March 2007 issue

Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
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Course Guide
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Icef Online launches

Icef Online, a new web-based platform aimed at enhancing daily operations between agencies and educators, was launched during the annual Icef workshop in Berlin in November. The online platform is a "relationship management" tool according to Rod Hearps of EdMedia, which has developed the new tool in tandem with Icef.

Essentially, the system allows schools to develop profile pages in up to 10 different languages that agencies can use on their own websites to deliver information about their partner schools. The profile page is managed by the school and any changes made automatically apply to all versions of the page used by partner agencies. Marketing support, agency agreements, etc, can also be downloaded from the Icef online site by agency partners.

For educators and agencies alike, another benefit of the site is the ability to search for new partners within the remit of Icef Online. Hearps explained that users have the facility to allow enquiries about working partnerships from particular countries or world regions only. As well as linking to partners' profile pages on their own websites, agencies can also use Icef Online to manage student queries and automatically respond to them. Enquiries from students about partner providers are sent to the agency rather than to the education institution.

"The system aims to make business relationships easy,” statedHearps, who added that in stage two of the development of the system, educators will be able to add photos to their profile page too. This online “study guide” page is available in English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. At the time of going to press, 174 education institutions and 70 agencies had signed up to use Icef Online, which costs e995 (US$1,292) per year plus a e250 (US$325) sign-up fee.

Alphe Asia takes in Thailand

The most recent Alphe Conference took place in Bangkok in Thailand for the first time last year and the atmosphere was the same great mix of professionalism and conviviality, according to Alphe Agent Organiser, Jessica Mathieu. A wide range of agent nationalities were

represented by the group that convened at the Intercontinental Hotel and among those attending were representatives from various Asian agency associations: IKPII of Indonesia; Vieca of Vietnam; Tosa of Taiwan and Tieca of Thailand.

“Eighty-five agencies – and 120 delegates – attended the event from 18 different countries,” explained Mathieu, adding that the agent delegates included many members of Thai agency association, Tieca. Educator associations Alto, AAIEP and English Australia also attended the conference.

“This workshop was a fantastic place for meeting with representatives from all over South East Asia,” commented Jackie Storey from Kensington and Chelsea College in London, UK. “It was business-like and well organised with lots of networking opportunties.” Adrian Gatt from global chain EC added, “There was an excellent spread of agents versus schools. My highlight was meeting so many Thai and Vietnamese agents.”

One agent from Vietnam, Vu Thi Tu Oanh from Duc Anh agency, said she had already signed new contracts with schools by the end of the event. Somphone Phonh-Axa from International Education Consultants in Laos added, “It was easy to find quality education providers here.”

The unusual choice of a Brazilian churrasceria restaurant for the organised dinner went down very well with all delegates, said Jane Gilham, Alphe Organiser, who praised the hotel for its excellent facilities. “We are already looking forward to our next Alphe Asia conference, which will take place in March 2008,” she said.

Industry issues - agents speak out

Q. Do you ever encounter payment problems from school partners?

Magdalena Anuszek, Siesta, Poland
“Siesta has no problems with commission payments from schools. We forward the entire payment from a student to the school minus our commission; this is of course according to the terms and conditions. In case a student would like to extend their stay there are two options, either he pays us full payment and we make new bank transfer to the school minus our comission or he pays directly to the school, and with our next payment for the school, we compensate our commission payment for both [bookings]. In case of late bookings, for example, a client wants to go in two days to a language school, we do suggest those schools with which we do cooperate more, and we send the bank transfer confirmation, so the school receives all documents before the student arrives.”

Nilgun Dereli, Paragon Travel Agency, Turkey
“Sometimes – some partners accept to receive the payment after deducting our commission and some don’t. When we deduct our commission it is easier for us but when schools want to send our commission after the total payment then we may have some problems as the date of payment is usually not fixed and we can’t budget accordingly.”

Christine de Chanaud, Séjours Homestay - Séjours Abroad, France
“For our summer short-term students and regular partners, we pay our partners the net invoices and keep the difference. For individual students who leave throughout the year we have them pay the gross amount directly by credit card and invoice the commissions once a year. This is when of course we encounter problems: with large American universities sometimes it is very complicated to get through the commission payment procedure. There are agreements to sign, social security numbers to be requested etc… Several large organisations also have a complicated scheme of commission payment, on a monthly basis… the way we all like it is when we have in hand both a net and a gross invoice upon booking the student.” 


Suno Lee, PeopleLoving Education, Korea
”Yes, however, it happens very rarely. Mainly when I deal with new institutes and state colleges and universities, I suffer from being paid back late. Also, there have been occasional mistakes caused by infrequent liaison between the marketing and financial team, for example, missing special promotional payments. In addition, where large institutes have a separate financial department, I quite often encounter long delays making me spend much time checking our bank account and requesting the transfer. However, mostly I forward the net payment to school after deducting the commission. In some cases, we prefer to send the whole money because many UK schools that I work with send me the commission without negligence on promised dates.”

Wai Lee, Super Talent, Hong Kong “Generally speaking, universities are not happy to pay commissions without receiving the fees from the students. This process, however, is not straightforward. The accounts departments do not seem to be very efficient. It is hard to know when students will be notified to pay. Students could opt to pay in instalments and commissions could be paid in the same manner. And some universities are not willing to pay the full commission if students drop out. For universities, payment of commissions appears to be at the bottom of their list.”

Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Language Travel Magazine, we ask a different language teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or agent partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month, International House Sydney in Australia nominates Globo-Study in Switzerland. Amanda Henry, Marketing Director of the school, explains this nomination:

“I would be happy to nominate one of my favourite agents, Claudio Cesarano, from Globo-Study, in Zurich. I am nominating him because he is loyal, efficient, extremely professional in all his dealings, and a joy to work with. He also has a great sense of humour (at appropriate times) which goes a long way. His staff are great, they are a huge support to Claudio, and this makes the agency first-class.

The agency is extremely well organised, efficient, all their documentation is 100 per cent spot-on, with no errors, they never cancel or change bookings and that is wonderful for us!! Many of the Globo-Study staff have visited our school so they know what they are selling to their clients. Claudio likes all his staff to have first-hand knowledge of the school and Sydney.”

On the move

After many years in the EFL business, in the UK and overseas (principally Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Japan and Honduras), Arnie Butt has recently launched his own educational consultancy, International Placement Services. Based in Bournemouth, UK, Mr Butt promotes a portfolio of schools and universities to agents around the world, and acts as a consultant to both schools and agents.

Mark Joel, Business Development Manager (top) and Helen Stevenson-Miller, Head of Operations and Client Services, are the new faces driving the fresh look to English Language Training Banbury in Banbury, UK. Mr Joel comes from the automotive industry with a broad sales background. Ms Stevenson-Miller has experience of educational management worldwide and leads a great team of caring, dedicated, professional staff.  

Emmy Okazawa-Bortolin has been appointed Development and Marketing Director of Academic Programs for Nacel Canada. Most recently, she served as Marketing Manager for Geos International Schools North America. Although it was not an easy decision to leave Geos, Ms Okazawa-Bortolin said moving back to Nacel “was like coming back home” as she previously served as the company’s Eastern Canada Regional Director.

Mario Di Clemente is the newly appointed Vice Principal of Cambridge Tutors College in Croydon, UK. He joins from Mander Portman Woodward, a mixed independent A-level and GCSE college, where he began as a Personal Tutor, before becoming a Director of Studies and, subsequently, Vice Principal.

Ian Sinclair has recently joined The Kingswood Group in the UK as the Director of Operations. For the last 11 years, Mr Sinclair was Head of UK Services at Bell International. He said, “I see this as a wonderful opportunity to help lead the Kingswood Group forward.”

Jenny Johnson is the new Head of Tefl at Cactus Language in Brighton, UK. Before joining the company, she ran the teacher training department at IH Barcelona for 15 years. Chris Moore has also joined Cactus as the new Director of Studies. His responsibilities include the design and delivery of evening foreign language courses.


There is an exciting initiative afoot in Canada to create one new association to represent the sector. Linda Auzins at private language school association, Capls, answers our questions.

Full name:
Canadian Association of Private Language Schools / Association Canadienne des Ecoles de Langues Privées
Year established: 1997
Number of members: 61 member institutions with over 100 locations across Canada
Type of members: Private English and French as a Second Language Schools
Association’s main role: Promoting Canadian private ESL and FSL schools internationally; promoting Canada worldwide as a leading educational destination; and working together with government for the benefit of the language training industry
Membership criteria:
Three years in operation, passing an accreditation inspection and complying with a Code of Ethics and by-laws
Government recognition: Yes Code of practice: Yes
Complaints procedure: Yes
Agent workshops/fam trips:
Agent workshops and fam trips are being developed.
Contact details:
Capls Secretariat, 12880 - 54A Avenue, Surrey, BC,
V3X 3C9, Canada.
Phone: +1 604 507 2577;
Fax: +1 604 502 0373;
Email: info@capls.com 

What has Capls been up to in the last year?
2006 has been another busy year. In addition to representation at the Alphe Conferences in Korea, Japan and the UK, Capls, together with Canada Language Council (CLC) and Ailia, was represented in the Destination Canada exhibit at Nafsa in Montreal. And in November, Capls managed a booth at the Icef Berlin workshop, once again with CLC. With the two associations starting to work together more cooperatively, the next logical step to strengthen the industry would be to unite into one strong association. The Boards of Directors of Capls and CLC have a Task Force for Planning and Priorities which is looking at the ways and means of creating one strong association representing the best interests of English and French language programmes, both in the private and public sector. Both associations are holding their annual general meetings in February, at which time approval will be sought from the memberships to form a new organisation with a new identity, to be fully effective by February 2008.

How is the “Education Canada” branding project progressing?
After many years of lobbying the government for a coordinated branding strategy for Canada as a study destination, it seems that work has begun. The Canadian government has hired a well respected branding consultant and industry consultation has begun to determine what aspects should be included in an “Education Canada” brand and what international promotional initiatives could be developed to support this. There have been no funding announcements yet, but we are optimistic for the future.

Please tell us about the ongoing efforts to harmonise accreditation systems for education providers in Canada.
As mentioned above, if the Capls and CLC memberships support the development of a new association, all members will use the same accreditation scheme as a basis for membership.


Everyone seemed to be smiling at the Alphe Asia Conference that took place in Bangkok, Thailand last year, at least when the photographer was around! A selection of shots are displayed here.

One student of Lines Languages, which offers French junior programmes in France and English junior courses in the UK, was obviously pleased with the service she received as she has now opted to work for the company. Maud Joskin is in charge of the administration of the three Lines centres, which include a new centre in the UK: Queenswood in Hertfordshire. Maud is pictured here with Turkish agent, Necdet Bilgen, in front of Queenswood. The Lines school in France has also moved to a top boarding school, Au Château, near Paris.

Brazilian agency STB celebrated its 35th birthday party in style in Sao Paulo in December. Around 700 staff and industry partners were at the event. Pictured right, Christina Bichalho (left) and Santuza Bichalho of STB enjoy the occasion.

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.






English Australia
Perth Education City
Quality English

Alphe Conferences
International House
       World Organisation

ICEF Online
Language Travel

Malta Tourism

English Australia
Eynesbury College
       of English
Flinders University -
Tafe International
       South Australia
University of
       Adelaide English

Idioma - Escola de

Bodwell College
College of New
Collège Platon
inlingua Vancouver
Maple Ridge / Pitt
       Meadows School
       District #42
National School of
Stewart College
       of Languages

Mandarin House

Global Study
       (Karlov College)

Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, Ireland,
       Malta, NZ, South
       Africa, UK, USA)
Bell International
Camp Beaumont
City College
ELT Banbury
English Studio
Globe School
       of English
ILS English
International House
       World Organisation
LAL Language
       and Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
Malvern House
       College London
Oxford Brookes
Oxford Intensive
       School of English -
       OISE (Australia,
       England, France,
       Germany, Spain,
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
St Bedes
       Summer School
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
Tellus Group
Twin Group
West London
       Business College

Carl Duisberg
       (England, Germany)
Prolog- International
       House Berlin

Alpha College
       of English
High Schools
       (Australia, Canada,

EC - English
       Language Centres
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa)
inlingua Malta
International School
       of English
Malta Tourism

       Management AB
       (Russia, Ukraine)

EAC Language
       Centres and Activity
       Camps (England,
       Ireland, Scotland,

Escuela de Español
       la Brisa S.L.
Malaca Instituto -
       Club Hispánico SL

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

American Language
Hun School of
       Princeton, The
Kaplan Educational
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Monterey Institute
       of International
University of
       California Riverside
University of
       California San Diego
University of Illinois
       at Urbana-
Zoni Language
       (Canada, USA)


Perth Education City

Queen Ethelburga's
St Bedes
       Summer School
St Christopher
Worksop College

University of
University of Stirling

ELS Language
       (Canada, USA)
Monterey Institute
       of International