June 2005 issue

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France feedback

A varied nationality mix and high student satisfaction levels characterised this year's Feedback survey of French language students, although there was also a downward trend in agent bookings.

Fance feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 69, male 29 98

Average age in years: 27.8

Average length of programme in weeks: 17.5

Average number of students in class: 7.8

Average number of hours language tuition per week: 18.2

% of students who found their course through an agent: 26

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 27

% of students who had been on another lang. programme: 34

% of students who would recommend their school: 91

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (18%)
W Europe (49%)
C & E Europe (7%)
C& L America (11%)
Australasia (1%)
Middle East (2%) Unknown (2%)
1. Italian (13%)
2. American (10%)
3. German (9%)
4. Korean (8%)
5. Chinese (7%)
6. British (6%)
7. Brazilian (5%)
7. Dutch (5%)
7. Colombian (5%)
10. Spanish (4%)

In my class there are... How will you use your French in the future?
Too many students (8%)
Too many students who speak my language (5%)
Too many students from one other country (12%)
None of these (7%)
Unknown (3%)
For college study in France (26%)
For college studies at home (15%)
For corrent/future work (36%)
For pleasure only (21%)
Unknown (2%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of your social programme
Recommended by a friend/relative (36%)
Recommended by an agent (26%)
I found it on the internet (26%)
I saw it advertised (8%)
Excellent (23%)
Good (43%)
Satisfactory (18%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Poor (7%)
Unknown (8%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of the teaching
Excellent (31%)
Good (49%)
Satisfactory (15%)
Unknown (5%)
Excellent (52%)
Good (39%)
Satisfactory (3%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (5%)

Standard of your accommodation What is your accommodation while in France?
Excellent (21%)
Good (40%)
Satisfactory (17%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Poor (5%)
Unknown (5%)
Host family (43%)
Residential/single room (9%)
Residential/dormitory (5%)
Other (33%)
Noreply (9%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (84%)
No (9%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (37%)
No (57%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (29%)
No (64%)
Unknown (7%)

Student nationality
With 29 different nationalities represented in this year's Feedback survey on France, the student mix was particularly varied and no one nationality dominated classrooms. Compared with last year's survey, the nationality breakdown of students in French language schools has changed considerably, with Italian students being the most numerous this year, making up 13 per cent of the student body, compared with just four per cent last year (see Language Travel Magazine, June 2004, pages 16-17). In our previous survey, Japanese students made up the largest group, with a 16 per cent share, while, in this issue's survey this nationality did not even feature in the top 10. In general, Asian student numbers were down this year while those from North America, Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe had all increased.

Student motivation
When looking at the motivation for our respondents' study abroad trips, it is possible to detect some distinct differences between the major world regions of origin. Sixty-five per cent of Asian students and 55 per cent of Latin American students were studying French in France in order to go on to college study in France, while the largest group of Western Europeans (42 per cent) were studying in France for current or future work purposes. A significant number of Western Europeans (25 per cent) were also studying in France for college study in their home country. A relatively high proportion of students – 34 per cent – had studied overseas on another study abroad trip, with 21 per cent of these having studied in more than one country.

Student enrolment
When it came to finding and booking a course, this year's survey also revealed a change in typical trends. Agent usage stayed static with 26 per cent of respondents finding their course through this route, compared with 25 per cent last year. However fewer students this year than last year actually booked their course through an agency - 27 per cent compared with 42 per cent last year. Internet usage among students was also down, with only 26 per cent of students finding their course through the Internet this year, compared with 38 per cent last year.

Standard of the schools
With such a wide range and even spread of student nationalities, student satisfaction levels were generally high with very few students saying that there were too many students of their own nationality (five per cent) or too many students of one other nationality (12 per cent) in their class. Of those respondents who thought that there were too many students of their own nationality in the classroom, the majority were Italian, as well as one Chinese and one American student.

Living in France
Nearly 50 per cent of students found the cost of living in France to be higher than in their own countries, including 59 per cent of Asian students and 35 per cent of Western European students. The average cost of a one-week language course with no accommodation was e126 (US$161). When it came to practising French with the locals, the majority of students were happy with their experiences with 60 per cent finding it either very easy or quite easy to meet French people.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Alliance Française Marseille, Marseille; Alliance Française de Strasbourg, Strasbourg; Alliance Française de Toulouse, Toulouse; Alphe B Institute Linguistique, Nice; BLS Bordeaux, Bordeaux; Butterfly et Papilon School of International Languages, Annecy; Ecoles de Conde, Lyon; France Homestays á Mouans-Sartoux, Cote d'Azur; France Homestays á Nice, Nice; Institut César; Montpellier; Institut Lyonnais, Lyon; Langues san Frontieres, Montpellier; Les Cedres, Massy; OISE, Paris; Elit Groupe St Denis, Loches; Universite d'Etudes et des Loisirs des Alpes du Sud, Gap; Universite de Savoie, Chambery.

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