Read the digital January 2013 issue of
Study Travel Magazine here

Contents - January 2013

Special Report
Junior programmes
Within the junior language programmes sector, schools have been keeping closely in touch with demand and are using innovative ideas to enhance their tried-and-tested courses. This, in turn, has helped maintain the buoyancy of the market, as Jane Vernon Smith finds out..

Agency survey
Czech Republic active
Czech students showed an enthusiasm for general or intensive English language programmes according to this year’s survey of agency trends, with the language learning sector of the business proving the most profitable for Czech agencies.

Tertiary Focus
ESL at New Zealand teritary level
As a country with ambitious growth targets for tertiary level international students studying in the country, New Zealand has a range of language support before and during studies. Matthew Knott reports.

Vocational Focus
Engineers in demand
A dynamic field that gains new facets as technology develops, engineers are in global demand. Claire Twyman finds out more about programmes offered.

Secondary Focus
North America boarding school survey
Chinese and Korean students were the most common nationalities at high schools in the USA and Canada in 2012, according to our survey of schools in North America. Agent use was also high with 56 per cent of students using them to find their high school programme. Bethan Norris finds out more.

Secondary Focus
Swiss boarding schools
As a multilingual country with stunning scenery and an international reputation for boarding education, Switzerland is a popular destination, discovers Matthew Knott.

Picturesque Portugal
Gorgeous beaches and old-fashioned charm come in equal doses in Portugal, a country boasting a warm climate and welcoming attitude to overseas students. Claire Twyman finds out more.

Regional Focus
Open Ontario
Ontario is home to some of Canada’s most well-known treasures: from one of the world’s major tourist attractions, Niagara Falls, to Canada’s largest city, Toronto. But this province holds a lot more to be discovered, as Gillian Evans finds out.

Embassy and agency partnership
The relationship between agencies and their local visa issuing offices can be a difficult one, yet for those agencies who have established good communication links the benefits are clear. Bethan Norris reveals some of the ways that embassies can either help or hinder agency business.

Market Analysis
Malta stands its ground
2012 was a good year for many language schools in Malta, with reports of increasing student numbers from new student markets. Intensified marketing efforts combined with a wider variety of course offerings are among the reasons for the increase. Bethan Norris reports.  

English plus sports in Australia
With plenty of coastline and glorious sunshine, Australia is an obvious destination for English plus water sports programmes, as well as other English plus sports courses, as Claire Twyman reports.

Getting together

USA visa denials worsening in Turkey
International students in USA at all-time high
ICEF Berlin Workshop tops 2,000 participants
Australia’s Milton College closes down
China considers ban of foreign-based agents
English universities relying on non-EU student rises

News Round Up
Australia to fund study
Atlantic Language to open Dublin school
Lines expands into USA
Exportise announces fourth summer venue
NSW offers travel discounts for students
London Met loses a third of non-EU students
Government funding for associations in Canada
Ireland signs deal to attract Brazilian students
News in brief
Travel update

Inside The Industry
On the move
Q&A Educator association: setting standards for the industry
Industry issues- advisors speak out
On the move
Q&A Advisor Association: Bossa
Agency of the month

Course Guide
Dele exam preparation in Spain
Dele (diplomas of Spanish as a foreign language) exams, the official test for fluency in Spanish, are offered in language schools throughout Spain.


Visa headaches

by Bethan Norris, Senior Editor

The current difficulties faced by Turkish agents and students applying for a visa to study English in the USA highlights the challenging working conditions faced by some study abroad agencies who have to rely on the vagaries of arbitrary visa application processes. There have been no official policy changes regarding Turkish students studying in the USA yet for some agencies working in this market, the country is now effectively closed for Turkish language students (page 3).

The frustration this situation has caused is understandable as no information regarding the circumstances surrounding the increased number of visa refusals has been offered up by the US embassy and consulate in Turkey and therefore agents working in the country have no clue as to when things might be resolved.

Our Direction feature in this issue on how agencies work with their local embassies and consulates is therefore very timely as it reveals how different these valuable relationships can be depending on the countries involved and the individual agencies. Yet as the example with Turkey has shown, these relationships, as well as clear communication between agency and embassy, are vital for agencies to develop a profitable business and for countries hoping to raise their profile among study abroad students around the world.

Agents in Turkey have already stated that they are advising students to go to Australia or other study destinations rather than make an application for a US visa so even if the situation is resolved very soon, the USA has already suffered irreparable damage to its image as a viable study destination for Turkish students. And who knows how much revenue it has already lots out on from lost language school bookings as well as bookings for longer university or college courses that may have followed on from the initial study experience.

One positive way that agents can improve their relationship with the local visa issuing office in their country is by joining a national agency association. The article shows that agency associations can help individual agencies a lot when it comes to developing relationships with visa offices by providing a conduit for information and also assuring the quality credentials of their members.

For many agencies a personal connection between themselves and a member of staff in the embassy is key to ensuring a smooth relationship between them. However, is it time for all governments to work towards a more uniform approach in the activities of their representatives overseas?

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