January 2006 issue

Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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Poland expectant

Many agencies in Poland experienced zero growth last year, but there is hope that business might flourish in 2006, with language and work programmes forecast to be one of the most significant growth sectors.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 12 agencies in our survey was 2,935

Average business growth was 0.8 per cent

The average length of stay for Polish students was 9.2 weeks

68 per cent of clients requested host family accommodation

One quarter of the agencies surveyed charged students a handling fee

Ireland is growing in popularity as a study destination

On average, our agent respondents represented 24 schools in nine countries

Agencies actively worked with 13 school partners each last year

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 55%
2. Ireland 18%
3. Germany 8%
4. Australia 7%
5. Other 6%
6. Italy 2%
6. France 2%
6. Spain 2%
1. Summer vacation 38%
2. Intensive(+25 hrs) 19%
3. Lang + work exp. 14%
4. General 13%
5. Junior progs. 11%
6. Business 2%
6. Others 2%
8. Foundation 1%

Reasons for language travel Top languages
1. Future work 32%
2. Current work 22%
3. Studies at home 21%
4. Other 14%
4. Studies overseas 8%
5. Pleasure 3%
1. English 83%
2. German 9%
3. Italian 3%
4. Spanish 2%
4. French 2%
6. Other 1%

How do agencies recruit students?

How do agencies find new schools to represent?
Word of mouth 37%
Website 28%
Advertising in press 11%
Other 11%
Seminars to students 8%
Mail shots 4%
TV/radio 1%
Workshops 30%
Fairs/expos 29%
Internet 17%
Other press 15%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 20%
English Australia 20%

Capls 10%
CLC 10%

Souffle 10%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%
FLE 0%

MEI~Relsa 40%
IEAI 20%

Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 20%

Feltom 50%

New Zealand
Appel 0%

Crels NZ 0%
Education NZ 70%
English NZ 30%

Aeple 0%

Fedele 30%

ABLS 20%
English UK 70%
British Council 100%

Eaquals 30%

Accet 0%
CEA 20%

Ialc 60%

Market growth
Since our last Agency Survey of Poland two years ago (see Language Travel Magazine, January 2004, page 12), there has been no real growth in the outbound market, with eight out of the 12 agencies that took part in this survey saying that they sold the same number of student weeks year on year in 2005 compared with 2004. Looking at the individual performances of the other agencies, however, there were some widely differing experiences: one agency reported exceptional growth of 30 per cent, which was attributed to better economic circumstances in Poland, while another said that bookings had declined by 70 per cent, because entering the European Union had put the brake on bookings, presumably because Polish students can now access cheaper higher education fees and apply more easily directly. Overall, across all agency businesses, the growth rate stood at just 0.8 per cent.

Language and destination trends
Although there has been no real growth in the market, there have been changes in where students are studying. While English remains the most popular language to learn (83 per cent) and the UK remains the most popular destination (55 per cent, down from 59 per cent), Ireland and Australia are both far more important now to the Polish market, with Ireland accounting for 18 per cent of overall bookings in 2005. German has also replaced Spanish as the second most popular language to learn, with nine per cent of Poles studying German, back to pre-2004 trends. In fact, Italian received slightly more requests than Spanish in 2005.

Student and course trends
Summer vacation courses remained the most popular programme with Poles, followed by intensive courses of more than 25 hours a week and then work programmes, combining language tuition with either internships or paid placements. The average length of stay varied depending on the agency, with some pointing to an average stay of three weeks and others indicating that 39 weeks was the norm. Overall, students enrolled for an average of 9.2 weeks, an increase on 2004';s figure of 3.5 weeks.

Agency business
Agents estimated that they recruited more than one-third (37 per cent) of clients from word-of-mouth recommendation. The second-best way to recruit clients was reported to be via a website – which marks a change since our last survey, when just 18 per cent of clients were recruited from a website, instead of the 28 per cent indicated now. The range of schools represented by individual agencies depended on the size of the agency, but at 24, the overall figure was relatively low, compared with other outbound markets.

Looking ahead
Agencies are generally optimistic about the coming year, although one agent indicated that more clients are booking directly online, which means agency growth will be limited. Other agencies seem confident that bookings will increase, by as much as 30 per cent in one forecast, because language and work programmes, executive tuition and even year-long foundation programmes are appealing to a greater number of students.

Economic overview

Poland';s unemployment rate stood at 17.8% in August, the highest rate in the European Union. The economic growth rate, forecast to be 3.5% for the 2005 year, is higher than in Western European countries but not high enough to have made an impact on the unemployment rate to date.

Following the elections in October, analysts believe the new coalition government, led by "pro-market Marcinkiewcz", could see the country continue to gain economic strength, with one bank executive highlighting the competitive spirit in the country. Inflation is currently low at 1.9%.

Sources: Bloomberg, Business Week.

Polish agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Cambridge College, Sydney, NSW. In Germany: Astur, Fulda; BWS Germalingua, Munich; Horizonte, Regensburg. In Italy: MB Scambi Culturali, Padova; Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, Florence. In Ireland: Atlantic Language School, Galway; Alpha College, Dublin; Dublin City University, Dublin; English in Dublin, Dublin; Galway Cultural Institute, Galway; Horner School of English, Dublin. In Malta: EC European Centre, St Julians. In Spain: Enforex, various. In the UK: Country Cousins, Ilfracombe; Eastbourne School of English, Eastbourne; ELAC Study Vacations, Eastbourne; Excel English, London; Geos, London; John Hazell School of English, Hastings; King Street College, London; Regent Language Training, various; Scanbrit School of English, Bournemouth; St Giles, various. Worldwide: Aspect; LAL; Sprachcaffe; Study Group.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: AB Centrum; Almatramp Travel Agency; Almatur Opole; Edu. Travel Migration Bureau; Guliwer Exchanges; International Study Consultants; JDJ Bachalski; Kotla Travel; LEC Centre; Rajbm-Ikaria Tours; Tourism Office Jaworski; Travel Exchange & Education.

Contact any advertiser in the January 2006 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 us the form.




Australian Council
      for Private Education
English Australia
Sydney West
      International College

Global Lifestyles
Hawthorn Vancouver

      Academic (England,
      Ireland, Canada,
      USA, Malta, Cyprus,
      New Zealand)
Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      Scotland, South
      Africa, Spain, USA)
Bell International
Camp Beaumont
Churchill House
Eden School of
EJO (The Elizabeth
English Language
English UK
Kings Street College
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
Langbourne College
Language Studies
Malvern House
Manor Courses
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
Sheffield Hallam
St Giles College,
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
United World School
      of English
University of Sussex

Le Génie des
SILC - Sejours
      (England, France,
Université de Paris

Did Deutsch-Institut
Inlingua Berlin
Inlingua Munich
IP International
      Projects (Australia,
      Canada, Cuba,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Malta, Spain, USA)
Prolog- International
      House Berlin

Galway Cultural

Tokyo World
      Language School

am Language Studio
English Language
Malta Tourism
      School of English

      Intensive Spanish
      Language Institute

Education New
      Zealand Trust

Language Link,
Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

Kings College

EF Language
      Colleges (Australia,
      Canada, China,
      Ecuador, England,
      France, Germany,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,

American Language
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
University of
      California Riverside
Zoni Language


Conestoga College

      Community College

London International
      Study Centre /
      Sutherland Education
Queen Ethelburga's
Sidcot School
St Clare's Oxford
Tasis - The American
      School in England
      (England, France,
      Italy, Spain,

Bay of Plenty
      Polytechnic (New

Oak International
      (Ireland, Switzerland,

Australian Council
      Private Education
Education New
      Zealand Trust
English Australia
English UK
Quality English

Alphe Agent

Language Travel
      'Phone Card

Malta Tourism