July 2002 issue

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Spain Feedback

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Centro Humboldt, Barcelona; Colegio Maravillas, Benalmadena (Malaga); Costa de Valencia, Valencia; Enforex, Madrid; Escuela Internacional, various; Escuela Montalban, Granada; Estudio Sampere, various; Instituto Hernan Cortes, Madrid; Instituto Hispanico de Murcia, Murcia; International House Madrid, Madrid; Spanish Language Center, Marbella; Universidad Carlos III, Madrid; Universidad de Alicante, Alicante.

Although under a third of the students who took part in our Spanish survey first found out about their school through a language travel agency, over half had actually booked their course through an agent.

Spain feedback at a glance

Total number of students: female 128, male 62 (unknown 1) 191
Average age in years: 24.9
Average length of programme in weeks: 13.01
Average number of students per class: 6
Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 19.1
% of students who found their course through an agent or educational adviser: 30%
% of students who booked through an agent: 56%
% of students who had been on another language programme: 42%
% of students who would recommend their school: (unknown 5%) 90%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W. Europe (71%)
Asia (14%)
North America (7%)
Central & Eastern Europe (3%)
Africa (2%)
Latin America (2%)
Middle East (1%)

In my class there are...
Too many students (8%)
Too many students who speak my language (17%)
Too many students from one other country (10%)
None of these (63%)
Unknown (2%)

How will you use your Spanish in the future?
For college study in Spain (13%)
For college study in another Spanish-speaking country (3%)
For college study in my home country (23%)
For current or future work (39%)
For pleasure only (21%)
Unknown (1%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise Spanish with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (12%)
I found it on the Internet (27%)
It was recommended by an agent (30%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (29%)
Unknown (2%)
Very easy (11%)
Quite easy (51%)
Quite hard (29%)
Very hard (5%)
Unknown (4%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study? Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser?
Yes (87%)
No (11%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (67%)
No (27%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (37%)
No (61%)
Unknown (2%)
Yes (56%)
No (38%)
Unknown (6%)

Standard of your social programme Standard of your academic programme
Excellent (27%)
Good (45%)
Satisfactory (21%)
Poor (3%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (3%)
Excellent (37%)
Good (50%)
Satisfactory (8%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (2%)

Standard of your accommodation Standard of the teaching
Excellent (24%)
Good (39%)
Satisfactory (21%)
Poor (5%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (10%)
Excellent (76%)
Good (21%)
Satisfactory (2%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)

What do you like most about Spain?

Student nationality
Spain continues to attract a large proportion of Western European students, as reflected in the results of this issue's Feedback survey. The top two countries of origin, Sweden and Germany, accounted for over 50 per cent of students. However, this year, Chinese students comprised eight per cent of our respondents, making them the third-largest nationality to take part. In last year's survey, Asians accounted for only seven per cent of respondents, with Chinese students not making it into the top five (see Language Travel Magazine, July 2001, pages 20-21). However, while Spanish schools are starting to attract Chinese students according to industry sources who contributed to our recent Market Report (see Language Travel Magazine, February 2002, page 23), it is interesting to note that all but one of the Chinese students in our Feedback survey were enrolled at the same school.

Student age and motivation
At just under 25 years, the average age of respondents in this issue's survey was comparable with the 25.5 years of last year, and there was little change in students' reasons for taking a language travel course. Despite the fact that, in this year's survey, Chinese students accounted for 42 per cent of those who said they were learning Spanish for their further studies in Spain, the overall proportion who gave this as their motivation was six percentage points lower than last year.

Student enrolment
Although only 30 per cent of students said they had first found out about their language school through an agent, 56 per cent said they had booked their course through an agent. This included 70 per cent of those who had first found out about their school through an advertisement, 44 per cent of those who had used the Internet and 40 per cent of those who had been recommended a school by their friends or relatives.

Standard of the schools
The standard of the teaching at the language schools that took part in our survey was rated very highly by our respondents, with 97 per cent of students rating it as excellent or good. Eighty-seven per cent said the same of the academic programmes and 72 per cent said the same of their social programmes. The standard of the accommodation was also high, with 84 per cent saying it was at least satisfactory. Overall, 90 per cent of respondents said they would recommend their school to others (five per cent did not answer this question).

Living in Spain
The cost of living in Spain was generally found to be relatively low, with 46 per cent of respondents saying it was lower than in their home countries. This included 92 per cent of US students and about half of Swedish students. Of the 15 per cent who found the cost of living in Spain to be more expensive, this included all but one Chinese student. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents found the cost of living to be about the same, which included all Russians, 67 per cent of Germans and 58 per cent of Dutch.