March 2010 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
Market Report
Direction I
Direction II
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus

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Czech optimism

Racking Poland’s outgoing student market for the first time we discover language students are intent on learning English in either the USA or the UK with general and summer vacation courses high on the list of wants

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the six agencies in our survey was 8,106

• Individual agencies placed between nine and 5,200 students on courses per year

• Average business growth was -15.3 per cent in the last 12 months

• The average length of stay for Czech students was 11 weeks

• Overall, 73 per cent of Czech students stayed in host families when studying overseas

None of the agencies surveyed charged their clients a handling fee

In the last 12 months, agencies worked with an average of 76 different providers

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 47%
2. USA 19%
3. Malta 10%
4. Ireland 7%
5. France 6%
6. Germany 3%
7. Spain 2%
8. Canada 1%
Other 5%
1. Intensive 25%
2. General 21%
3. Academic prep. 15%
4. Junior 14%
5. Lang. plus work 7%
6. Business 3%
7. Summer 1%
Other 14%

Reasons for language travel Average percentage agency business
1. Studies at home 30%
2. Future work 29%
3. Current work 27%
4. Studies overseas 4%
5. Pleasure 3%
1. Language progr. 56%
2. Volunteer 15%

3. Work & travel 2%
4. Internships 2%
5. Higher education 1%
Other 24%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new business partners?
1. Word-of-mouth 38%
2. Website 29%
3. Advert on TV/radio 13%

4. Sem to students 6%
. E/online 5%
6. Mail shots 4%
7. Advert in press 1%
Other 14%
1. Fairs and expos 31%
2. Internet 26%
3. Workshops 22%
4. LTM/ETM 6%
5. Other press 1%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 0%
English Australia 17%

Languages Canada 33%

Souffle 50%
FLE.fr 17%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%

MEI 50%

Asils 17%
Italian in Italy 17%

Feltom 33%

New Zealand
English NZ 33%
Aeple 17%

South Africa
EduSa 0%
English SA 17%

Fedele 17%

ABLS 17%
English UK 100%
British Council 100%

Accet 17%
CEA 17%

Eaquals 67%
Ialc 50%
IHWO 80%
Quality English 33%
Tandem 33%

Market growth
Of the six agencies that took part in this, the first ever Agency Survey on the Czech Republic, four noted a decrease in business in 2009 while two were pleased to report business had remained consistent with the previous year. Negative growth figures ranged from minus five per cent up to as much as -40 per cent and lack of expendable income was cited as the main reason for the downturn. Average business growth across the board was therefore in the red at -15.3 per cent. One agent predicted that this stagnation was likely to continue in the corporate market especially, but that this would almost certainly be countered by the resilience of the junior and young adult markets. Nevertheless, the outlook for the economy is not rosy (see left).

Language and destination trends
Although a majority of Czech students opted to learn English abroad in 2009 (85 per cent), 14 per cent showed a preference for other European languages such as French (four per cent), German (four per cent), Italian (three per cent) and Spanish (three per cent). Interestingly, however, one agent reported they had received numerous requests to learn non-mainstream languages like Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese and Arabic. Meanwhile, English-speaking destinations nabbed the top four spots in terms of most popular countries to study in last year.

Student and course trends
Future or current work commitments appeared to be the biggest motivator when it came to reasons behind language acquisition. Over half (56 per cent) of all agency clientele cited this as the main reason for studying abroad while 34 per cent said further academic gain, either at home or overseas, was their principal driving force. Compared with other Central and Eastern European markets like Russia (see LTM, January 2010, pages 22-23) and Poland (see LTM, February 2010, pages 26-27), Czech students showed a preference for long-term stays (average length of stay totalled 11 weeks compared with two weeks for Polish students and seven weeks for Russians). However, it should be noted one agency worked almost exclusively in the high school sector and reported that average length of stay topped the 56-week mark.

Agency business
The mainstay of the Czech study abroad market is language learning (56 per cent). However, one Czech agent indicated that 90 per cent of their business was spent dealing with volunteer packages – a result that has skewed the results slightly. Word-of-mouth recommendations (38 per cent) and Internet bookings (29 per cent) were the two most lucrative methods for attracting new students. Czech agents were more likely to source new business partners at language fairs and exhibitions (31 per cent), the Internet (26 per cent) and agent workshops (22 per cent). On average, Czech agents represented 124 schools in 18 different countries and had been actively working with around 76 schools in the last 12 months.

Looking ahead
Agents in the Czech Republic are hopeful that the marketplace will recover somewhat in 2010. Increased sales due to a change in company infrastructure and an extended portfolio should help business, noted one agency, while another agency is revamping its website in a bid to boost student interest.

Economic overview

• The Czech economy was not hit directly by the global financial crisis but indirect effects of the crisis were observed in 2008. The current outlook for the Czech economy for the next two years is fairly negative. A fall in GDP in 2009 will be replaced by only a weak recovery in the economy in 2010.

• Total growth in GDP is estimated to be -4.4 per cent in 2009 with projected growth forecast as 1.4 per cent in 2010 and 2.2 per cent in 2011. Monthly inflation rates are estimated as -0.3 per cent in September and 0.5 per cent in December 2009.

• Unemployment is expected to be around 10 per cent by the year-end, and rising unemployment, modest pay rises and a VAT hike of one percentage point may mean a drop in ‘real income’ in 2010.

Sources: Czech National Bank, Prague Daily Monitor

Czech agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Germany: ADK, Augsburg. In Ireland: Cila, Cork. In Malta: European School of English, Paceville. In the UK: English in Chester, Chester; Hampstead School of English, London; Sidmouth International School, Sidmouth; Severnvale Academy, Shrewsbury; ECS Scotland, Edinburgh; Select English, Cambridge; IH Newcastle, Newcastle; Geos Brighton, Brighton. Worldwide: Embassy CES.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Lektor School of Foreign Languages; The Best Way; Glossa Language School; USA Studencki Punkt Konsultacyjny; Almatramp; Almatur; Bridge Agency; iAE Poland.

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.





Britannia Student
Nido Student Living
Sara's New York
      Homestay LLC  

EAIE European
      Association for
      International Educ  
Feltom Malta  
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
MEI Ireland

Alphe Conferences
LTM Star Awards  


EAIE European
      Association for
      International Educ
LTM Digital  

Ecela - Latin
      (Argentina, Chile,
      Lenguas Extranjeras
Mundo Espa˝ol  


CERAN Lingua
      (Belgium, England,

Bow Valley College
Camosun College
College Platon
English Bay College
English School of
Global Village
      English School
      Language School
      Of The YMCAs
      Of Quebec  
International Schools
      of North America
Languages Canada/
      Langues Canada
Mount Royal
Mountain View
      School Division
National School
       of Languages
Ottawa International
      Student Programmes
Queen's University
Red Leaf Student
      Program and Tours
Richmond School
      District #38
Saint Mary's
Vancouver English

IH Xi'an  
      Language Training

IH Cairo  

      (England, Ireland,
      USA, Cyprus,
Bearwood College 
Bell Bedgebury
      International School
Bright World
Brooke House
      Education Group
Camp Beaumont 
English Studio
Kaplan Aspect 
       (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
King's Colleges
LAL Central
      Marketing Office 
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
London Metropolitan
Longridge Towers
Oxford Royale
      (Canada, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, UK,
Plymouth College  
Queen Ethelburga's
Spinnaker College
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group  
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa, Spain,
      Study Centre  
Thames Valley
      Summer Schools  
Twin Group  
       (Ireland, UK)
University of Essex -
University of

Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

MEI Ireland  

      Language School  

Centro de Idiomas
Clubclass Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre  
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Feltom Malta  
inlingua Malta  

Centro Marista de

EAC Language
      Centres and Activity
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)
University of Stirling

EC Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape
      Town- One World
      Language school  
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
International House
      Cape Town  
Kurus English CC 
LAL Cape Town  
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town  

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

La Brisa  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL 
Malaga Si  

Califorinia State
      University Northridge
California State
      University Chico  
California State
      University Long
California State
      University San
ELS Language
Humboldt State
San Diego State
University of
University of
      California Riverside 
University of
      California San Diego
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)

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