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March 2011 issue

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

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Third representative body for Turkish advisors

A new agent group has formed in Turkey, joining UED and TEAG to become another membership body for professionals in Turkey’s outbound student travel industry.

EduDer – Educational Agents Network was officially launched in September 2010 and so far comprises 13 education consultancies committed to offering their clientele a personalised service.

Shule Guzelderen, Public Relations Officer at EduDer, observed that an upturn in Turkey’s study abroad market led to many student recruitment agencies cropping up to cash in on demand, which almost certainly led to the association’s inception. It was felt that a grouping consisting of established, experienced, independent student recruitment agencies that have been in operation for over 10 years would appeal to students and, perhaps more importantly, parents, she explained.

“EduDer offers students the chance to work with a selection of trusted, reliable, independent student recruitment agents in Turkey,” she explained. “EduDer offers to Turkish students great schools in the world, popular locations and a guaranteed valuable and memorable student experience.” Founding members include: Global Vizyon, Horizon Study Abroad, British Education Bureau, DGC Group, Puza Study Abroad, Egitimal.com, More Study Abroad, Atilim Study Abroad, Can.be Study Abroad, Do-ne Study Abroad, Galata Study Abroad, Kemeredu Study Abroad and Londinium. Many were previously members of UED or TEAG.



Educator numbers boosted at Alphe Japan and Korea

Conference organiser, Alphe, held its annual workshops in Japan and Korea late last year with both events showing promising signs of growth.

A total of 76 advisors representing 63 education consultancies attended the Tokyo event at the beginning of December, in keeping with the previous year which saw 77 advisors from 62 agencies in attendance. Meanwhile, educator numbers increased by an encouraging 28 percentage points with 64 institutions from a variety of educational fields present. This included 11 vocational/university representatives, nine secondary schools and 45 language schools.

Several advisors called for more representation from the North American market – “A few more American educators should have attended, then the situation might have been perfect,” said Katsunori Hara from Tokyo Centre for Language and Culture – but nevertheless, educator spread was deemed good by attendees.

Taking place the week after, Alphe Korea was a slightly larger affair. Overall, 80 advisors from 70 Korean agencies were present, a six per cent increase on last year, while educator numbers grew by 35 percentage points to 65 institutions. Victoria Power from Dublin School of English in Ireland congratulated the team on “yet another fantastic and wonderfully organised event”. Advisors were equally as impressed. Young Choi Kim from Korea Educational Information Centre noted that the convenience of a conference in their own capital city was a big draw card. “Alphe in Seoul is very convenient. I wish this could keep going in the coming years.”

Particular event highlights included the gala dinner held on the second evening. “Meeting educators at dinner was very good because I could communicate with all the educators freely,” said Kim. “Having dinner together was great. It was a good opportunity to get to know educators in person,” echoed Michelle Kim from another local study travel advisory, Solomon Education.


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, Ecole Suisse Internationale in France nominates Felicite Inc in France. Sylvie Wormser, at the school explains, this decision.


“The Ecole Suisse Internationale has decided to nominate Felicité Inc. This agency was created in 1997 and essentially works with Japanese [workers], mainly in the cooking and pastry fields. Their main activity is to provide quality internships and [the advisory] now works with more than 50 companies in France. The main office is based in Kobe, Japan but they also have one in Paris.

I really appreciate the fact that this agency has a desk in France. It is easier for us to get in closer contact and to avoid jet lag when we need to talk over the phone! The staff in the Paris office are very present and close to their students. It makes things easier for us concerning the follow-up we do on regular basis. In fact, it is very comforting for the student to know that the agent and the education provider have a close relationship. Both Félicité and the Ecole Suisse Internationale have the same goal: make a profitable and quality experience for each student. In this condition, we only [do] good work for the student’s sake.”


Industry issues - agents speak out

Q. What do you think the biggest challenges will be in 2011?

Maartje Ruijgt, Yes Placement, Malaysia
“The way to go in 2010 was to find your way in that high-tech gossip world and make sure that you got positive feedback! The educator that is able to maintain good, open communication and choose quality over quantity is the educator I prefer to work with. To catch my eye and ear, an educator should be creative and original, but choose quality and care! At Yes Placement, Kuala Lumpur, we are training exclusive Yes au pairs to prepare them for their year in the Netherlands, but this year we are expanding our business due to the huge undeveloped market in Malaysia. Nowadays, the youth is more in the cyber world than ever. Asking a youngster to get rid of their cell phone or computer, is asking them to give up their life. Paperwork, like flyers, is completely out; they choose their programme and school online. The social networking sites make it easy to create an opinion without even seeing or talking directly to an agent or educator. It’s a very fragile world.”

Máximo Sepúlveda Ramos, Inturjoven, Spain
“The marketing initiatives we found more effective are the organisation of fam trips, attending international events – educational workshops and fairs – and the organisation of public launches in collaboration with public institutions in different target destinations. Regarding the secret of a successful marketing campaign, there are three basic points: offering a good product; being honest – avoiding unrealistic expectations for your clients; and establishing a good business partnership based on a flexible product that may be adapted to different target clients and markets. In this sense, marketing in the educational industry over the last few years has been focused in showing a flexible offering that may adapt a product to the needs of different target clients.”

Mirian T. Rodrigues, Intercambio Connexion, Brazil
“The profile of students who look for an exchange programme has been changing a lot. Nowadays, people are more concerned about the quality of the teachers, the structure of the schools, the methodology, the accommodation and the accreditations awarded to the schools. Reasonable price is also another sensible aspect to be taken into account since cost-benefit is always the key factor of a decision. First of all, the promotional campaign must be aligned with the strategy of the school. Moreover, it must be addressed to the right audience, where economic status, age, country, objectives and educational background should be well known through continuous market research. Therefore, the schools must be very careful when defining the courses, the methodology and the prices, in order to be in line with the reality of that specific strategy and public. Also, the speed of communication is another aspect to be taken into account. The quicker the information reaches the students the more effective the results will be. The social networking channels are precious tools to share and exchange experiences which are of utmost importance to strengthening the credibility of any product. According to my experience, word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to promote a product and, of course, it may have a positive or negative impact, depending on how it has been delivered. This is the reason why agencies and the schools must work together and guarantee the expectations of their clients. Summing it up, it is not necessary to spend much money on a promotional campaign. Creativity, customer-oriented work and a solid strategy will be enough to achieve success.”


On the move

Nichole Paris has joined Rennert International in the USA as the new Director of International Admissions and Student Services. After living in France for several years as an ESL instructor and agent for ESFA Sejours Linguistiques, she returned to the USA as Managing Director for its New York branch. Her role at Rennert will be to oversee student recruitment efforts and agent partner relations for the New York, central Miami and South Beach locations.

Based in Hong Kong, Helen McClure joins Cambridge Education Group as Market Development Manager, responsible for Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. “I am extremely excited to be joining a fast growing and student centred organisation at what is a challenging time for international student recruitment worldwide,” she said.

Graham Colloby has joined the Kingswood Group in the UK as the new International Business Development Manager. With 10 years in the language education market, Mr Colloby brings a wealth of experience, such as providing recognised English examination courses to some of Italy’s best universities.

After a one year sabbatical, Tim Eckenfels has returned to the industry to join International House Sydney in Australia as its new Managing Director, working alongside owners Julie Styles and Leonie Greenwood to grow the English language college and Teacher Training Centre. During Mr Eckenfels’s 20 year history in the language travel industry, he has worked with Aspect, IH Sydney in Manly, Study Group and Ability Education.

ICEF is pleased to announce the appointment of Sara Azad as Marketing Executive, based out of the ICEF head office in Bonn, Germany Before joining ICEF, Ms Azad developed her career in the digital advertising industry as Media Account Manager, working at ninemsn in Australia and Yahoo Europe Ltd.


Sector summary

Exams
Cambridge Esol rolls out new placement test
Cambridge Esol has developed a new placement test that is being promoted to members of English UK but available to any organisation. Henry Tolley, Regional Development Manager for Cambridge Esol, said that the in-depth test – rolled out in January – “will help to ensure students are placed on the right courses and sit the right exams. As a result, classrooms will be comprised of students of similar abilities which will help teachers pitch classroom activities at the appropriate level.”

English UK Deputy Chief Executive, Mark Rendell, said, “Our members will be excited at the prospect of introducing the Cambridge English Placement Test in their language centres. The test has been created by one of the world’s leading assessment bodies and will provide a reliable and valid way to help our members further raise the standards of teaching English.”

Meanwhile, a new course, delivered chiefly online, has also been adapted by Cambridge Esol in collaboration with Cambridge University Press which is called the Cambridge B1 Course Online. The course is aimed at students keen to meet the B1 language level requirement that is currently required to meet Student Visa requirements in the UK – although this may well change and be revised to B2, depending on the outcome of the public consultation in the UK.

The course comprises a mix of 75 hours online self-study and 25 hours face-to-face teaching. Cambridge Esol’s Sharon Harvey explained, “As the Common European Framework becomes more widely used in a range of industries, language schools need adequate training solutions to offer ambitions students.” She added that the course “is an excellent preparation tool for exams such as Cambridge English: Preliminary, an intermediate qualification in English recognised by thousands of organisations.”

Work Wise
Internship provider channels gap year market

OWING TO an increase in demand for entry level placements for students on their gap year prior to entering university, Professional Pathways Australia (PPA) is now offering internships to high school leavers coming to Australia on a gap year.

The Gap Year Internship Programme is designed to give high school leavers practical work experience in an international setting, adding value to a CV or future college application. “The programme is available to students who are eligible for the Working Holiday or Work & Holiday visa, and will be offered in both Sydney and Melbourne,” confirmed Rick Jones at the organisation.

Flexible, custom made packages, ranging from four- to 12-week placements, are available with assignments in fields such as business, marketing, events management, human resources, travel & tourism, sport & fitness, hospitality and not-for profit.

Orientation sessions will also be held on a weekly basis to help international students settle into their new surroundings, providing them with the necessary information required during their stay.

Insurance
Competitive insurance for international students

International Services Inc – a financial services company providing price comparisons on a range of insurance products throughout the USA – has announced a range of insurance products designed especially for international students wishing to study in the USA.

Packages include both long- and short-term options (for as little as five days coverage) with the site (www.zinternationalstudent.com) claiming its competitive quotes will rival healthcare packages offered by universities.
Strict laws stipulate that international students must have comprehensive insurance to protect them should they need medical assistance or treatment during their time in the USA.

Technology
Texthelp launches language software

Texthelp Systems, an assistive technology specialist, has launched new ESL software, designed to help improve students’ English language skills.

The Read&Write ESL software is compatible with common computer applications such as Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer and includes a number of easy-to-use features including a speech button, a talking dictionary, a word prediction tool, a spell-check facility and a sounds-like function key, enabling users to verify similar sounding words or homophones such as ‘there’ and ‘their’. Both latter tools provide dictionary definitions and sample sentences to help build context.

“Students of today require English language skills of a high standard in order to contend in a highly competitive international workplace,” said Mark McCuster, CEO of Texthelp Systems. “We are excited to be launching Read&Write ESL to help students in secondary schools, English language schools, colleges and universities to become more confident and proficient in their use of the English language”.

Obituary - Aleda Stevens

Aleda Stevens, Admissions Director at Brandon College in San Francisco, CA, sadly passed away in September 2010 after a long battle with cancer. Born in San Francisco in 1932, she welcomed thousands of students from all over the world to Brandon College during her nearly 60 years service. “Her tireless commitment and loyalty to the school and co-workers serves as an inspiration to all of us. She has successfully guided the school during an incredible six decades from Professional Secretarial School in the 50s to the state-of-the-art language school it is today,” said school Director, Res Helfer.


Q&A

Executive Director, Gonzalo Peralta, reports that Languages Canada had an extremely productive year in 2010, making its presence felt at various industry events and leading the way on the advocacy front.

Full name: Languages Canada/Langues Canada
Year established: March 2008
Number of members: 149
Type of members: French and English language schools from the public, private and non-profit sector
Association’s main role: Quality Assurance, Marketing, Advocacy, Professional Development
Membership criteria: Arm’s length accreditation received
Government recognition: Recognised by federal government as the national association of language programmes, recognised by British Columbia – members EQA eligible
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: Annual fam trips organised around the ICEF Canada workshop
Contact details:
Gonzalo Peralta
Executive Director
E: info@languagescanada.ca

What has your association been up to in the last 12 months?
In 2010 we gained nine new members and we now stand at 149 member programmes. To the delight of French programme members, in September we contracted a new representative in Montreal to support their advocacy and marketing efforts. We had a successful event at Alphe UK, with a reception hosted at the Canadian High Commission and participation at GAELA. A number of members were nominated for an LTM Star Award and two won top honours. Additionally, we participated at ICEF Toronto, Berlin, São Paulo, and Miami. Languages Canada launched its first ever fam tour, taking select agency representatives to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, and Vancouver. We also organised our first international trade mission, visiting agents and officials in Munich and Berlin. On the advocacy front we were active with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Heritage Canada, and provincial and territorial ministries of education. Partnering with four other national education associations, we founded the Canadian Consortium for International Education Marketing (CCIEM) in order to have the whole sector speak with one voice.

What can members expect from your 2011 annual conference?
Our 2011 conference in Montréal (February 28 and March 1) promises to be our best yet, with top national and international experts presenting. Representatives from the Canadian federal and provincial governments will provide updates on new initiatives, both in marketing international education and substantial changes to immigration policy that will impact our sector. Workshops on pathways, the Imagine brand, marketing, levels and testing, working with agencies, change management, and quality assurance will be offered. In short, we expect the only complaint to be that there is too much choice.

Please explain your recent partnership with Orion Assessment Services.
Following a national competition, Orion Assessment Services was selected to provide full accreditation services, creating the arm’s length position that is essential to truly protect students and educational agencies. Orion has already begun its work and awarded the first accreditation last November. This step is not only important to members, students, and agencies, but also to the Canadian government as they seek to ensure that the sector is regulated.


Travel Update

Virgin Atlantic has announced a code share agreement with Air New Zealand, opening up new routes and services to passengers looking to travel between the UK and New Zealand. Passengers will be able to book flights with Virgin Atlantic on Air New Zealand routes and vice versa. Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand, said, “This new code share agreement provides yet further connectivity options for our customers as well as providing important connectivity for Virgin Atlantic customers to New Zealand and also the Cook Islands.”

• National flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, is quickly becoming one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines. The carrier will add 11 new destinations to its growing network of services, including thrice-weekly flights to Guangzhou in China, four-times-weekly flights to Los Angeles and four-times-weekly services to Shiraz in Iran. Future flights to Malaga and Valencia in Spain, Salonika in Greece, Toulouse in France, Manila in the Philippines and Naples, Turin and Genoa in Italy have also been earmarked.

• The third-phase of construction at Incheon International Airport in Seoul appears to be underway. In a bid to meet rising passenger demand, the South Korean government said it intends to invest KRW1.8 trillion won (US$1.62 billion) in the penultimate stage of development, which will run from 2011 to 2015, and will include the construction of a second terminal building. It is hoped that the expansion project will help establish the airport as a primary Northeast Asian hub. Elsewhere, a new US$11 billion airport in the Gulf state of Qatar has been touted. The project forms part of a construction drive for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

• Low cost Spanish airline, Vueling, is set to open its second base outside of Spain. The new hub, at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, will help the carrier increase its flight schedule at the Dutch capital’s main international airport by 35 per cent, with an estimated 636,000 seats up for grabs this summer alone. “We have carried nearly two million passengers and the creation of this new international base demonstrates the commitment we have to the Netherlands and the Dutch people,” said Vueling’s CEO, Alex Cruz.

Passengers of Virgin Atlantic have proved themselves an indefatigable lot when trying to secure a complimentary upgrade. A recent survey of over 3,000 cabin crew and ground staff revealed that passengers commonly claimed to be a “close friend” of Virgin CEO, Sir Richard Branson. Other lines included, “Sir Richard Branson promised me an upgrade”, “We are on honeymoon”, “It’s my birthday” and “I am very tall and really need some more space”. Some of the more creative tales included, “I have lost all my money in Vegas but really need an upgrade” and “Manchester United [football team] lost today, I am really upset and need the space to get over it”.

• Having already established joint ventures in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, Air Asia is set to break into the Philippine air travel market by launching subsidiary airline, Air Asia Philippines in August. Air Asia group CEO, Tony Fernandes, said, “We do expect it to be profitable right away. Many of the routes that Air Asia Philippines will be going to are already being exploited by other Air Asia companies so the set up cost for Air Asia Philippines is very low. So we can hit the ground running very fast.” Offering competitive rates, the new carrier is set to compete with local budget carrier, Cebu Pacific, and national airline Philippine Airlines.

• With plans to build 13,000 km of high-speed railway by 2012, some Chinese airlines are concerned they will not be able to compete on costs or efficiency. However, according to Civil Aviation Administration, Li Jiaxiang, the ever-expanding rail network poses little threat. “Railways and airlines are competitors, but they are also compliment each other,” he said, noting that rail services to major transport hubs had already risen.


Grapevine

Please see the digital issue of Language Travel Magazine for the Grapevine section


Contact any advertiser in 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
ALTO  
English Australia  
International House
      World Organisation  
Languages Canada/
      Langues Canada  
MEI Ireland  
Perth Education
      City  
Quality English

EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol 

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  
Student Guard
      Insurance  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

WORK EXPERIENCE
Twin Group  

AUSTRALIA
Academies
      Australasia  
English Australia  
Perth Education
      City  

BELGIUM
Ceran Lingua
      International  

CANADA
Access
      International
      English Language
      Centre  
Algonquin College  
Banff Education
      Centre  
Bow Valley College  
East Coast School
       of Languages  
English School of
      Canada  
French
      Immersion
      Programs  
Global Village  
ILSC  
Languages
      Canada / Langues
      Canada  
Niagara College  
School District
      No. 42 Maple Ridge
      & Pitt Meadows  
Student Guard
      Insurance  
Thompson
      Rivers University  
Vancouver English
     Centre  

ENGLAND
Bell International  
Bright World
      Guardianships  
Brooke House
      College  
Bury Language
      School  
CMT Learning  
International House
      World Organisation  
Kaplan International
      Colleges  
Language Studies
      International  
Link School  
London School of
      Business & Finance  
London School of
      English  
Malvern House
      College London  
King's Colleges  
Quality English  
Queen
      Ethelburga's
      College  
Rishworth School
Sedbergh School
St Giles Colleges
Study Group
University of
      Essex -
      International
      Academy  
St Michaels
      College  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
Alpha B -
     Institut Linguistique  
CLE  
College International
      de Cannes  
Ecole PERL  
Ecole Suisse
      Internationale  
Idiom  
Institut de Langue
      et de Culture
      Françaises - ILCF  
Langue Onze
      Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu
      International  
Paris Langues /
      Club CEI des 4
      Vents  

GERMANY
inlingua Berlin  
International
      House Berlin -
      Prolog  

GUADALOUPE
Media Langues
      Caraibes  

INDIA
Incredible
      English  

IRELAND
International
      House Dublin  
MEI Ireland  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and Activity
      Camps  

SOUTH AFRICA
EC Cape Town  
EF  
Eurocentres
      Cape Town  
Good Hope
      Studies  
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
International House
      Cape Town  
Kurus English
      CC
LAL Cape Town

SPAIN
Escuela La Ola
International House -
      Sevilla CLIC  
Inturjoven  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Malaga Si  

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
Eurocentres
      International  

USA
International House
      New York  
ELS Language
      Centers  
Educatius  
New York
      General Consulting  
University of
      Arizona  
Zoni Language
     Centers  



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