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June 2008 issue

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

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Ceran’s fam trip for partners


Global language school chain, Ceran Lingua International, which is based in Belgium, recently welcomed several key agents to its headquarters at Château du Haut Neubois in Spa for a tour of its newly renovated facilities.

The trip, which focused on strengthening existing agency relationships with major partners, was arranged in order to give agents and management a chance to exchange business ideas. Ariane Bettonville, Projects Manager, said that the trip proved extremely successful for all involved. “Indeed, all participants gave us very positive feedback,” she said. “Also, everybody agreed that it was very constructive to meet with other agencies and share experiences regarding their respective markets.”

While in Belgium, attendees were given the chance to sample some of Belgium’s cultural delights, with an organised trip to Neuhaus Chocolaterie and the Formula One racetrack, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Bettonville said that such fam trips would become a regular part of Ceran’s business calendar in the future. “For 2008 alone, we have planned four agents’ meetings in our centres in Belgium and the UK,” she related.

Fernando Aguilar from Programas de Idiomas Astex in Spain, who attended the trip, said that it was very useful for him. “It was very helpful to put some ideas and knowledge together and especially to know how people feel about the direction this industry is going,” he said. “[These types of trips] are key from an agent point of view. It helps drastically for your accuracy in sales.”

Bettonville added, “Overall, we can say that our objectives have been met and that non-professional activities also gave us the opportunity to strengthen our [agent] relationships.”

"How to" book for aspiring agents

The Executive Director of a study abroad agency in Japan has written a book detailing the practicalities involved in becoming a specialist in outbound study opportunities. The book, How to Become a Study Abroad Counselor, is the brainchild of Tatsuhiko Hoshino from Global Partners Education Network, who has worked as a study abroad counsellor for 21 years.

Hoshino said that the book is the first of its kind in Japan and he drew on his 21 years’ experience in the industry in order to write it. “It took nearly four months to write the book,” he added. Currently the book is only available in the Japanese language, although Hoshino hopes that it will be translated into other languages in the future. “I believe half the contents are internationally applicable,” he said.

The book portrays study abroad counselling as an attractive industry to get into and was written in response to a rising demand for information about the career opportunities in this field in Japan. A survey of 137 students who studied abroad in 2007 showed that nearly 50 per cent were interested in becoming study abroad counsellors as a career.

Hoshino said that his book answered such questions as “’What do study abroad counsellors do?’ ‘How does one become a study abroad counsellor?’ and ‘What makes this particular career so attractive?’”, and he offered the following advice for those interested in getting started in the profession: “In a way, it is a very heavy and responsible job but at the same time it is extremely rewarding,” he commented.


iAE Global moves into Poland

iAE Global has entered into a formal agreement with Surfers Paradise agency in Poland, which will see the iAE Global Network represented for the first time in Europe.

Surfers Paradise currently focuses on sending students to study in Australia although the company will now recruit students for iAE Global’s partner institutions and will expand to include other destinations. Mark Lucas, Director of iAE Global, said that they had chosen to work with Surfers Paradise due to the qualities of the company’s owner, Monika Szmigielska. “Monika immediately understood where we are going with the business,” he said. “She is also very young and energetic, willing to learn from the success of iAE Korea and our other partners and had very positive references from those institutions she works with in Australia.”

iAE Global has also recently created partnerships with Ednet in Thailand and Anzac in Indonesia.



Industry issues - agents speak out

Q. How interested are your clients in environmental schemes to offset their air travel when studying overseas? 

Grant Hutton, Director, GA International Study, Switzerland
“To date, we have not had any student show interest in offsetting their carbon footprint. While I am sure if you asked students ‘Are they concerned about their carbon footprints and would they like to reduce it?’, the answer is probably that they would; if it meant paying more for a service, then they probably would not be interested. One of the problems I believe – and this is also from my own experience – is if I tick a box which indicates I would like to offset my carbon footprint and therefore pay extra, how can I be sure that the extra fee is actually being used effectively? That means not going into the pocket of the company who is charging it (like the airlines) or not being wasted by some massive bureaucracy pretending to administer carbon offsets. The real issue for students is more about whether the country/city where they will be studying is polluted or not and therefore affect their health. Those countries and/or cities that have significant environmental problems are destinations where I would be hesitant to sell to students.” 

Andreas van Leeuwen, Direkt Sprachreisen OHG, Germany
“Judging from daily business, environmental effects are not really an issue, sadly enough. This does not seem something of top priority to students, or at least nothing that is being discussed with the agent. On the other side, we have already thought about putting a link to a website that deals with this issue in order to raise awareness – there are certain agencies where you can ‘buy’ credits for each mile flown. The money that is raised is used to fund environmental projects. However, we have not decided yet... If you discuss with clients about environmental issues, imagine how many [agency] catalogues are thrown away carelessly or simply not used; clients understand but still don’t book [with us] necessarily. We do not have a catalogue and are completely Internet-based.”

Antonio Bacelar Jr., Director, Via Mundo Intercâmbio Turismo, Brazil
“So far, our clients do not seem to mention their concerns about carbon offsetting schemes. As a matter of fact, I believe, as an agent – I am not sure about my colleagues in Brazil – we are not putting much effort into this kind of information or scheme. It is good that you brought this to our attention. This way, our clients may have more awareness through us, as well as demand from airlines, more information on their initiative towards contributing to a more clean environment, and sustained growth!”


Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Language Travel Magazine, we ask a different language teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or agent partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month, Wilbraham & Monson Academy in the USA nominates Euro-Internatsberatung in Germany. Kathryn Auger, Assistant Director of Admission, explains this decision:

“The agency I’d like to nominate is Euro-Internatsberatung (EIB) in Munich, Germany. Wilbraham & Monson Academy has been working with them for years to admit wonderful German students. The entire staff at EIB is professional and helpful. The amount of screening on their end assures that we always see quality applicants who are well suited to our programme. All of my communications with our agent, Tina, are timely and well informed. EIB makes the application process seamless for school and student. They facilitate interviews and info days for us to meet and speak with their clients who may be good matches for our school. I was new to Wilbraham & Monson Academy this year, so my own relationship with EIB is young and already they are a favourite. A month ago I had the opportunity to visit Munich and meet many of the staff members in person and they were gracious hosts, taking the time to show me around the country, educate me about the culture, and give me an even better picture of what they do, and it’s all good work.”


On the move

French-born Sarah Charles, previously Operations Manager at BLS China in Qingdao, has taken up an appointment with Sydney-based Abbey Language Travel in Australia. Based in China, Ms Charles will assist in the expansion of Abbey’s foreign language agency business in the Australasian market, as well as a new language school management consultancy division.

After five years as a member of Ecela-Latin Immersion Spanish schools in Argentina, Chile and Peru and four as an Ialc member, Katy Cossio has left home to face new challenges in Europe. She has joined StudyTeam Cuba at the Malaga branch of StudyTravel in Spain. Ms Cossio will be in charge of the StudyTeam promotion and partnerships with agents.

Nick Clarke has joined the CES team as their new Principal in Worthing, UK. He has previously taught English in Japan and Indonesia and worked as Head of the English Department at Bellerbys College in Brighton and Sales & Marketing Manager for Study Group for South East Asia. Mr Clarke stayed with Study Group for six years before becoming Deputy Head of the International Office at the University of Brighton. His final posting before taking up his role with CES was Sales & Marketing Manager for LAL Group for Central and Eastern Europe.

Hayley Gee has just joined Cactus in the UK as Head of Language Holidays and Groups. Ms Gee will be responsible for overseeing the company’s marketing and sales strategy across its entire language holiday product range. She will also be responsible for revamping the marketing strategy for Cactus’s full portfolio of holiday products, driving new sales, identifying new markets and managing day-to-day operations at the company.

Due to the success in growth in overseas business, Kingswood and Camp Beaumont has brought together key individuals to form the International Department for The Kingswood Group in the UK. Susan Evans (left) is the new Director of International Sales while Audrey Pellerin (middle) has become International Sales Manager and Hatice Aslan (right) is also International Sales Manager.


Q&A

Sue Blundell, Executive Director of English Australia, answers our questions about what the association has been up to recently.

Full name: English Australia
Year established: 1983
Number of members: 108
Type of members: Public and private colleges teaching English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (Elicos).
Association’s main role: EA aims to establish a high professional and ethical standard in the work of member colleges, assist member colleges in providing high quality educational programs and assist, strengthen and promote the interests of the Elicos sector and member colleges.
Membership criteria: Full Neas accreditation, public liability insurance, site visits and reports from three referees, agreement to abide by EA’s constitution and by-laws.
Government recognition: Yes
Code of practice: Yes
Complaints procedure: Yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: No
Contact details:
English Australia,
PO Box 1437, Darlinghurst
NSW 1300, Australia
Tel: +61 292644700
Fax: +61 292644313
Email: easec@englishaustralia.com.au
Web: www.englishaustralia.com.au

What has your association been up to in the last 12 months?
We have achieved a lot, with a high level of engagement with government and a focus on the consolidation of the various quality regimes that ensure students have a positive experience in Australia. Australia continues to lead the way in quality assurance and consumer protection for international students. EA has just completed its strategic planning process for the next three years and we have a clear sense of what we want to achieve for our members and their students over this period of time.
 
How has the new National Code affected your members?
Members have had to focus on ensuring that they have policies and procedures in place to meet the new compliance requirements. EA has played an important role in assisting members with this so they can focus their energies on taking care of students.
 
What main challenges are your members currently facing when it comes to recruiting new students?
Australia experienced over 30 per cent growth in 2007, so despite declining numbers from traditional source countries such as Japan we are seeing increasing numbers of students from a wide variety of other countries.  English language colleges in Australia taught students from over 140 countries in 2007. 
  
Why did you decide to stop running the EA workshop and how has the new Anza workshop been received by your members?
As a destination-focused workshop, EA took delegates to a different city each year to showcase the full variety of Australian destinations. By 2007 we had covered the major cities and we decided that members had gained the maximum opportunities available. Members have responded well to the new opportunities provided by Anza in bringing agents to Australia.


Services summary

E-learning programme for UK landlords

The National Landlords Association (NLA) in the UK has launched a new e-learning programme aimed at improving the knowledge and capabilities of private landlords.

The association, which represents almost 14,000 landlords in the UK, launched the programme in January. The programme consists of online modules in topic areas such as income tax, inheritance tax, mortgages and record keeping, and landlords have their competence in each module automatically recorded as part of their continuing professional development. The website also provides direct access to relevant regulations and legislation affecting private landlords. The programme is free to association members and costs UK£40 (US$79) for non-members.

Alison Perkins, Landlord Development Manager at the NLA, said, “Residential landlords now have a structured way they can keep up-to-date with relevant changes that affect them and their properties. It provides an invaluable resource for the small buy-to-let investor and the large portfolio landlord alike and will help raise standards in rented accommodation.”

InsureandGo wins two awards

InsureandGo, a specialist provider of travel insurance, has won the T-Mobile Fast Growth Business of the Year and Online Business of the Year awards in a black tie ceremony held at the London Marriott hotel in the UK.

Hosted in March, the awards sought to commend UK companies for business excellence and celebrated innovators, dynamos and entrepreneurs alike.

InsureandGo was first launched in 2000 and was the first company to offer independent travellers an alternative to the travel insurance offered by travel agencies. Customers can obtain competitive insurance rates by answering three questions online and the convenience of the business model means that it currently has a turnover of UK£49 million (US$97 million) and a customer base of two million.

Perry Wilson, Managing Director of InsureandGo, said, “This award is not an easy one to win, especially with the tough competition out there and we are extremely proud of our achievement. It is fantastic recognition for all the hard work put in by the team and a great platform from which to take the business to the next level.”

Baltic Council becomes exam testing centre

The Latvian office of the Baltic Council for International Education (BCIE), a non-profit organisation which links educational institutions in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, has become the first official exam testing centre for Ielts, Cambridge Esol and Acca [accountancy] exams in the country.

The launch took place in March this year and the first Cambridge and Ielts sessions were held in the same month. Evgeni Govor, Chairperson of the Board, said that the BCIE became a testing centre after visits from representatives from Cambridge Esol and Ielts to assess their standards. The council signed an agreement with the Acca at the beginning of April and will start offering its first exam sessions in June 2008.

“BCIE is experiencing a very busy time as Ielts candidature is growing,” said Govor. “Ielts is the most popular exam in Latvia because the UK is the main destination for the students who chose to study abroad. We examined 93 candidates in the first Ielts session in March and the forecast is that Ielts numbers will be higher than the previous year, when 812 people took Ielts in Latvia.”



Grapevine



Agents were treated to a turn on a Belgian racetrack during the Ceran fam trip earlier this year. Here Necdet Bilgen from Biltur in Turkey is taken through his paces, while right some of the other agents relax with Christian Schillings (left) from Ceran.

   

This year’s WETM proved to be a good place to meet old friends and make new ones. Left, bonding on the dance floor are Debbie Flynn from Irish Education Partners and Carolle Raynor from Kaplan Aspect Internships, while David Jones from WyseTC (right, centre) mingles with delegates.

 





This year’s Alphe Latin America and Alphe Asia were held within 10 days of each other and the smiling faces above and left attest to the success of both events. Spotted at the dinner at the Sao Paulo event (above left) were Harry Norman and Christine Pircher-Barnes from California State University Fullerton in the USA and Una Reddington from Atlantic Language Galway in Ireland. Meanwhile, in Thailand, Pauline Hutchinson from Harrogate Ladies’ College in the UK enjoys a drink with Giljun Yang from Lets Uhak Consulting in Korea (left, below).


Travel Update

• The US Embassy has announced that Brazilian tourists will now be able to schedule a visa interview at any one of the four US consulates in Brazil (namely Brasilia, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo), a move that will help simplify the visa process. Applications for visa renewals will also be less cumbersome, with renewals being given scheduling preference. The changes will affect those travelling to the USA on a student visa, with academics able to request an earlier interview date to coincide with course commencement. According to a US Embassy press release, “These improvements reflect the US Mission’s continuing commitment to making the visa application process as efficient as possible for the growing number of Brazilians seeking visas to travel to the USA.”

• JetBlue Airways, the US low-cost carrier, has unveiled plans to launch a new Brazilian budget airline. The new carrier will compete against TAM and Gol Airlines, which handle more then 90 per cent of Brazil’s domestic market between them. Lower airfares and a point-to-point route structure – whereby travellers can fly from one city to another without any stopovers – have also been put forward. JetBlue Airways founder, David Neeleman, said, “We believe airfares in Brazil are too expensive. It’s time to lower prices to allow more people to fly”.

London Heathrow’s UK£4.3 billion (US$8.6 billion) Terminal 5 has been plagued by a series of glitches that left its grand opening in tatters. Many passengers were left without their luggage after the state-of-the-art baggage system collapsed and 34 flights were cancelled following the logistical backlog. Snow added to the chaos, when weather conditions led to the cancellation of a further 126 flights across all terminals. Terminal 5 will eventually cater for 30 million passengers per year and will equip the airport to handle up to 90 million passengers a year, 22 million more than previously.

AirAsia X, Malaysia’s long-haul budget carrier, has announced a new service between Australia and the UK via Kuala Lumpur. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation confirmed that the airline plans a Gold Coast–KL–London launch later this year and with return fares of UK£400 (US$1,000) plus taxes, the route offers a cheaper alternative for long-haul travellers. AirAsia X Chief Executive, Azran Osman-Rani, also stated that the airline was looking to expand its services to Japan, South Korea and the Middle East. “We [will] be flying to Japan by the end of 2009 or early 2010 as the Japanese airports have shown keen interest in our services,” he said. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Datuk Ong Tee Keat, noted that Air Asia X was having a positive affect on the country’s tourism intake. “It is also pleasing to note that some 50 per cent of [AirAsia X] passenger traffic has been foreign nationals, in line with the government’s vision of driving tourism in Malaysia,” he said.

• An increase in the number of Slovakians heading to Australia has prompted the Australian government to extend its electronic tourist visa application service to Slovak citizens. A spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship said, “Most Slovak citizens who use the Internet to apply for tourist visas will now have their application processed in minutes,” adding, “Extension of this autogrant facility will further enhance links between Australia and the Slovak Republic.” In total, 1,600 Slovakians journeyed to Australia in 2006/07, a 16 per cent increase on the number recorded in 2005/06.

• In a bid to counter terrorism and visa fraud, the US government’s Department of Homeland Security has called for all international visitors flying into New York to have all 10 fingers digitally fingerprinted. Officials report that the system is already effective at airports in Washington, Atlanta, Boston and Chicago and that the added measure will help identify illegal or potentially dangerous persons trying to gain entry to the USA. A similar system has already been introduced in the United Kingdom with all UK visa applicants now required to provide finger scans as part of the application process.


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
English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
Quality English Ltd.  

SERVICES
Your World on
      Monday  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

WORKSHOPS / EXPOS
CEC Network  

AUSTRALIA
Bond University  
Griffith University  
La Trobe University  
Language Studies
      International  
Meridian
      International School
Queensland
      University of
      Technology  
Universal English
      College (Global
      Village Sydney)  

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua
      International
      (Belgium, France,
      Spain, UK)

CANADA
Centre Linguista
      Canada  
Four Corners
      Language Institute  
IH Vancouver  
King George
      International College
Richmond School
      District #38  

CHINA
Beijing International
      Education Institute.
Shanghai Jingan
      Neworld Training
      Center  

ENGLAND
Bell International
      (Malta, UK)
IP International
      Projects GmbH  
      (England, France,
      Germany, Spain)
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language
      and Leisure  
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Malvern House
      College London  
Oxford Intensive
      School of English 
      (Australia, England,
      France, Germany,
      Spain, USA)
Prime Education
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
Scanbrit School of
      English  
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)

FRANCE
Alliance Française
      Bordeaux  
Alliance Française
      Grenoble  
Alliance Française
      Lyon  
Alliance Française
      Marseille-Provence  
Alliance Française
      de Montpellier  
Alliance Française
      Nice  
Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France  
Alliance Française
      Rouen-Normandie  
Alliance Française
      de Strasbourg-
      Europe
Alliance Française
      Toulouse
      Midi-Pyrénées  
Alliance Française
      du Val de Loire
      (Vendome)  
Silc - Séjours
      Linguistiques
      (France, Spain, UK)
Université de
      Paris Sorbonne  

GERMANY
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  
Lichtenberg
      Kolleg E.V.  

INDIA
Prime Speech
      Power Language
      School  

IRELAND
Swan Training
      Institute  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
International School
      of Languages  
Linguatime  

SINGAPORE
Australian
      International
      School  

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies  

SPAIN
Escuela
      Mediterráneo  
Idiomas Sí!  

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

USA
ALCC - American
      Language
      Communication
      Center  
ELS Educational
      Services  
University of
      California San Diego
Zoni Language
      Centers  
      (Canada, USA)

WORK WISE

ENGLAND
International
      House Newcastle  
Kaplan Aspect
      Internships  
Professionals UK  
Twin Group  
      (Ireland, UK)

SPAIN
International House
      Sevilla - Clic