July 2008 issue

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South Africa Feedback

A low cost of living and high standard of teaching meant that students in South Africa were satisfied with their English language learning experience. Cape Town was the requested destination for many.

South Africa feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 86 (female 44, male 42)
Average age in years:
Average length of programme in weeks: 13
Average number of students in class: 7
Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 22.5
% of students who found out about their course through an agent: 26
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 49
% of students who had been on another language programme:
% of students who would recommend their school: 94

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
1. W Europe 32%
2. Asia 23%
3. Africa 21%
4. Latin America 15%
5. Middle East 3%
6. C & E Europe 2%
No reply 4%
1. Korean 15%
2. German 13%
3. Swiss 12%
4. Brazilian 9%
5. Gabonese 8%
6. Chinese 5%
7. French 4%
8. Congolese 3%

In my class there are... How easy is it to practise English with native speakers?
1. The right amount of students (55%)
2. Too many students who speak my language (21%)
2. Too many students (12%)
3. Too many students from one other country (6%)
No reply 6%
1. Quite easy (53%)
2. Quite hard (30%)
3. Very easy (7%)
4. Very hard (6%)
No reply (4%)

How did you find your programme? Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. It was recommended by a friend/relative (43%)
2. It was recommended by an agent (26%)
3. I found it on the Internet (23%)
4. I saw it advertised (6%)
No reply 2%
Yes (49%)
No (46%)
Unknown (5%)

Student reasons for school selection included:
“An agency told me this school has few Koreans”
“A small school near the beach”
“It was cheap with a lot of information”
“The school is very famous in Germany”
“It looked like a large clean building with good facilities”

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (67%)
No (21%)
Unknown (12%)
Yes (65%)
No (32%)
Unknown (3%)
Yes (32%)
No (59%)
Unknown (9%)

Student nationality
Our survey of students in South Africa was a similar size and scope to our survey last year, yet more Asian students were enrolled across schools for this survey and Koreans as a nationality were in fact in number-one position this year, overtaking Germans, Swiss, Gabonese and Brazilians since last year (all of whom remained in the top five). Western Europe remained the most important world region of origin however with 32 per cent of all clients coming from this region. However, this figure has steadily declined since 2005 when 57 per cent of all students came from Western Europe. Africa remained important in the recruitment mix, contributing 21 per cent of clients after Asia’s 23 per cent.

Student motivation
The majority of students canvassed gave their occupation as university or college student and 43 per cent of students said they were studying English for current or future work purposes. Eighteen per cent of students were studying as a prelude to further study in South Africa, which included a mix of Korean, Swiss, Swedish, Angolan and Chinese students as well as a Libyan and an Iraqi. Sixteen per cent of students said they were studying for pleasure although some gave more than one reason. Those studying for pleasure only were German, Swiss or Brazilian in origin. South Africa attracted a wide range of ages and five per cent of students were 50 or over although the majority were in the 20-to-25 year old category.

Student enrolment
Almost half of all students (49 per cent) booked their language course through an agency, which is up from 42 per cent last year. And this figure is despite just 26 per cent of students saying they first found out about the school from an agency (down from 34 per cent last year). The most likely way of finding out about a school in South Africa was recommendation by a friend or relative. While 67 per cent of students said they knew which country they wanted to study in, a further 65 per cent also knew which city they required, underlining the appeal of Cape Town as a study destination. Length of stay ranged from two-to-44 weeks and the most typical course length was 12 weeks (average 13 weeks). Thirty-seven per cent stayed with a host family while 29 per cent made their own arrangements and 27 per cent opted for a student residence.

Standard of the schools
A typical class size of seven students was the norm in South Africa as was a high teaching quality. Ninety-one per cent of students rated their teachers as excellent or good (four per cent did not reply). Accommodation standards were not rated as highly however, with just 54 per cent of students saying their accommodation was excellent or good. Those who thought their accommodation just satisfactory or worse were staying in all types of provision available, however. While 12 per cent of students said there were too many students in their class, most were in classes of six-to-eight. A further 21 said there were too many fellow nationals, but no one obvious nationality made this complaint.

Living in South Africa
Fifty per cent of clients thought that the cost of living in South Africa was lower than in their home country, with an average spend per week of US$331 for course and accommodation. Sixty per cent found it very or quite easy to practise English including most Africans and all Chinese.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Cape Communication Centre, Cape Town School of English, Inlingua, LAL, Geos, EC Cape Town, Good Hope Studies, Interlink School of Languages, South African School of English - all Cape Town; Wits Language School, Johannesburg.

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  
International House
      World Organisation  
Perth Education City

Alphe Conferences  
LTM Star Awards  

Your World on

Malta Tourism


Bolivian Spanish

Idioma - Escola
      de Português  
      de Minas Gerais  

Bodwell College  
Richmond School
      District #38  
School District #8
      Kootenay Lake  
Stewart College of

      de Idiomas (CPI)  

Quito S.I. Spanish

Bell International 
      (Malta, UK) 
      Education Group  
International House
      World Organisation  
Kaplan Aspect
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa,
Malvern House
      College London  
      Ethelburga's College
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group 
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Twin Group
      (Ireland, UK)

      Language School  
Malta Tourism

Unique New
      Zealand Education  
Wellington High

Cape Studies -
      Pacific Gateway
      Study Group  
EC Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape
      Town- One World
      Language school  
Good Hope Studies  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
LAL Cape Town  
Language Teaching
Shane Global
      Language Centres
      - Cape Town  

Fedele Spain  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      (Australia, Canada,    
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New Zealand,
      Russia, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
IH Geneva -
      ASC Langues  

ALCC - American
      Language &
California State
      University Long
Monterey Institute
      of International
University of
University of
      California San
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)