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Contents - June 2004


Special Report
Putting language to work
Work experience has become one of the buzzwords of the industry, with more language schools moving into this sector to satisfy demands from their agent partners. Schools in many countries offer the possibility of either internships in a business environment, volunteering options or paid work experience, very often in the hospitality industry. Agents can also work with placement organisations that do not necessitate a language course prior to placement. Amy Baker reports.


Direction
Immersion tactics
The concept of home tuition programmes, whereby a student lives and learns in a teacher's home, is becoming more widely known, according to providers, with an increasing range of students enrolling on such programmes. Bethan Norris reports on the rise of this intensive learning option.



City Focus
Boston's allure
A world-renowned centre of academia, Boston is a first choice destination for many language students setting their sights on further academic study or simply wanting to soak up the atmosphere of a student-centred city. Jane Vernon Smith discovers some of the city's principle attractions.



Opinion

Evolving market
The type of language learning programmes favoured by students changes and evolves over time, as agents working in the industry can testify. Students' discernment can be down to major trends in global mobility and international opportunity. For example, as studying overseas becomes more commonplace, and even de rigeur in some countries, high school preparation programmes gain in popularity.

Likewise, as working overseas becomes a more common trend and an option that is easier to research and undertake, work experience programmes - whether offering paid or unpaid employment - become increasingly requested by agency clients. Second language ability among certain nationalities is also on the rise, which is a testament to the advancement of curriculum standards around the world, and cultural exchange opportunities without a language learning requirement are becoming popular.

This point is highlighted in our Special Report this issue about work experience programmes. While many language schools offer language tuition courses with a work placement element, agents already active in this field testify that a large proportion of clients request a work placement only - already confident in their linguistic ability. Agents and schools see a good opportunity for expanding business in this sector, as most schools offer work placements after a minimum language course, while work experience organisers offering placement services only are also experiencing growing demand for their services.

Just as types of courses become in vogue, so are destinations. Australia seems to be very popular with Chinese students at the moment, judging by the latest results of our Australia Status survey, which indicates that Chinese students are now in the majority across Australia's classrooms. And according to our Brazilian Agency Survey, the USA's popularity with Brazilian students continues to wane, as the UK gains favour and more bookings to Australia and New Zealand are forecast.

Asian destinations have been courting the international student market for some years, and according to the Director General of the British Council, Malaysia and Singapore are now deemed to represent a potential threat to the prosperity of the UK's international student market, as does Australia and the USA. His comments were made in relation to a new report that estimates the current worth of UK education exports.

One positive in the UK's favour is the accession of 10 new members to the European Union (EU), which took place on 1 May. Language schools in the EU are agreed that the expansion of the union should lead to a gradual increase in student enrolments, as economic conditions in the accession countries improve and language learning becomes more important.

Language schools in Germany report that business is currently doing well because of the appeal, and low cost, of studying in the country's higher education system. Schools there should also reap the benefits of the expanded EU. Ireland is another country that should benefit. It seems to be a favourite among agents, with a number of readers speaking highly of the Irish study experience.

In terms of programme delivery, we also uncover a growing trend towards home tuition programmes in this issue, as more and more students are seeing the benefits of this intensive type of study, according to providers working in the field.


Opinion
Evolving market
The type of language learning programmes favoured by students changes and evolves over time, as agents working in the industry can testify. Students' discernment can be down to major trends in global mobility and international opportunity. For example, as studying overseas becomes more commonplace, and even de rigeur in some countries, high school preparation programmes gain in popularity.

News
NZ introduces
X-ray rule
Enlarged EU to bring in business
UK industry valued at UK£10.3 billion
Pacific Gateway Study Group is born
Regent hits 40-year milestone
Taiwan's president encourages study abroad


Travel News
Low-cost travel to soar in new EU
Latin American growth forecast
Air France mergers

Agency News
ExpoBelta branches out
Baselt hosts final fam trip
New agency association for Pakistan

Agency Survey
Brazil back on form
The USA continues to decline in popularity among Brazilian students, according to our survey of agency business trends in Brazil last year. But overall, market growth is good and student confidence regarding outbound travel has returned.

Feedback
France feedback
A larger proportion of students who took part in this year's Feedback survey in France were studying the language for pleasure only, compared with the results for last year. There was also an increase in Chinese students with long-term academic goals.

Market Report
Germany's focus
Asian students enrolling at German language schools increased in number last year, largely because of the appeal of studying in Germany's higher education sector. European student numbers were also stable, and as a result, German language schools reported a positive performance last year.

Course Guide
UK high school prep.
Entering the mainstream education system in a foreign country can be a daunting experience, particularly for students of a younger age. Many language and high schools in the UK offer academic preparation courses for students about to embark on a high school programme and a selection of these are listed below.

Profile
Russia
The Russian Federation is a vast country, which encompasses over 150 ethnic minorities and 21 automonous republics. To travel the 10,000 kilometres that separates the east and west takes 12 hours in a plane, while the continuous Trans-Siberian rail route from Moscow to Vladivostok takes just over six days.

Status
Status: Australia 2003
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.