June 2011 issue

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Spain Feedback

Spanish schools attract a real diversity of students in terms of motivation and nationality. Only one-third of students used an advisor to book their course, but this included many from established Western European destinations.

Spain Feedback at a glance

Total number of students: 144 (female 101, male 40, unknown 3)
Average age in years: 28.6
Average length of programme in weeks: 13
Average number of students in class: five
Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 18.5
% of students who found out about their course through an advisor: 14
% of students who booked through an agent or advisor: 33
% of students who had been on another language programme: 51
% of students who would recommend their school: 96

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
1. W Europe 66%
2. Asia 12%
3. N America 10%
4. C & E Europe 6%
5. Africa 1%
5. Australasia 1%
No reply 4%
1. German 14%
2. British 12%
3. American 9%
4. Swedish 8%
4. Dutch 8%
4. Italian 8%
7. Chinese 6%
8. Swiss 5%
8. French 5%
Other 25%

In my class there are... How easy is it to practise your language skills with native speakers?
1. The right amount of students (72%)
2. Too many students from one other country 13%
3. Too many students who speak my language 7%
4. Too many students 4%
No reply 4%
1. Quite easy (42%)
2. Quite hard (33%)
3. Very hard (14%)
4. Very easy (9%)
No reply 2%

How did you find your programme? Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. I found it on the Internet (49%)
2. Recommended by a friend/ relative (28%)
3. Recommended by an advisor (14%)
4. I saw it advertised 9%
Yes (33%)
No (60%)
Unknown (7%)

Student reasons for school selection included:
“Close to my house and with Cervantes affiliation”
“Seemed good on Internet forums and the cheapest in Seville”
“Size of classes and helpful staff”
“I visited the open day”
“Not too many young students”

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (88%)
No (12%)

Yes (63%)
No (37%)
Yes (24%)
No (76%)

Student nationality
There was quite a diverse range of nationalities represented across the 144 students studying at 17 Spanish language schools that took part in this month’s Feedback survey. Overall, 28 nationalities were included, with Irish, Icelandic and Portuguese among the smaller samples. As last year, Germans were the predominant nationality, with 14 per cent of the share – down by one percentage point on last year’s result (see LTM, June 2010, pages 30-31). British students overtook the USA to be in second place this year, with US students in third position with a nine per cent market share. One main change year-on-year was that there were more Italians polled this year; they were in equal fourth position with an eight per cent share, along with Swedish students (in fourth place last year) and Dutch students (in fifth place previously).

Student motivation
There was a real range of reasons for studying Spanish given. Almost half of all students polled indicated that they did not currently use Spanish in their home country for either work or study. Delving deeper, a number of students actually resided in Spain; it was their adopted home country. This was particularly the case among a number of older British respondents. The largest group of students indicated that they would be using Spanish for work in the future (44 per cent) but just under one-third, 27 per cent, were learning for pleasure only.

Student enrolment
In terms of student age range, the youngest student was 17 years old and the oldest was 74, so there was quite some diversity. The average age was 28.6 although the most typical age for students to be was 21. Length of stay also varied from one week to 104 weeks. Average length of stay overall was 13 weeks, although the majority of students were studying for four weeks. In terms of specific reasons given for choosing their school, some interesting points were made. As well as a number of students indicating that a low price had influenced them, other factors included a school being affiliated with Instituto Cervantes; a nice website, timetable flexibility; being small and familiar in feel; near the beach and having few Asian students.

Standard of the schools
Ninety-six per cent of students indicated that they would recommend their school to others and 97 per cent of students thought that their teachers were excellent or good; 76 per cent of them deemed them excellent, which is high praise indeed. The academic programme received almost as high praise, with 85 per cent overall rating it excellent and good. Only 58 per cent said the same of their accommodation, although in fact, 21 per cent did not reply to this question and 36 per cent of students were no longer using accommodation organised by the school.

Living in Spain
Forty-nine per cent of respondents said that living in Spain was actually cheaper than at home and this included a real mix of respondents rather than any real trends in terms of origin. An average spend in euros per week on course plus accommodation reached e269 (US$389). Forty-two per cent found practising their language skills with native speakers quite easy. For just forty-seven per cent, it was their first language travel trip. Fifty-one per cent had already studied abroad somewhere, most typically in the UK, Spain, Germany or France, although some had also been to Ecuador, Guatemala or Peru.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: AIP Language Institute, Valencia; Castelar, San Pedro del Pinatar; Cervantes Escuela Internacional, Malaga; Colegio Delibes, Salamanca; Colegio Maravillas, Benalmadena; Escuela de Idiomas Nerja, Nerja; Escuela La Ola, Madrid; Escuela Montalban, Granada; Giralda Centre, Sevilla; IH Barcelona, Barcelona; Instituto Andalusi, Malaga; Instituto Hispanico de Murcia, Murcia; La Casa del Español, Valladolid; Letra Hispanica, Salamanca; Malaga Si!, Malaga; Proyecto Español, Alicante; The Spanish Course, Puente Viesgo.
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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study 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 Services  
Nido Student Living  

English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
International House World Organisation  
Quality English  

Cambridge Esol  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Twin Group  

English Australia  
Southern Cross University  

Algonquin College  
Canadian as a second language Institute  
Geos International Schools  
Georgian College  
IH Toronto  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Queen's University  
SAIT Polytechnic  
Student Guard Insurance  
Vancouver English Centre  

International House London  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Link School  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Study Group  
Twin Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  

Accent Francais  
Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
Le Franc Parler  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  
Université d'été de Boulogne-sur-Mer  

International House Berlin - Prolog  


Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  
Feltom Malta  
inlingua Malta  
Language Room  
Malta Tourism Authority  

New Horizon College of English  

English in Africa Language School  

Inturjoven Spanish Courses   
Escuela La Ola  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute  

EF Language Colleges Ltd  

Academia Uruguay  

Boarding Schools in the USA  
ELS Language Centers  
International House Sol Group  
UC Berkeley Extension  
Zoni Language Centers  

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