July 2009 issue

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South Africa

This issue’s South Africa Feedback survey reveals a greater proportion of students from other African countries studying English in South Africa, mainly so they can continue their tertiary studies there.

South Africa feedback at a glance

Total number of students: (female 34, male 47, unknown 1) 82
Average age in years:
Average length of programme in weeks:
Average number of students in class:
Average number of hours of language tuition per week:
% of students who found out about their course through an
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser:
% of students who had been on another language programme:
% of students who would recommend their school:

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
1. Africa 43%
2. W Europe 26%
3. Asia 17%
4. Latin America 9%
5. Middle East 3%
6. C & E Europe 2%
1. Gabonese 16%
2. South Korean 11%
3. German 11%
4. Angolan 9%
5. Cameroonian 6%
5. Brazilian 6%
5. Chinese 6%
8. French 2%
8. Italian 2%
8. Mozambican 2%
8. Portuguese 2%

In my class there are... How easy is it to practise your language skills with native speakers?
1. The right number of students (66%)
2. Too many students who speak my language (15%)
3. Too many students from one other country (10%)
2. Too many students (5%)
Unknown (4%)
1. Quite easy (43%)
2. Quite hard (42%)
3. Very easy (7%)
3. Very hard (2%)
Unknown (6%)

How did you find your programme? Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. Recommended by a friend/relative (46%)
2. I found it on the internet (29%)
3. Recommended by an agent (15%)
4. I saw it advertised (5%)
Unknown 5%
Yes (29%)
No (66%)
Unknown (5%)

Student reasons for school selection included:
“Good reputation and good feedback from the school”
“Not so many other students from my country”
“Good price and good location”
“I’ve been to the same school before”
“My friend recommended it to me”

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (84%)
No (9%)
Unknown (7%)
Yes (70%)
No (23%)
Unknown (7%)
Yes (39%)
No (51%)
Unknown (10%)

Student nationality
The proportion of Western European students studying English in South Africa in recent years has decreased, while the proportion of those from Africa has risen. This year, Africa moved right up the rankings, from third position and a share of 21 per cent last year (see LTM, July 2008, pages 30-31) to first place and a share of 43 per cent. Asia and Latin America’s shares have tumbled this year, both by six percentage points each. With 16 per cent, Gabonese students now make up the single largest nationality group studying in South Africa, followed by last year’s number one student nationality, Korean, whose share slipped from 15 per cent in 2008 to 11 per cent this year. Angolan students, who did not even make it into the top eight nationalities last year, were more numerous this year, accounting for nine per cent of our Feedback respondents, which put them in fourth place.

Student motivation
Most of our Feedback respondents this year were university or college students, making up 46 per cent of survey participants, and among all respondents, 41 per cent said they were currently using English for their studies while a further 37 per cent were using the language in their work. This year a much higher proportion of students were studying English in preparation for their further studies in South Africa – up from 18 per cent in 2008 to 39 per cent in this issue’s survey. This was mainly made up of students from other African countries. Forty-four per cent of students were in the 20-to-25 year old age band, and the overall average age of 26 years was two years lower than last year’s average. The length of stay had increased from 13 weeks last year to 14.8 this year.

Student enrolment
Agent usage was much lower this year, accounting for only 23 per cent of bookings, compared with 49 per cent last year. This may be owing to the higher proportion of students from Africa, where the agency network is less well developed than in the more mature language travel markets of Western Europe. Overall, 46 per cent of students said they had chosen their school as a direct result of personal endorsement from friends or family. In terms of accommodation, 34 per cent of students were staying with host families, while a further 21 per cent were in residential accommodation with single rooms. Of the 31 per cent of students who said they had other living arrangements, a high proportion were staying in private apartments.

Standard of the schools
Class sizes were generally small, with between two and 14 students, averaging out at just under eight students per class. This meant that the vast majority of respondents were satisfied with their class size – only five per cent flagged this up as unsatisfactory. Looking at nationality mix in the classes, 15 per cent of students agreed with the statement, “There are too many students of my own nationality”, most of whom were from Gabon. However, this compares favourably to last year when 21 per cent agreed with this statement.

Living in South Africa
South Africa remains an attractively cheap country in terms of cost of living for many nationalities, with 42 per cent of students saying the cost of living in their host country was lower than at home. The average weekly cost of a language course plus accommodation was US$288.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Bay Language Institute, Port Elizabeth; Cape Town School of English, Cape Town; EC English Language Centre, Cape Town; Eurocentres, Cape Town; Good Hope Studies, Cape Town; International English School, Somerset West; LAL, Cape Town; South Africa School of English, 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.





Britannia Student

Feltom Malta  
Perth Education City
Quality English  

Alphe Conferences  
International House
      World Organisation  
Feltom Malta  


Malta Tourism


Perth Education City

Bics (Business & Intl

Berlitz Canada  
Elmwood School  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Stewart College of

IH Xi'an  

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Andean Global
      Studies Spanish
Estudio Internacional
      Sampere, Ecuador  
South American
      Language Center  

Bell International  
Britannia Student
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
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      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
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      Ireland, England,
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      Switzerland, USA)
Malvern House
      College London  
Shakespeare College
Spinnaker College
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
TUS Advertising  
Twin Group  
      (Ireland, UK, USA)
University of Essex -

Home Language
(Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, USA, Wales)

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  


Galway Cultural
      (via Impact Media)  

Kai Japanese
      Language School  

Clubclass Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism

Seafield School
      of English  

EC Cape Town  
      Cape Town- One
      World Language
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
International House
      Cape Town  
LAL Cape Town  
Language Teaching
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town  

Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
(Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, USA)
Eurocentres International  
(Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, USA)

Califorinia State
      University Northridge
ELS Language
      (Canada, USA)
San Diego State
University of
      California San Diego
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)

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