Loading

Contents - July 2007


Special Report
Money matters
Financial relationships between agents and language schools are by and large not subject to any external regulation. Parties to each relationship negotiate their own terms and, because of the vagaries of business life, these tend to be flexible rather than set in stone. While the need for some degree of flexibility is widely taken for granted, it is, in part, this flexibility that can sometimes lead to problems in relations between those parties involved in the money chain. Jane Vernon Smith investigates.


Direction
Work wonders
Work experience and internship opportunities are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, with people from more countries attracted to such programmes and a wider range of work destinations being chosen. Gillian Evans reports.



Destination
California freedom
For many people, California equals entertainment and a fun lifestyle and few language travel students go home disappointed by their study abroad trip. Jane Vernon-Smith takes a tour of some of this US state's many attractions.



Opinion

Developing strength

Innovation is a necesary part of any developing industry and anyone currently working in the language and education travel business must surely be able to cite examples of innovative practices and products that have directly affected their business. The Internet is one example of an innovation that has made its mark so deeply on the language travel industry that it is difficult to remember how life existed before its invention.

Our regular surveys of agents and students reveal that the Internet is an increasingly vital means of making connections between schools, students and agents. The effectiveness of this tool is being fully exploited in an industry where time zones and language barriers can make other communication methods more tricky, and boarding schools in the UK will soon be able to make use of an Internet-based information service to find and contact new agents (see page 45).

Our Special Report this month, which highlights payment methods between schools, agents and students, also shows how there is always room for technical innovation in this industry (see page 24). A relatively new development in this area of business relationships is the Clearing House Service, which enables schools and agents to transfer money across the world in 26 different currencies, thereby avoiding bank charges. However, the demand for an efficient system for industry players to move money around the world, while also protecting themselves against non-payments, is such that there is room for other innovators to plug this gap in the market.

While business practices between industry professionals become smoother, there is still little that can be done to prevent outside factors exerting a negative effect on the industry. The recent good fortunes of the UK language school business have been put down to increasingly favourable business conditions, which have been welcomed by schools who have battled with events such as sars and foot-and-mouth disease squeezing business in recent years (see page 22).

The tragic shootings at Virginia Technical Institute and University in the USA earlier in the year were a sad reminder of how vulnerable the industry can be, although agents report that students have not been put off studying in the USA and business remains as usual (see page 6).

It is possible that by encouraging innovative ways to form strong business partnerships in the future, the resilience of the industry will be assured.


Opinion
Developing strength

News
Tragedy in USA not putting off international students
Meeting in Spain calls for unified industry
New language school for Belfast
Kaplan partnerships with universities
Immigration changes in Australia


Travel News
Tiger Airways' new home in Melbourne
Ryanair toys with transcontinental flights
Aer Arran flies to France
Virgin passengers now check-in at home


Agency News
Hong Kong launches agency association
CI organises student fair in Brazil,

Agency Survey
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.

Feedback
USA

Asian nationalities are becoming less dominant in the incoming US language teaching market, while other world regions such as the Middle East are making their presence felt. This year's Feedback survey on the USA shows a healthy range of nationalities represented.

Course Guide
Juniors in France and Belgium
Language courses for under 16-year-olds are a popular sector in the language teaching industry but schools have to follow strict guidelines if they are to meet the needs of both pupils and parents.

Spotlight
High schools in Australia
High school programmes in Australia are a popular choice for international students of varying ages and the range of courses being offered is increasing. We find out why such programmes are of interest to the youth market.

City Focus
Sliema's glitter
Sliema is not only one of Malta's top tourist towns, but also a popular residential area. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for students to make the most of the good tourist facilities, as well as mix with the locals. Gillian Evans reports.

Status
Australia 2006
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. For the first time, it is possible to compare world market statistics.