July 2007 issue

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

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Korea on a roll

Despite a slight slowdown in Korea's economy, the language travel market performed well in 2006 while the range of language travel destinations favoured by Koreans increased. Meanwhile, clients are utilising agency websites more and more.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 13 agencies in our survey was 14,954

Individual agencies placed between five and 8,646 students on courses each year

Average business growth was 19.5 per cent

The average length of stay for Korean students was 19.5 weeks

Overall, 55 per cent of Korean students stayed with host families when studying overseas

Over 40 per cent of Korean students take a language course for their further studies overseas

In the last 12 months, agencies worked with an average of 119 providers each

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. USA 34%
2. UK 19%
3. Canada 13%
4. Ireland 8%
4. Australia 8%
6. Philippines 4%
7. Japan 3%
8. New Zealand 2%
1. Intensive 38%
2. General 30%
3. Academic prep. 15%
4. Summer vacation 5%
5. Uni. foundation 4%
6. Junior 3%
6. Business lang. 3%
6. Lang. + work 2%

Top languages Type of courses
1. English 88%
2. Japanes 4%
Other 8%
1. Language 57%
2. Higher education 27%
3. Work & Travel 4%
4. Internships 2%
Other 10%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Website 47%
2. Word of mouth 24%
3. Seminars to students 8%
4. Mailshots 6%
5. Adverts in press 4%
6. TV/radio 1%
Other 10%
1. Internet 29%
2. Workshops 21%
3. LTM/ETM 19%
4. Fairs or expos 17%
5. Other Press 3%
Other 11%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 31%
English Australia 77%
Neas 54%

Capls 54%
CLC 54%

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

MEI~Relsa 62%

Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 0%

Feltom 15%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 31%
English NZ 54%
Aeple 0%

South Africa
Fedele 8%

Fedele 30%

ABLS 15%
English UK 62%
British Council 100%

Eaquals 31%

Accet 54%
CEA 23%

Ialc 31%
Quality English 23%
Tandem 0%

Market growth
The Korean language travel market continued on its growth curve in 2006 with nine of the 13 agencies that took part in this issue’s survey reporting an increase in business of between eight and 69 per cent last year. A further two agencies experienced a stagnation in student numbers, while another two experienced slight decreases of 0.3 per cent and 10 per cent. The slump in business was put down to the slowing economy and the intense competition in the agency market. Nevertheless, across all agencies’ business, the market grew by 19.3 per cent in 2006.

Language and destination trends
One agent noted that there was an ironing out of market share among the various English-speaking destinations. He related that demand for the USA had dropped in recent years, while other English-speaking destinations such as Ireland, Malta and the Philippines were gaining ground. The USA’s share was down by five percentage points on 2005’s figures to 34 per cent in 2006 (see Language Travel Magazine, August 2006, pages 18-19), while Ireland’s slice of the market had increased from three to eight per cent. The UK, Canada, the Philippines and Australia were all down three percentage points on last year. In terms of language preference, English accounted for 90 per cent of requests, while Japanese was in second place with four per cent. This was followed, at some distance, by Spanish, Chinese and Italian, each accounting for less than one per cent of the total market.

Student and course trends
Over 40 per cent of Korean students take a language programme for their further studies overseas, while the second-most common reason is for future work. Despite the academic goals of a large proportion of agency clients, only 15 per cent take academic preparation programmes and a further four per cent a university foundation course. Intensive programmes of over 25 hours of tuition per week were the biggest sellers in the Korean market, accounting for 38 per cent of bookings compared with 32 per cent last year, followed by general language courses with 30 per cent, down from 36 per cent previously.

Agency business
Language course bookings accounted for just under 57 per cent of agency business, while a further 27 per cent was counselling for higher education places overseas. In terms of client recruitment, the Internet has become the most important tool, accounting for around 47 per cent of clients compared with only 26 per cent last year. Word-of-mouth recommendations remain important, contributing around 24 per cent of clients, but this was down from 39 per cent last year. The Internet has also increased its importance as a means of finding new business partners with 29 per cent found using this resource, compared with 25 per cent last year.

Looking ahead
Despite the slowdown in the Korean economy, all bar one agent forecast continued business growth in 2007. One mentioned that they expected their web advertising campaign to push up sales while another agency, which previously only offered courses in the UK, has expanded its portfolio to include Ireland and Australia in a bid to win more clients.

Economic outlook

South Korea’s GDP, which grew by five per cent in 2006, increased at its fastest rate in four years. Exports grew by 13 per cent in 2006, compared with 9.7 per cent in 2005, and private consumption was up from 3.2 per cent in 2005 to 4.2 per in 2006.

Korea’s economy increased by only four per cent in the fourth quarter for 2006, the slowest growth rate for 18 months, largely because of a slowdown in consumer spending.

In the first quarter of 2007, South Korea’s economy grew by 0.9 per cent, although economists forecast its economic growth will accelerate in the second half of 2007.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Korean agents named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Embassy CES, various; Hawthorn English Language Centre, Hawthorn, VIC; International House, Cairns, QLD. In Canada: Confederation College, Thunder Bay, ONT; English Language Training College, Edmonton, AB; International Language School of Canada, Vancouver, BC; Pacific Gateway International College, Vancouver, BC; Pacific Language Institute, various. In Germany: Birklehof School, Hinterzarten; CDC, various. In Ireland: CES, Dublin; Emerald Cultural Institute, Dublin; International Study Centre, Dublin; Language Centre of Ireland, Dublin. In New Zealand: Christchurch College of English, Christchurch. In the Philippines: Lipa City Colleges, Lipa City. In the UK: CES Swandean School of English, Worthing; Henley College, Coventry; St Giles, London; Sussex Downs College, Lewes. In the USA: English Language Institute, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA; English Language Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; ELS, various; Lakeland College, Sheboygan, WI; Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI; Towson University, Towson, MD; University of Findlay, Findlay, OH. International: Aspect, EF, Eurocentres, Kaplan.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: Doori Institute, Euro Arts, Hansville Academy of Education, iAE Edu Net, Inesta Overseas Study, ISEP, KAMC, Onlineyuhak, Paran Education, People Loving Education, Top Educational Counselling House, Uhak.com, Uhakfocus.

Contact any advertiser in the this 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.





English Australia

Malta Tourism

Alphe Conferences

English Australia
Milner International
       College of English
       Independent and
       Catholic School

Ackworth School
Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, Ireland,
       Malta, New Zealand,
       UK, USA)
Bell International
Islington Centre for
LAL Language and
       Leisure (England,
       Malta, South Africa,
London Metropolitan
Malvern House
       College London
Queen Ethelburga's
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
SUL Language
Tellus Group
Twin Group
West London
       Business College

IH Nice

Prolog - International
       House Berlin


English Language
IH- Malta-Gozo
inlingua Malta
Malta Tourism

EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       Russia, Scotland,
       South Africa, Spain,

       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Italy,
       Japan, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Spain, Switzerland,

ALCC - American
California State
       University Long
ELS Language
      (Canada, USA)
Kaplan Educational
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Seattle Language
University of
       California Riverside
University of
       California San Diego
University of
       California Santa
University of
       California Santa
University of
Zoni Language
       (Canada, USA)


Bell International
St Bedes School

University of Stirling

Monterey Institute of
       Studies (MIIS)
Seattle Language