business confidence unexpectedly dropped to the lowest level in more than two and a half years in September and unemployment rose for a fifth month in August as companies felt the strain of weaker euro-area demand and slower global trade.
• The Bundesbank in June lifted its growth forecast for this year to one per cent from 0.6 per cent. It predicts growth of 1.6 per cent for 2013.
German agents named a range of programmes they work with, including in Canada: Ilac, Toronto and Vancouver. In Germany: Academia Columbus, Cologne. In Ireland: iStudy International (ISI), Dublin; Linguaviva, Dublin. In Italy: Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci, Florence; Scuola Palazzo Malvisi, Bagno. In Malta: GV Malta, St. Paul’s Bay; Maltalingua, St. Julian’s. In Portugal: CIAL - Centro de Linguas, Lisbon. In South Africa: Good Hope Studies, Cape Town. In Spain: Debla, Malaga; Don Quijote, various; Lexis Instituto de Idioma, Malaga. In the UK: Edinburgh University, Edinburgh; King William’s College, Isle of Man; London School of English, London; Sedbergh School, Cumbria; Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth; St Bede’s Summer School, Hailsham; St Leonard’s School, Fife; Torquay International School, Torquay; University of the Arts, London. International: ELS; Klub Group, Language Studies International, Navitas.
Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey:
Sarah Jochums Internatsberatung; Kultur Life; XPLORE; Experiment e.V; College Council; easy Sprachreisen; Ausland Sprachendienst; Sprachdirekt; Praktikawelten; F+U Academy of Languages.