February 2008 issue

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Italy Feedback

According to this month’s Feedback survey on Italy, agent usage dipped a little in 2007 with more students opting to use the Internet when sourcing a new school. Meanwhile, the nationality mix remains interestingly varied.

Italy feedback at a glance
Total number of students: (female 47, male 15, unknown 3) 65
Average age in years: 30
Average length of programme in weeks: 11.4
Average number of students in class: 7.5
Average number of hours of language tuition per week:19.5
% of students who found out about their course through an agent: 12
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 26
% of students who had been on another lang. programme: 45
% of students who would recommend their school: 91

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
1. W Europe 49%
2. North America 18%
3. Latin America 11%
4. Asia 9%
5. C & E Europe 8%
6. Australasia 1.5%
No reply 3.5%
1. American 15%
2. German 10%
3. British 9%
4. Japanese 8%
4. Swedish 8%
6. Swiss 6%
7. Dutch 5%
7. Brazilian 5%
7. Slovenian 5%
10. Candadian 3%
10. French 3%

In my class there are... How easy is it to practise Italian with native speakers?
1. The right amount of students (91%)
2. Too many students of my language (3%)
3. Too many students from one other countries (3%)
4. Too many students (1.5%)
Unknown 1.5%
1. Quite easy (60%)
2. Very easy (18%)
3. Quite hard (15%)
4. Very hard (3%)
Unknown (4%)

How did you find your programme? Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. I found it on the Internet (52%)
3. It was recommended by a friend/relative (28%)
2. It was recommended by an agent (12%)
4. I saw it advertised (8%)
Yes (26%)
No (66%)
Unknown (8%)

Student reasons for school selection included:
“Good location, good impression when we visited the school, nice people.”
“Because I thought there wouldn’t be many Japanese in Genoa.”
“Class size, good school description, good response to my questions and relaxed, personal atmosphere.”
“I saw an ad in Germany and visited the school before registering.”

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (88%)
No (6%)
Unknown (6%)
Yes (58%)
No (34%)
Unknown (8%)
Yes (34%)
No (55%)
Unknown (11%)

Student nationality
A total of 23 different nationalities were represented in this month’s Feedback survey on Italy, with a majority of respondents hailing from Western European countries such as Germany (10 per cent), the UK (nine per cent), Sweden (eight per cent) and Switzerland (six per cent). However, there was strong representation from Central and Latin American countries, including Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, with this world region accounting for 11 per cent of the nationality base, compared with just five per cent in 2006 (see LTM, April 2007, pages 18-19). Last year, schools reported a drop in the number of US students studying in Italy, with visa problems said to be a major factor. However, Americans were slightly more numerous this year accounting for 15 per cent of the student body – compared with 8.5 per cent in 2006, suggesting that visa restrictions are relaxing a little.

Student motivation
The average length of stay for students enrolled on an Italian language course climbed to 11.4 weeks this year, compared with 8.1 weeks in 2006. However, a massive 22 per cent of those surveyed had opted to take a two- or four-week language course. Interestingly, the number of students learning Italian for pleasure shot up 24 percentage points to 44 per cent this year. However, learning a language for current or future work purposes remains a strong incentive for students, with 36 per cent citing this as their main reason – 13 percentage points less than last year.

Student enrolment
Students were less reliant on agents this year with only 26 per cent of survey respondents booking a language course using this method, compared with 32 per cent in 2006. Internet usage increased significantly, with 52 per cent of respondents finding a language programme via a school’s website, compared with 37 per cent in 2006. Meanwhile, the way in which a school marketed itself appears to have had a positive effect on students, with eight per cent of those polled identifying with a school advertising campaign – four percentage points up from last year. The average age of students in Italian language schools remains high; 30 this year.

Standard of the schools
Students viewed their schools extremely positively this year, with 100 per cent of those who answered the question saying they would recommend their school to others. Class size and nationality mix also scored highly with 91 per cent agreeing that classes consisted of just the right number and nationality mix of students and only six per cent saying the contrary – down five percentage points on last year’s result. When it came to accommodation, the largest group of respondents opted for residential lodging – 37.5 per cent, compared with 32 per cent in 2006. However, 31 per cent of those quizzed listed a variety of accommodation options, including staying with friends and family or residing in a self-contained apartment.

Living in Italy
The average cost of a one-week course including accommodation was marginally lower than last year at e334 (US$497), compared with e354 (US$527) in our previous survey. Forty-eight per cent of students found the cost of living in Italy to be higher than their home country. Of those who indicated that Italy was an expensive country to live and study in, 27 per cent originated from North America.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: A Door to Italy, Genoa; Accademia del Giglio, Florence; Centro Giacomo Puccini, Viareggio; Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri, Rome; Comitato Linguistico, Perugia; Eurocentres, Florence; Il Centro Italiano, Milan; Laboratorio Linguistico, Milazzo; Linguaviva, various; Omnilingua, San Remo; Sorrento Lingue, Sorrento.

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Your World on

Malta Tourism

Alphe Conferences
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Beijing Easyou
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Bell International
English Studio
inlingua Vacation
Kaplan Aspect 
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      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
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      Africa, USA)
Malvern House
Rose of York
St Giles Colleges
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Study Group
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      England, France,
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      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Queen Ethelburga’s

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International House
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ISI - International
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Language Link

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Idiomas ¡Sí!
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EF Language
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      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
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ALCC - American
      Language &
California State
      University Long
Kaplan Aspect
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      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
Rennert Bilingual
University of
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University of
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University of
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Zoni Language
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Quoc Anh IEC