June 2007 issue

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

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USA reaching out

Fairs and exhibitions are fast becoming the preferred choice for US agents seeking new business, while junior programmes are gaining favour among US students, according to this year's Agency Survey on the USA.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the seven agencies in our survey was 2,722

Individual agencies placed between 120 and 1,000 students on courses per year

Average business growth was 16 per cent in the last 12 months

The average length of stay for US students was one week

Four out of the seven agencies canvassed charge clients a handling fee

On average, agencies worked with 21 schools in the last 12 months

Language travel programmes accounted for 75 per cent of business, followed by internships at 17 per cent

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. Costa Rica 29%
2. Spain 16%
2. Russia 16%
4. Italy 12%
5. Guatemala 6%
5. Ecuador 6%
7. Australia 3%
7. Mexico 3%
9. Japan 2%
1. General 46%
2. Junior 18%
2. Lang. + work. 18%
4. Intensive 11%
5. Business 3%
6. Summer vacation 2%
6. Foundation 2%

Reasons for language travel Agency business by sector
1. Studies at home 42.5%
2. Current work 12.5%
2. Pleasure 12.5%
4. Future work 5%
Other 27.5%
1. Language 75%
2. Internships 17%
3. Work & Travel 6%
4. Volunteering 2%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Website 56%
2. Word of mouth 29%
3. Seminars to students 1%
4. Adverts in press 1%
4. Mailshots 1%
Other 3%
1. Fairs or expos 39%
2. Internet 35%
3. Other Press 2%
Other 24%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 0%
English Australia 0%

Capls 0%
CLC 0%

Souffle 10%
L'Office 10%
Unosel 10%
FLE 0%

MEI~Relsa 0%

Asils 20%
Italian in Italy 10%

Feltom 0%

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

South Africa
Eltasa 0%
English SA 0%

Fedele 30%

ABLS 10%
English UK 20%
British Council 30%

Eaquals 10%

Accet 30%
CEA 20%

Ialc 30%
Quality English 0%
Tandem 0%

Market Growth
Seven agencies participated in this month’s agency survey and over half reported an increase in business. One agent reported a healthy 50 per cent growth in student numbers over the last 12 months although, overall, average growth was 16 per cent – down considerably on the 23 per cent recorded in our previous survey (see Language Travel Magazine, April 2005, pages 14-15). However, one agent reported that student numbers had remained the same and two agencies failed to respond.

Language and destination trends
While Japan, as a destination, secured two per cent of outgoing students across the US client base this year – the same percentage recorded in 2005 – China, labelled a new growth market in 2005, slipped out of the running entirely. Instead, a significant number of Latin American countries, including Guatemala, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina, appeared on the list of most popular destinations, and Latin America as a region accounted for 45.5 per cent of the market. Interestingly, one agency, not surveyed before, is concentrating on the up-and-coming Russian language market, sending 95 per cent of students to Russia and a further five per cent to Kyrgyzstan.

Student and course trends
Onward studies overseas proved to be the most popular reason for US students to learn a language in another country, with this motivation given by over 42 per cent of agency clients, compared with 20 per cent recorded in 2005. There was a significant increase in the number of students opting to undertake junior programmes (up 11 percentage points to 18 per cent), which suggests high school students are taking advantage of study abroad programmes more than ever. Similarly, the percentage of students choosing a course that included a work experience placement increased from six per cent to 18 per cent this year.

Agency business
As in 2005, the Internet proved to be an important way to attract new students, with 56 per cent of agency business coming from a company’s website; a marginal increase on the 51 per cent recorded in our previous survey. It should also be noted that 29 per cent of agency business stemmed from word-of-mouth recommendations and/or referrals, an increase of seven percentage points on 2005’s result. Similarly, when it came to agencies sourcing new schools to represent, the Internet proved an invaluable resource once more, used by 35 per cent of the agents canvassed. However, fairs and expos saw the greatest increase, with 39 per cent of school contacts arising from this source compared with 13 per cent previously.

Looking ahead
US agents remain upbeat about the future and most predict a positive increase in business over the coming year. Many agencies are beginning to explore different avenues and are choosing to experiment with different language destinations, like Russia and Peru. Most agents believe more students are recognising the benefits of studying a language abroad and, despite a slowed economy, only one agent claimed this would have a negative effect on student numbers.

Economic outlook

The US economy’s annual growth rate reached 3.3 per cent in 2006, compared with 3.2 per cent in 2005. The economy grew by 2.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2006.

An increase in fourth-quarter GDP growth reflected accelerations in consumer spending, exports and Federal government spending.

Employment figures for March showed an increase of 180,000 jobs, compared with fore- casts of a 130,000 increase. The unemployment rate for March slipped from 4.5 per cent to 4.4 per cent, reaching its lowest level since Octo- ber last year.

Source: The Guardian and Bureau of Economic Analysis

US agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Guatemala: Fundacion PLFM, Antigua. In Costa Rica: Intercultura, Heredia. In Mexico: Spanish Language Institute, Cuernavaca. In Spain: International House Sevilla – CLIC, Seville; Estudio Sampere, Madrid; Enforex, Barcelona. In Ecuador: Academia de Español, Quito; Estudio Sampere, Cuenca. In Italy: Linguaviva, Florence. In Russia: Moscow State University, Moscow; St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Language Link, Spanish Works Inc., The School of Russian and Asian Studies, Andeo, NRSCA, Global Experiences, Spanish for Success

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
English UK
IH World
Perth Education City
Quality English

Malta Tourism

Alphe Conferences
CEC Network

AEI (Australian
Australasian Golf
Bond University
       (Deakin University
       Language Institute)
English Australia
ICET (Intercultural
       Education Today)
Perth Education City
St Paul's
       International School

IH Vancouver
Ilac - International
       Academy of

Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, Ireland,
       Malta, NZ, UK, USA)
Bell International
City College
       Brighton & Hove
English Language
       Centre Brighton &
LAL Language
       and Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
London Metropolitan
Malvern House
       College London
       Language School
NILE - Norwich
       Institute for
       Language Education
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
St Giles College,
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
SUL Language
University of
University of Sussex
Wimbledon School
       of English

IH - Palermo

EC - English
       Language Centres
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa)
Malta Tourism

Cape Studies -
       Pacific Gateway
       Study Group
Garden Route
       Language Centre

Asociación Gallega
       de Escuelas
       de Español - Agaes
International House
       Sevilla - CLIC
Pamplona Learning
       Spanish Institute

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

IH Montevideo

ALCC - American
Kaplan Educational
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Zoni Language
       (Canada, USA)


Global Lifestyles

Tellus Group
Training Partnership
       Ltd. (The)
Twin Group

International House
       Sevilla - CLIC