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July 2006 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Direction
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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EF teams up with Amadeus


Language school chain, EF International Language Schools, has teamed up with global distribution system (GDS) Amadeus to enable general travel agents around the world to book EF language programmes directly, stealing a march on its rivals by becoming the first language school to target the mainstream travel agency market in this way.
“The business case for distributing language course packages [via a GDS] is strong,” announced the company in a press release, stating that student numbers had more than doubled from 2003 to 2005.

Around 75,000 travel agencies around the world use the Amadeus online reservations system. From now on, those using the Amadeus Vista 2.2 platform will be able to access the EF SmartTab and earn commission rates exceeding 10 per cent for any EF products bought on behalf of clients, from two-week courses to full academic year programmes.

“We hope the fact that our course packages are now available in the Amadeus Vista platform will help our agents reach new record student numbers in 2006,” said President of EF, Eva Kockum, who added that the EF brand represented “academic excellence presented with a trendy, youthful image”.

EF has overseen other innovations recently too, such as linking up with Brazilian airline, Varig, to offer loyalty points for Varig’s Smile miles scheme to purchasers of EF courses. “Any member of Varig’s Smile miles [scheme] buying a course from EF can earn up to 6,000 [miles], and gold and diamond holders earn up to 20,000, which actually earns them a free flight,” explained Anders Ahlund, President of International Sales and Marketing at EF. He said that non-members of Varig’s loyalty scheme had an incentive to join and immediately earn up to 6,000 miles when booking an EF course.

Something else that EF has developed is the website EF MusicPacker, in collaboration with EMI Music. The site allows visitors to download their favourite music tracks and it is targeted at the international community, with features such as top-ten downloads from different destinations.

“Some music download sites are restricted to a single country but with EF, we are really trying to build an international music community spanning the world,” said Anders Livag, Project Manager at EMI Music. Kockum explained that EF had worked with EMI before to produce music CDs as a soundtrack to studying abroad. “But today, our students prefer to download their music as mp3 files, it’s so much more convenient and you can fit hundreds or thousands of songs into an mp3 player,” she said.

EF MusicPacker was launched in February in Europe. Ahlund said, “Through this partnership we can add value to customers, offering them to download songs free of charge in a legal way.” EF is also promising that seven new schools will be added to its network later this year.


Ialc scores in Madrid

The International Association of Language Centres (Ialc) hosted its AGM and workshop in Madrid, Spain, in April this year, welcoming 120 agencies to meet with 59 member organisations during the event.
Jan Capper, Chief Executive of Ialc, said, “Though this was the biggest ever Ialc gathering, it retained its friendly, family atmosphere. It was great to be in Madrid in the year of Estudio Sampere’s 50th anniversary. It focused our thoughts on the immense contribution our founder, Alberto Sampere, made to the language travel industry.”

The welcome reception was held at Real Madrid’s football stadium, and featured a private tour of the trophy room, pitch-side area and most importantly, locker rooms. Delegates also attended the 50th anniversary party of Estudio Sampere, an Ialc member, at the Thyssen Museum.

Four new school members were welcomed to Ialc during the association’s AGM, which preceded the workshop for agents and schools. ISC in Dublin, Ireland; Dialoge in Lindau, Germany; Solexico in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Latin Immersion in Bariloche, Argentina are all new members of the Ialc club.

After the workshop, Ialc organised four fam trips to different regions of Spain.


Australia makes it easier to work, study

New rules for Australia’s Working Holiday Visa programme have been ushered in that allow visa holders to study for up to four months, instead of three months, while graduating overseas students are being encouraged to stay in Australia and work on an 18-month temporary work visa.

Sue Blundell, Chief Executive of English Australia, said that the association was confident that allowing up to four months of study on a Working Holiday visa would increase the attractiveness of that visa option as a means of studying English in the country.

Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, said that relevant visa holders would also be able to work for an extra three months with one employer, up to six months from three months previously.

A further initiative will allow overseas students graduating with a tertiary degree to apply for an 18-month work visa in Australia. “Many will use this to obtain skilled work experience in Australia and subsequently qualify for skilled migration visas,” commented Vanstone, who is also offering temporary work visas to graduates “from high-calibre universities overseas” who have studied in disciplines where Australia has skills shortages. “This will allow a relatively small number of these high-achieving students to obtain work experience in Australia on a temporary visa,” said Vanstone.

At the University of Adelaide, Professor Fred McDougall said the new 18-month work rule move would benefit both the economy and the attractiveness of studying in Australia’s tertiary education system. “The changes will make it possible for our international graduates to add value to the skills they have acquired during their time at university and thus increase their capacity to make an impact on their chosen fields,” he said.

As for Working Holiday Visa holders, those employed in certain industries, such as fishing, shearing and forestry, can now also apply for another identical visa, in effect, a six-month visa extension. Blundell said, “This will be a major boost to rural and regional industries, particularly those who are heavy users of backpacker labour to meet seasonal workloads.”

Australia is keen to gain both skilled migrant workers and temporary seasonal workers. In Brisbane in May, an Australia Needs Skills expo was organised to encourage overseas students, backpackers and other temporary residents to explore further options for staying and working in Australia. Engineering, mining, oil and health sector professionals are particularly in demand.

The expo was one of a series of 16 expos planned this year, in Australia, Europe and India. Last year, 16,000 visitors attended the expos. Vanstone said 2006 attendance numbers “are looking very promising”.


USA and China's education exchange

The United States and China renewed an agreement to cooperate in education exchange during the visit of Chinese President, Hu Jintao, to Washington DC earlier this year. China agreed to increase its co-funding of the Fulbright programme, which sends students on study and teaching scholarships between participant countries. It also pledged to enhance Chinese language teaching in the US by funding language training programmes.

China’s Minister of Education, Zhou Ji, who co-signed the renewed agreement, unveiled a partnership between Hanban, China’s national office for teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and US-group, the College Board, which represents 5,000 schools and universities. Hanban will fund Chinese language programmes developed by the College Board and loan Chinese language teachers to the USA for the next five years.

Tom Matts of the College Board revealed that 2,400 members wanted to offer Chinese language classes. Ji said, “Now in China, almost every school is teaching English as a second language. So many students, their English is much better than me. But now I think for US students, they should know more about Chinese language and culture.” She said instruction in Chinese culture was also important. “For the next generation for our two nations, it is necessary to know each other.”


French in Normandy's new cuisine course

Rouen-based language teaching enterprise, French in Normandy, has teamed up with a cooking school based in a 15th-century home to offer unique cookery courses that can be taken with or without French language training.

Eleri Maitland, Director of French in Normandy, explained that she had formed a partnerhip with On Rue Tatin, a cookery school based in medieval Louviers, because she felt sure that it would appeal to many of their students. “[Proprietor] Susan Herrmann Loomis’s three-day course will provide students with perspective and insight into shopping techniques as well as the culinary traditions of daily life in France,” said Maitland. “Her promise to students is that when they leave, they will [have] the confidence and passion to cook for themselves, their friends and family.”


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.

Name

Company
Country
Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
Acpet
Asociación Gallega
       de Escuelas de
       Español - AGAES
Education New
       Zealand Trust
English Australia
English UK
MEI-Relsa
Quality English
Turlingua -
       Consortium of
       Language
       Travel and Tourism

WORKSHOPS/EXPOS
ACPET
Alphe
       Workshops/LTM
       Star Awards
ICEF

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
       Authority
SERVICES
Language Travel
       Phonecard

AUSTRALIA
Acpet
English Australia
Sydney West
       International College

BRAZIL
Central de
       Intercâmbio
       - Come 2 Brazil
IDIOMA Escola de
       Português
STB - Student Travel
       Bureau - Inbound

CANADA
Access International

CHINA
Mandarin House

ENGLAND
Anglolang Academy
       of English
Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, England,
       France, Germany,
       Ireland, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       Scotland, South
       Africa, Spain, USA)
Beet Language
       Centre
Bell International
       (Malta, UK)
Bristol Language
       Centre
Cambridge Academy
       of English
Churchill House
Cicero Languages
       International
Eastbourne School
       of English
Eckersley School of
       English
English Language
       Centre Brighton &
       Hove
English UK
Excel English
       Language School

Frances King
       School of English
King Street College
Lake School of
       English
LAL Language and
       Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
Languages Out
       There (England,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, Spain)
London School of
       English
Malvern House
Mountlands
       Language School
Oxford Brookes
       University
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
       College
St Giles Colleges
       (UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
University of
       Sheffield (England)
West London
       Business College
Wimbledon School
       of English

GERMANY
Prolog- International
       House Berlin

IRELAND
Cork Language
       Centre International
Linguaviva Centre
MEI-Relsa

MALTA
International English
       Language Centre
Linguatime
Malta Tourism
       Authority
NSTS

MONACO
Home Language
       International
       (Argentina,
       Australia, Austria,
       Brazil, Canada,
       Chile, China,
       England, France,
       Germany, Holland,
       Italy, Japan, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       Portugal, Russia,
       Spain, USA)

NEW ZEALAND
Auckland English
       Academy
Education New
       Zealand Trust
Languages
       International
Rotorua English
       Language Academy

POLAND
York School

RUSSIA
Language Link,
       Russia
Liden & Denz
       Language Centre

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies -
       Pacific Gateway
       Study Group
Interlink School of
       Languages
International House
       - Durban
Jeffrey's Bay
       Language Centre
South African
       School of English

SPAIN
Asociación Gallega
       de Escuelas de
       Español - AGAES
Hispalengua
Kingsbrook -
       Spanish for
       Foreigners
Pamplona Learningn
       Spanish Institute
Turlingua -
       Consortium of
       Language Travel
       and Tourism

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

USA
American Language
       Communication
       Center
California State
       University
       Northridge
California State
       University
       San Marcos
Kaplan Educational
       Centers (Canada,
       England, USA)
University of
       California Santa
       Cruz
University of
       Houston
University of
       Nebraska at Omaha
Zoni Language
       Centers


EDUCATION TRAVEL MAGAZINE

AUSTRALIA
St Paul's
       International School

CANADA
Richmond School
       District #38

ENGLAND
Oxford Brookes
       University

SCOTLAND
University of
       Glasgow

USA
Xincon Technology
       School