Language Travel Magazine
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German language schools attracted a variety of different nationalities this year, but agency usage was low. Meanwhile, average length of stay almost doubled and class sizes continued to grow.
Germany feedback at a glance
Total number of students: (female 78, male 66, unknown 20) 164 Average age in years: 27 Average length of programme in weeks: 11.8 Average number of students in class: 12.8 Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 22.6 % of students who found out about their course through an agent: 16 % of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 26
% of students who had been on another language programme: 32 % of students who would recommend their school: 92
Respondents by world region of origin
1. W Europe 36%
2. Asia 21%
3. Latin America 16%
4. C & E Europe 15%
5. Africa 3%
6. North America 2%
No reply 7%
1. Swiss 16%
2. Brazilian 10%
3. Korean 7%
4. French 5%
4. Indian 5%
4. Spanish 5%
7. Japanese 4%
8. Czech 3%
8. Polish 3%
10. British 2%
10. Cameroonian 2%
10. Congolese 2%
In my class there are...
How easy is it to practise German with native speakers?
1. The right amount of students (67%)
2. Too many students from one other country (12%)
3. Too many students who speak my language (11%)
4. Too many students (7%)
1. Quite easy (42%)
2. Quite hard (41%)
3. Very hard (8%)
4. Very easy (6%)
No reply (3%)
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 (40%)
2. I found it on the Internet (36%)
1. It was recommended by an agent (16%)
4. I saw it advertised (2%)
No reply (6%)
Student reasons for school selection included:
“Good price and good size classes”
“Strict rules, good for learning!”
“I visited the same school already in London, so I knew it was good”
“The website looked very professional”
“There is a partner programme with my university”
“I like the city and the surroundings”
Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Country Yes (80%)
Unknown (9%) City/town Yes (57%)
School Yes (41%)
Student nationality A massive 41 different student nationalities took part in this issue’s Feedback survey on Germany, 14 more than in our previous survey (see LTM, November 2007, pages 16-17). There was an interesting mix of Central and Eastern European nationalities, with countries like Armenia, Kazakhstan, Romania and Albania represented. However, there was a considerable slump in the number of Russian students studying in Germany – down 16 percentage points to just two per cent this year. Consequently, as a world region, Central and Eastern Europe dipped significantly from 41 per cent to just 15 per cent. Meanwhile, Western Europeans generated a healthy amount of business for German schools, accounting for 36 per cent of the overall student market – a three per cent increase on 2007’s result. Students from Asia were also more prevalent than last year – up 12 percentage points to 21 per cent – and there were strong representations from South Korea (seven per cent) and Japan (four per cent). Meanwhile, the USA dropped out of the top 10 altogether.
Student motivation The average length of stay for respondents almost doubled this year from six weeks to 11.8 weeks. Longer programmes of between eight and 18 weeks were favoured by over half of all respondents (54 per cent), whereas shorter courses – lasting six weeks or less – were down 40 percentage points to 26 per cent this year. Learning a language for work purposes continues to motivate the majority of students with 48 per cent saying they would use their German in a current or future workplace. A large proportion (22 per cent) was Swiss in origin. Interestingly, 15 per cent said they were learning the language for pleasure only, a seven per cent increase on last year.
Respondents were less reliant on the Internet this year with 36 per cent using this as a means of finding a new school, down nine percentage points on last year. Instead, students were more likely to follow recommendations from family and friends – 40 per cent compared with 31 per cent previously. Agency recommendations also dipped further, with just 16 per cent of those surveyed following the advice of an educational agent – three per cent less than last year. And the number of students booking a language course through an agency also decreased – from 46 per cent to 26 per cent this year.
Standard of the schools Class sizes were larger this year – averaging 13 students per class compared with eight students previously. Despite this, 67 per cent claimed they were happy with both class size and nationality mix, up five percentage points on last year. Of the 18 per cent who agreed that there were either too many students per class or that there were too many students who spoke their own language present, 55 per cent were Swiss.
Living in Germany When asked to put aspects of their study abroad experience in order of preference, students listed the language, the countryside and German culture among their favourites. And despite many students acknowledging the friendliness of the German people, nearly half of the student body (49 per cent) found it quite hard or very hard to communicate effectively with them during their stay in Germany.
Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Akademie Klausenhof, Hamminkeln; BWS Germanlingua, Berlin and Munich; Carl Duisberg Centren, Koln and Berlin; Eurocentres, Berlin; Friedländer Schule, Berlin; GLS Sprachenzentrum, Berlin; Goethe Institut, Dresden; Horizonte, Regensburg; Humboldt Institut, Konstanz; International House LGS Sprachkurse, Freiburg; Kästner Kolleg E.V, Dresden; Universität Bamberg, Bremen.
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