June 2010 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
Market Report
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus

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France waning

In 2008, French language travel agents predicted a downturn in business for 2009. While this forecast looks to have come true, new business trends have manifested themselves.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the 10 agencies in our survey was 4,125

• Individual agencies placed between 101 and 743 students on courses per year

• Average business growth was -0.9 per cent in the last 12 months

• The average length of stay for French students was three weeks

• Overall, 65 per cent of French students stayed in host families when studying overseas

Six of the agencies surveyed charged their clients a handling fee

• On average agencies worked with 40 different schools in nine different countries

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 46%
2. Ireland 20%
3. USA 16%
4. France 7%
5. Spain 4%
6. Malta 2%
7. Australia 1%
8. Germany 1%
Other 3%
1. General 37%
2. Junior 21%
3. Lang. & work exp. 14%
4. Intensive 8%
5. Business 4%
6. Summer vacations 4%
7. Academic prep. 2%
8.Univ Found 1%
Other 9%

Reasons for language travel Average percentage agency business
1. Studies at home 34%
2. Current work 20%
3. Studies overseas 20%
4. Future work 18%
5. Pleasure 8%
1. Language progr. 47%
2. Higher education 17%
3. Work & travel 13%
4. Internships 6%
Other 17%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new business partners?
1. Website 44%
2. Word-of-mouth 28.5%
3. E/online 7%
4. Advert in press 3.5%
5. Mail shots 3.5%
6. Seminars to students 3%
Other 1%
1. Internet 44%
2. Workshops 28%
3. LTM/ETM 10%
4. Lang. fairs&student expos 4%
Other 14%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 10%
English Australia 30%

Languages Canada 30%

Souffle 70%
FLE.fr 80%
L'Office 80%
Unosel 100%

MEI 50%

Asils 30%
Italian in Italy 11%

Feltom 50%

New Zealand
English NZ 20%
Aeple 100%

South Africa
EduSa 0%

Fedele 60%

English UK 100%
British Council 100%

Accet 30%
CEA 0%

Eaquals 40%
Ialc 40%
IHWO 10%
Quality English 30%
Tandem 10%

Market growth
Of the 10 agencies that took part in this month’s Agency Survey, three posted good business growth of between 10 and 30 per cent, while three posted negative results of between 15 and 32 per cent. Two agencies noted that placement figures had remained similar to 2008’s findings and two declined to comment. Such variation in business performance saw average business growth fall below the minus mark to -0.9 per cent, compared with 14.4 per cent in 2008 (see LTM, June 2009, pages 24-25). Average length of stay for French students climbed from 2.08 weeks to three weeks, but it should be noted that only half of those surveyed gave total number of student weeks.

Language and destination trends
English language programmes continue to outstrip demand, up 14 percentage points to 86 per cent in 2009. Spanish remained the next most likely language French students opted to study abroad, down 11 percentage points to five per cent. While a bulk of French agency clientele were estimated to be studying English in the UK (46 per cent), a sizeable amount (20 per cent) travelled to Ireland for study purposes, compared with 11 per cent in 2008. Meanwhile, the USA slipped into third place with a 16 per cent share of the sample. Several agencies declined to give a percentage breakdown of destination choice, however, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were noteworthy choices for students studying overseas.

Student and course trends
Less emphasis was placed on learning a language for future or current work purposes in 2009 (38 per cent compared with 59 per cent in 2008). Instead, French students were motivated by tertiary study either at home (34 per cent) or overseas (20 per cent). However, this was not necessarily reflected in course choice. Academically focused programmes such as academic prep (two per cent) or university foundation programmes (one per cent) were low on the list of wants. Instead a majority of agency clientele requested general language programmes (37 per cent) and junior courses were the second most requested course type (21 per cent). However, two agencies signalled that the junior market was a mainstay for their business.

Agency business
A majority of agency business stemmed from web enquiries (up 14 percentage points to 44 per cent this year), while word-of-mouth recommendations also carried some clout (28.5 per cent compared with 36 per cent previously). Similarly, when asked how agents sourced new business, 44 per cent said that they relied on the Internet, a marked increase on the 24 per cent or so recorded last year. The next most successful source of new business came from participation at agent workshops (28 per cent).

Looking ahead
Interestingly, out of the five agents that volunteered a business forecast for 2010, only one noted that there would be further fall out from the global economic crisis. Opinion among the remaining four agents was particularly upbeat, with one agency planning to expand its office network and another confident business performance would increase by as much as 20 per cent in the next 12 months.

Economic overview

• France’s real GDP contracted 2.1 per cent in 2009, while the unemployment rate increased from 7.4 per cent in 2008 to nearly 10 per cent. In response, the government passed a US$35 billion stimulus plan in February 2009 centered on investment on infrastructure.

• France has, however, weathered the global economic crisis better than most other big EU economies due to resilient consumer and government spending.

• The French economy grew more than expected in the final quarter of 2009 when the country’s real GDP rose 0.6 per cent – quarter-on-quarter.

Sources: CIA Factbook and Economy.com

French agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Australia: ACE, various. In Canada: Quest Language Studies, Toronto, ON. In France: Home Language International, Monte Carlo. In Ireland: Dublin School of English, Dublin; Galway Cultural Institute, Galway. In the UK: English 2000, Bournemouth; Frances King School of English, London; Hastings English Language Centre, Hastings; London School of Economics, London; Twin Group, London. In the USA: TLA - The Language Academy, Florida, FL. Worldwide: Embassy CES.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: AMSL - Autour du Monde Stages Linguistiques, Study Experience, CAPEC, APITU, Admirative I am, Oliver Twist Work & Study, Formalangues, Languages & Travel, Centre EasyLangues, Etudes & Découvertes Internationales.

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.





Feltom Malta  
International House
      World Organisation  
Quality English  

Alphe Conferences  

Pearson Education  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

LTM Digital  

Malta Tourism

Ability Education  

College of New
ILSC - International
      Language Schools
      of Canada  
International House
Point 3 Language
Red Leaf
      Student Programs  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Stewart College
      of Languages  
Vancouver English

Anglolang Academy
      of English 
Beet Language
Cambridge Academy
      Of English  
Cambridge Education
Capital School of
Churchill House  
Devon School Of
Discovery Summer
Eastbourne School
      Of English  
Eckersley Oxford
English Language
      Centre Brighton &
Excel English
Frances King School
      of English
ILS English
Kaplan Aspect
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand,South Africa,
      UK, USA)
Kings Colleges
      (Prime Education)  
Lake School of
LAL Language
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa,
      Spain, Switzerland,
Lewis School of
      Language Academy
Living Learning
(The) London School
      of English  
Malvern House
      College London  
Millfield English
      Language Holiday
Queen Ethelburga's
Southbourne School
       of English  
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
Thames Valley
      Summer Schools  
Twin Group  
University of
      Essex -
Wickham Court
Wimbledon School
      of English  

Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France 
Home Language
      (Australia, Brazil,
      Canada, China,
      Czech Republic,
      Denmark, England,
      Egypt, Finland,
      France, Greece,
      Netherlands, Hungary,
      Scotland, South Africa,
      Spain, Malta, New
      Zealand, Norway,
      Poland, Portugal,
      Switzerland, United
      Arab Emirates, USA,
Université de
      Paris Sorbonne  

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

ATC Language and
Atlantic Language
Cork English
The Linguaviva

Clubclass Residential
      Language School  
EC English Language
      (England, Malta, South
      Africa, USA)
Global Village English

Rotorua English
      Language Academy
Worldwide School
      of English  

Interlink School of   

Choices International
      Work Experience 
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL
Malaga Si  
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Costa Rica,
      Ecuador, England,
      France, Germany,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,

Boston School of
      Modern Languages  
California School
       of English  
California State
      University Chico  
California State
      University Long
California State
      University San
ELS Language
International House
      San Diego  
San Diego State
University of
      California Berkeley
University of
      California Riverside  
University of
      California San
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)

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