February 2006 issue

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Agency Survey
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Feedback Italy

Growth in the number of American students going to Italy to learn Italian and a declining use of agents by students to book their language course characterised this year's Feedback survey on Italy.

Italy feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 45, male 19 (unknown 5) 69

Average age in years: 34

Average length of programme in weeks: 8.7

Average number of students per class: 5.1

Average number of hours of lang. tuition per week: 19.2

% of students who found their course through an agent: 19

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 17

% of students who had been on another language programme: 41

% of students who would recommend their school: 100

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (45%)
Asia (9%)
C & E Europe (4%)
North America (29%)
Australasia (4%)
Unknown (5%)
C+L America (4%)
1.US (28%)
2.German (10%)
3.British (7%)
4.Japanese (6%)
5.Austrian (4%)
5.Austrialian (4%)
8.Spanish (3%)
5.Guatemalan (3%)

In my class there are... How will you use your Italian in the future?
Too many students (7%)
Too many students who speak my language (2%)
Too many students from one other countries (4%)
None of these (84%)
Unknown (3%)
College study in italy (13%)
College study at home
Current or fututre work (43%)
For pleasure only (32%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of the teaching
II found it on the Internet (51%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (19%)
t was recommended by an agent (19%)
I saw it advertised (8%)
No reply (3%)
Excellent (74%)
Good (20%)
Satisfactory (2%)
Unsatisfactory (4%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (54%)
Good (22%)
Satisfactory (7%)
Unknown (17%)
Excellent (39%)
Good (30%)
Satisfactory (12%)
Poor (2%)
Unknown (17%)

Standard of your social programme? What is your accomodation while in Italy?
Excellent (30%)
Good (29%)
Satisfactory (13%)
Unsatisfactory (6%)
Unknown (22%)
Host family (23%)
Residential/single room (31%)
Residential/dormitory (7%)
Other (39%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (91%)
No (6%)
Unknown (3%)

Yes (64%)
No (32%)
Unknown (4%)

Yes (29%)
No (64%)
Unknown (7%)

Student profile
American students recovered their position as the top nationality at Italian schools this year, making up 28 per cent of the student population. This is in contrast to the results of our previous Feedback survey on Italy when US student numbers were unusually low, just five per cent (see Language Travel Magazine, January 2004, pages 14-15). Language schools in Italy also cater heavily for the Western European market, with 45 per cent of students coming from this world region, although this was down from 64 per cent in our last survey. Both surveys, however, illustrate a heavy reliance by schools on North America and Western Europe. The remaining students were fairly evenly spread between Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Australasia.

Student nationality
The average age of students increased this year to 34 years, up from 27.6 in our previous survey. This is notably high compared with other Feedback surveys, for example, in Spain, the average age was 26.3 years and in Germany it was 24.1 years. This year there was an increase in the number of students learning Italian for work reasons (up to 43 per cent from 34 per cent), while those learning Italian for pleasure decreased from 45 per cent to 32 per cent. Of the 41 per cent of students who had studied a language overseas before, 36 per cent had previously studied Italian in Italy.

Student enrolment
There were fewer students in our survey this year compared with last year, but across our sample, agent usage had dropped with just 19 per cent of students finding out about their course through an agent and 17 per cent booking by this means, compared with 33 per cent and 38 per cent respectively in our previous survey. This trend is due in part to the increase in US students, none of whom used the sevices of an agent to find their course. Specific reasons given by students as to why they chose their school included location, the recommendation of friends, as well as, in one case, the availability of cheap flights to the area.

Standard of the schools
Students were very happy with the standard of their schools with all students answering the question saying that they would recommend their school to others. The standard of the teachers received the highest individual score with 94 per cent of respondents saying that they were either excellent or good, while the social programme received the lowest score with six per cent branding this to be poor. Of those students who said that their accommodation was excellent, the largest group was staying in host family accommodation (37 per cent), closely followed by residential accommodation (33 per cent). Despite the large number of US students, just two per cent of students said there were too many students in their class who spoke their language and four per cent said that there were too many who spoke another language.

Living in Italy
Italy';s language, people and culture were picked as favourite aspects by most respondents and 72 per cent also found it either easy or very easy to practise their language skills with local people. The average spend per week on tuition and accommodation was given as e354 (US$418) compared with e389 (US$459) previously.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Academia del Giglio, Florence; Centro Culturale Giacomo Puccini, Viareggio Lu; Comitato Linguistico, Perugia; Idea Verona, Verona; International House, Palermo; Laboratorio Linguistico, Milazzo; Lingua IT, Verona; Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, Rome; Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, Sienna; Sorrento Lingue, Sorrento.

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.




Education New
      Zealand Trust
English Australia

Malta Tourism

Alphe Agent

Language Travel

English Australia

Cultura Wien

Académie des
      langues de Trois
Algonquin and
      Lakeshore Catholic
      District School Board
Bodwell College
Bow Valley College
      Student Services
Cowichan Valley
      School District # 79
Delta School District
Fraser Cascade -
      School District # 78
Ottawa International
      Student Programmes
Richmond School
      District # 38
University of Calgary
West Vancouver
      School District # 45

Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, Scotland,
      South Africa, Spain,
Bell International
Eastbourne School
      of English
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
Langbourne College
Leeds English
      Language School
Malvern House
Oxford Brookes
Queen Ethelburga's
Salisbury School of
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
St John's Wood
      School of English
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
University of

Centre d'Etudes des
      Langues de Saint-
Institut Français Riéra
IS Aix-en-Provence
SILC - Séjours
      (England, France,
Université de

F+U Academy
      (Austria, Germany,
Lichtenberg Kolleg
Prolog- International
      House Berlin

High Schools
      International (HSI)
      (England, Australia,
      Canada, Ireland,

Est Ovest
Istituto Linguistico

EC English
      Language Centre
      (England, Malta)
inlingua Malta
Malta Tourism

Education New
      Zealand Trust

Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

Cape Studies -
      Pacific Gateway
      Study Group
Eurocentres Cape
Geos Cape Town
      Language  Centre
Good Hope Studies 
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town
Interlink School of
International House -
Jeffrey's Bay
      Language Centre
LAL Cape Town
LAL Durban
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town

Estudio Sampere
      (Ecuador, Spain)
Kings College
      (England, Spain)

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New Zealand,
      Russia, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)

American Language
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
Zoni Language

CELTiC (Schools)