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March 2006 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Direction
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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Italy slows down

A number of factors exerted negative influences on the Italian language teaching market in 2005, as Amy Baker reports.

Visa issuance has been a headache for Italian language schools over the last year. Lorenzo Capanni from Accademia del Giglio in Florence attests, "Most of the Italian embassies have become stricter, especially in Asia and Latin America. As for African students, it is practically impossible for them to obtain a student visa for a language course [in Italy]."

Other schools confirm that they have experienced a similar situation. Andrea Moradei from Centro Koinè in Florence agrees, "The Italian Foreign Office orders visa offices in the Italian consulates to reject all [applications for] study visas from [certain] countries and all applications for study visas for beginners in the Italian language from the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc."

As a result, many schools report that student numbers for 2005 were down compared with 2004, or showed only a small increase. Istituto Venezia in Venice is one school that saw business increase last year and as Matteo Savini at the school points out, "Considering that there are many schools in Italy and that the language of the moment is Spanish, even five per cent growth is not bad."

Alberto Del Mela at Scuola Toscana in Florence has less to be happy about. Like Capanni, he estimates business was down by 20 per cent in 2005. "Thanks to George Bush and the war on terror, everyone seems to be staying at home," he says, "and those who want to receive a study visa are not able [to]." Donna Lynne Galletta at Atrium Istituto di Lingua Italiana in Cagli attributes a 25 per cent decline at their school to the general world economic situation. "Our school targets vacationers who want to learn Italian while on vacation," she says. "Less money means less vacationers."

So, the threat of terrorism, global economics, visa problems and, as Carlo Lipparini of Istituto Il David in Florence points out, a strong euro, were "the four negative aspects" of the year that really put the brakes on the Italian market. Lipparini notes, however, "the Internet is making everybody's life easier".

Not every school in Italy has had to tighten their belts, either. There are some institutions that point to good growth figures, but in these cases, proactive marketing seems to have been the solution. Anna Paola Bosi at Il Sillabo in San Giovanni Valdarno notes 10 per cent growth and says, "In 2004, we attended four big fairs and we have improved our marketing on the Internet."

In Cefalu, Vittoria Cirello at Kulturforum, which opened in 2001, relates that as well as increased advertising overseas, "last year we have also invested a lot to optimise our website, and finally many students come to us through personal recommendation". She estimates that they welcomed 30 per cent more students in 2005 than in 2004. At Sorrento Lingue in Sorrento, web and print-based marketing was also more fruitful, says Cristiana Panicco.

Agents are important to Italian language schools, with many institutions putting agencies behind the Internet as the second most important source of students, or in first position overall. And while it seems that the Internet is certainly a focus of new marketing initiatives, two schools, including Kulturforum, acknowledge that they are thinking about expanding their agency partnerships.

For a number of the schools interviewed for this feature, agencies recruit at least one third of all students, and in the most recent Status survey of Italy (see Language Travel Magazine, November 2005, page 45), agents were said to recruit 41 per cent of clients overall. The Internet was the next most important medium, recruiting 27 per cent of clients on average.

Why students choose to study Italian and how schools can reach them are important questions for the schools to consider. Many sources report a growing demand for specialised Italian and culture courses, which can be marketed through strategic outlets, agents or through various marketing media. Daniel Pietzner, Director of Omnilingua in Sanremo, notes a 40 per cent rise in requests for the specialised Italian, cooking and wine course that they offer. And in Grado, Francesca Mattiusi-Seaman of Scuola Insieme relates, "Clients want more of a full immersion experience with seminars in Italian culture, particularly Italian cooking, cinema and to a degree, Italian opera and art history."


Who wants to study Italian?

The range of nationalities important to language schools in Italy varies widely. However, Japanese, German and US students are clearly among the most significant in the market. In our most recent Status survey of Italian language schools, these three nationalities, along with the Swiss, were the most populous (see graphic).

The consensus seems to be that Germany did not perform well last year, although a couple of schools disagreed. Carlo Lipparini of Istituto Il David in Florence relates, "We had a big decrease in the number of requests from the German-speaking market due to the employment crisis currently in Germany." A number of other schools, such as Il Sillabo in San Giovanni Valdarno, back up this claim.

A slight majority of schools indicated that the USA was among their best performing markets last year and even those schools that were disappointed with overall US numbers indicated that they might focus on this market next year. Lorenzo Capanni of Academia del Giglio in Florence says, "We hope that the American market will recover, especially for undergraduate students."

Otherwise, a trend towards newer student markets is noted by some schools. "We expect a good trend from Russia and [Asian] countries," says Carmelo Manetta of the Italian Language Center Giacomo Leopardi in Belforte all'Isauro, while Cristiana Panicco at Sorrento Lingue adds, "We would like to establish new partnerships with South American and Chinese markets."

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.

Name

Company
Country
Telephone

Email



ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
Australian Council
      for Private Education
      & Training
Capls/ACELP
English Australia
English UK
FLE.FR
OLE - Español en
      Andalucia
Quality English

EXPOS/WORKSHOPS
Alphe Agent
      Workshops

SERVICES
GSM International

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority

AUSTRALIA
Australian Council
      for Private Education
      & Training
English Australia
Sydney West
      International College
TAFE NSW English
      Language Centres

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua
      International
      (Belgium, England,
      France, Ireland,
      Japan, Netherlands,
      Spain)

CANADA
Académie des
      langues de Trois -
      Pistoles
Access International
      School
Bodwell College
Capls/ACELP
Conestoga College
CSLI
East Coast School of
      Languages (ECSL)
ELS Language
      Centres
Geos Language
      Academies
IH Toronto
ILAC - International
      Language Academy
      of Canada
Inlingua Vancouver
International
      Language Schools
      of Canada
Intrax English
      Institute
Language Repair
      Shop, The
Language Studies
      Canada
Modus Language
      Institute
Pacific-Global
      Language Centre
Stewart College of
      Languages
University Canada
      West
Vancouver English
      Centre
      (Canada, Mexico)
Vancouver Premier
      College of
      English Language
Vanwest College
West Vancouver
      School District #45

CYPRUS
Lingua Summer
      School

ENGLAND
Anglolang Academy
      of English
Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      Scotland, South
      Africa, Spain, USA)
Beet Language
      Centre
Bell International
Cambridge
     Academy of English
Churchill
      House/English Home
      Tuition Scheme
Cicero Languages
      International
Eastbourne School
      of English
Eckersley Oxford
English Language
      Centre
English Studio
English UK
Excel English
      Language School
Frances King School
      of English
Hampstead School
      of English
International House
      Newcastle
International House
      World
King Street College
Lake School of
      English
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
      USA)
Langbourne College
London School of
      English
Malvern House
Melton College
Millfield Enterprises
Oxford Intensive
      School of English
      (Australia, England,
      France, Germany,
      Spain, USA)
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
      College
Regency College
Sheffield Hallam
      University
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Taunton
      International
      Study Centre
Wimbledon School
      of English

FRANCE
Accent Français
Alliance Française
      Toulouse
      Midi-Pyrénées
Alpha B - Institut
      Linguistique
Centre d'Etudes des
      Langues de
      Saint-Malo
Centre International
      Linguistique et
      Sportif (CILS)
Ecole Suisse
      Internationale
Education En
      France
IMEF
Inlingua Rouen -
      French in Normandy
Institut Catholique
      de Toulouse (IULCF)
International House
      Nice
Langue Onze
      Toulouse
Les Ateliers
      Linguistiques du
      Tarn
Les Cèdres
Odyssea - Institut
      Européen de
      Français
SILC - Séjours
      Linguistiques
      (England, France,
      Spain)
Université de Paris
      Sorbonne

GERMANY
Inlingua Munich
Prolog- International
      House Berlin

IRELAND
Cork English College
      / Language &
      Activity Holidays
Linguaviva Centre

ITALY
International House
      Palermo

MALTA
Burlington Academy
IH- Malta-Gozo
International English
      Language Centre
Lingua Time
Malta Tourism
      Authority

NEW ZEALAND
Auckland English
      Academy
Auckland Institute of
      Studies
Cathedral Lane
      Academy
Christchurch
      Polytechnic Institute
      of Technology
Hawkes Bay
      Polytechnic
Languages
      International
Rotorua English
      Language Academy
University of Otago
      Language Centre

POLAND
York School

PORTUGAL
International House
      Lisbon

RUSSIA
Language Link,
      Russia
Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

SPAIN
Colegio de Español
      La Janda
Escuela de Idiomas
      Nerja
Escuela
      Internacional
High Educational
      Studies
International House
      San Sebastian -
      Lacunza
International House
      Sevilla - CLIC
International House
      Valladolid
Kings College
      International
      (England, Spain)
Kingsbrook -
      Spanish for
      Foreigners
La Brisa
Malaca Instituto
OLE - Español en
      Andalucia
Taller Flamenco

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      USA)
Institut Richelieu

UKRAINE
International House
      Kiev

USA
American Language
      Communication
      Center
California School
      of English
California State
      University San
      Marcos
Columbia University
Diablo Valley
      College
ELS Language
      Centers
Intercultural
      Communications
      College
International House
      San Diego SCIEL
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
Monterey Institute of
      International Studies
University of
      California Riverside
University of
      California
      Santa Cruz
University of Illinois
      at Urbana-
      Champaign
Zoni Language
      Centers

WALES
CELTiC (Schools)
      Ltd


EDUCATION TRAVEL

AUSTRALIA
Australian Council
      for Private Education
      & Training

CANADA
Archer Education
      Group
Delta School District

ENGLAND
Oxford Brookes
      University

SCOTLAND
University of
      Glasgow

USA
Oak International