February 2011 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
Market Report
Direction I
Direction II
Special Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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Swiss stability

A healthy 2010 for Swiss agencies was reported, with a clientele requesting diverse study destinations.

Key points
• The total number of student weeks placed by eight of the 11 agencies in our survey was 41,966

• Average business growth was 11.8 per cent

• The average length of stay for Swiss students was 4.9 weeks

Fifty-four per cent of advisories charged clients a handling fee

The UK remained the most popular destination for Swiss students

• In the last 12 months, agencies had worked with an average of 110 language schools

• Language school placements accounted for an average of 82 per cent of business, and work & travel; nine per cent

Exam preparation programmes became the most popular among the Swiss advisory clientele

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 31%
2. Australia 15%
3. USA 14%
4. France 10%
4. Germany 10%
6. Canada 8%
6. Malta 8%
8. Ireland 4%
1. Academic/exam prep. 29%
1. Intensive 20%
3. Junior 16%
4. General 12%
5. Business 10%
6. Language plus work experience 5%
Other 8%

Reasons for language travel Average percentage agency business
1. Future work 41%
2. Current work 30%
3. Studies at home 19%
4. Pleasure 7%
Other 3%
1. Language programmes 82%
2. Work & travel 9%
3. Internships 5%
4. Volunteering 4%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new business partners?
1. Word-of-mouth 42%
2. Website 26%
3. Mail shots 9%
4. E/online marketing 5%
5. Advertising in press 3%
6. Seminars to students 2%
6. TV/radio 2%
Other 11%
1. Agent workshops 41%
2. Internet 24%
3. Student fairs and exhibitions 20%
4. LTM/ETM 2%
4. Other press 2%
Other 11%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 45%
English Australia 81%

Languages Canada 54%

Souffle 54%
Groupement FLE 45%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%

MEI 63%

Asils 54%
Italian in Italy 9%

Feltom 90%

New Zealand
English NZ 36%
Aeple 0%

South Africa
EduSa 18%

Fedele 63%

English UK 100%
British Council 100%

Accet 45%
CEA 9%

Eaquals 81%
Ialc 72%
IHWO 90%
Quality English 100%
Tandem 45%

Market growth
The perenially important Swiss market showed slow but steady growth in 2010, with seven of the 11 study travel advisories in this survey indicating that business had increased year- on-year; two companies said that business remained consistent while another two posted negative growth. Overall, average growth was recorded as 11.8 per cent – notwithstanding one company’s particularly high figure of an 80 per cent increase, average growth was still five per cent. Some agencies declined to give a figure for the number of students sent last year, but a figure of 8,588 across eight agencies still illustrates that some agencies send good volumes of students overseas.

Language and destination trends
One notable change since we last surveyed the Swiss market (see LTM, May 2009, pages 24-25) is that the USA has risen in popularity as a destination – now accounting for 14 per cent of bookings, up from 6.5 per cent. The UK remained the most popular destination at 31 per cent (down from 32 per cent) while Australia remained in second position, but losing some market share (15 per cent from 22 per cent). Canada featured in our survey this year in joint-sixth position with Malta, when it was not mentioned in the previous survey.

Student and course trends
Whereas summer vacation courses were the second-most popular type of course in our previous survey, this year they did not figure at all. In fact, exam preparation programmes were the most popular type of course this year (29 per cent), followed by intensive programmes (20 per cent) and then junior programmes (16 per cent). Advisors said that future work was the main motivator behind taking a language course, while current work obligations also led to 30 per cent of clients booking their study trip. Despite a documented trend towards residential accommodation, Swiss advisories said that 72 per cent of their clientele opted for host family accommodation – actually up on the 65 per cent figure in our last survey. As this survey is weighted to reflect student volume, it could be that one or two agencies with a large turnover of students favour a particular option or partners that do not offer residential accommodation as standard.

Agency business
In terms of business profile, most study travel advisors did focus for the main part on language study overseas (82 per cent of business), with work & travel placements being the next most typical type of placement (nine per cent). Advisors indicated that 42 per cent of their clients came through word-of-mouth recommendation while 26 per cent were recruited through the company website. And in terms of how the companies polled found new business partners, workshops were the most usual way, followed by the Internet and then student fairs and expos.

Looking ahead
The Swiss are stoic about the year ahead, with most businesses forecasting growth for 2011. One respondent said that students were investing in their education because of the economic situation, while another said they thought the market would pick up now that the crisis was receding.

Economic overview

• In 2009, GDP declined by 2.5 per cent and unemployment rates passed the four per cent mark. However, after an expected upturn in GDP for 2010, the KOF Swiss Economic Institute has predicted sustained GDP growth for Switzerland, along with falling unemployment and a pick-up in exports because of a slight weakening of the Swiss franc.

• The UBS consumption index showed that Swiss sentiment improved in October 2010 on the previous month, as retail activity and new car registrations picked up. The index is based on five indicators: new car sales; retail sector business; consumer confidence; over night hotel stays by Swiss nationals in-country and credit card transactions.

Sources: Reuters, Swissinfo.ch

Swiss advisories named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Access Language Centre, Sydney, NSW; Langports, Brisbane, QLD; SEA Manly, Sydney, NSW; Sydney English Language Centre, Sydney, NSW. In Canada: ILAC, various; Global Village, Vancouver, BC. In France: alpha.b, Nice; LSF, Montpellier; Lyon Bleu, Lyon. In Germany: did Deutsch-Institut, various; Humboldt Institut, Argenbuehl. In New Zealand: ABC College of English, Queenstown; Seafield School of English, Christchurch. In Spain: Estudio Sampere, Madrid. In the UK: Cambridge Academy of English, Cambridge; Capital School, Bournemouth; Christian English Language Centre, Bournemouth; Hampstead School of English, London; Kaplan International College, Torquay; Olivet School of English, Brighton; OISE, Cambridge; Regent, various. In the USA: St Giles, San Francisco, CA. Worldwide: EC; Embassy CES; High Schools International; Quality English schools; IHWO.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: BIKU Languages; Surprise Reisen; Lingua Solutions; globo-study Sprachreisen; Interlangues; Lingua Solutions Ruth Aeschbacher, Cosmolingua; CCT Formazione Linguistica e Culturale; AD Voyages Langues et Cultures; Pro Linguis; Aventure Linguistique; Akzent Sprachbildung.

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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  
NEAS Australia  
Quality English  

Alphe Conferences  
IALC International  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

Student Marketing  

Malta Tourism

Impact English
Bond University  
Carrick Institute of Education  
English Australia  
Language Studies International  
NEAS Australia  
Pacific Gateway International College  
International College  
University Of
Newcastle nbsp; 
University of
New South Wales  
University of

International College  
International Language
Schools of Canada  

Plato Educational
Services Ltd  
The Language

City of London
Education Group - HO  
House London  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Sedbergh School  
St Giles Colleges  
Study Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  

AGISEFE - Université de Savoie  
Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  

F+U Academy  
Goethe Institut  
inlingua Berlin  
International House Berlin - Prolog  

Eden College  

Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  
Malta Tourism Authority  

Cape Town School of English  
EC Cape Town  
EF International School  
English Language School of Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape Town  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
Jeffreys Bay Language School  
Good Hope Studies  
International House Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Kurus English CC  
LAL Cape Town  
Language Teaching Centre   
South African School of Language  

Malaga Si  

EF Language Colleges Ltd  

Global Immersions Inc  
Global Language Institute  
Ross School (The)  
University of California Riverside  
University of California San Diego  
University of Nebraska at Lincoln  
Zoni Language Centers  

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