March 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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Gemany upbeat

Enrolments were up at many language schools across Germany, with key areas of growth including business and academic preparation courses. Bethan Norris reports on operating conditions at German language schools in 2012.

German language schools’ overall marketing budget by region % Top nationalites in Germany by student weeks – according to schools, 2012
W Europe 22.5%
Asia 22.5%
C&E Europe 20%
Latin America 12.5%
N America 9%
Middle East 7%
Africa 1.5%
Australasia 5%
Spanish 10.8%
Italian 9.7%
Russian 8.8%
USA 8.5%
Chinese 8.4%
Japanese 6.3%
French 5.6%
Turkish 4.5%
Brazilian 4.4%
British 3.6%

Source: STM Germany school survey

Commission Student numbers by age range
9.1% is the average commission paid on a language course

Three of the institutions profiled paid an average of 13.5 per cent commission on accommodation

8-11: 0.5%
12-15: 6%
16-18: 15%
19-24: 25.5%
25-30: 25%
30-50: 24%
50+: 4%

Means of recruiting students in South Africa, 2011 (schools) Reasons for learning German
Agents 48%
Internet 22%
Local bookings 16%
Other means 14%
Current or future work 43%
Further studies in Germany 39%
For pleasure only 11%
University/college studies at home 7%

Student's region of origin How did students find out about their school
Western Europe 42%
C&E Europe 19%
Latin America 18%
Asia 12%
Middle East 5%
North America 2%
Australasia 1.5%
Africa 0.5%
Internet 36%
Agent 36%
Friend/relative 26%
Advertised 2%

Total marketing spend by sector and by category in %
Agency costs 35%
Commission 28%
Incentives 2%
Agency brochures 5%

Travel costs 32%
Agent workshops 10%
Student exhibitions 4%
Agency visits to school 6.5%
Entertainment 3%

Trips to agencies 8.5%
Publicity costs 33%
Agent mags etc. 3%
Student mags etc. 6%
Brochure, video etc 12%
Internet 12%

Ask the students – view from the classroom

122 students from 38 different countries schools took part in our survey of German language schools

The average age was 24.4 years
The average class size was 9 students
42 per cent of respondents were from Western Europe
12 per cent of respondents were from Asia
51 per cent of respondents booked their course through an agency
36 per cent of respondents found their school through the Internet
97 per cent of respondents would recommend their school
36 per cent of respondents were staying in residential accommodation in a single room
43 per cent of respondents were learning German for current or future work purposes
56 per cent of respondents found it very easy or quite easy to practise their German with local people
48 per cent of students had been on a previous study abroad trip
12 per cent of respondents thought that there were too many students of one other nationality in their classrooms

Number of participating language schools: 6
Total number of students at the organisations in 2012: 54,367
Total number of student weeks in 2012, estimated: 255,525
Participating schools: BWS Germanlingua, Munich and Berlin; F+U Academy of Languages, Heidelberg; Goethe Institute, various; Horizonte, Regensburg; Humboldt-Institut, Argenbuehl; Sprachcaffe Languages PLUS, Frankfurt.

4.7 weeks Overall average length of stay

21.4 hours Average language tuition per week

With many language schools reporting booming enrolments in 2012, the German language teaching market certainly looked to be in good shape throughout the year. Bernhard Freidl at Horizonte in Regensburg, says, “Student numbers went up considerably [12 per cent] and made 2012 the best year ever.” While Hansgerd Schomacher from Kapito Sprachschule in Münster reports that student numbers “went up about 15 per cent” in 2012 compared with the previous year.

In total, all of the language schools contacted to take part in this feature reported an increase in student numbers in 2012, pointing to a continuation of the favourable operating conditions reported in last year’s analysis of the German language teaching industry (see STM, March 2012, page 75). Last year, schools observed that with its economic stability within the Eurozone, compared with many other European countries, Germany was becoming a popular destination for Europeans seeking employment opportunities, and this trend has continued in 2012.

Freidl notes, “Young and qualified professionals – doctors, nurses, technicians, engineers – from Greece, Italy and Spain looking for jobs in Germany contributed considerably to the fact that last year was the best one ever.” He adds, “The teacher-refresher courses for teachers of German is getting more popular every year and [also] long-term courses.”

With so many European students looking to work and study in Germany, many language schools are developing their course offerings to appeal to the greater demand for language courses to improve the job and academic prospects of participants. Rainer Epbinder from Goethe Institut, which has schools in 13 locations throughout Germany, says that student numbers went up remarkably in 2012, adding, “Students from Spain, Italy and Greece performed particularly well, many of them looking for jobs in Germany. Our intensive four-week course is the most popular and we started courses for medical personnel.”

Courses that are aimed at refreshing the skills of teachers of German in other countries have also been boosted by more students accessing funding for such courses offered by the European Commission. Freidl says of their top nationalities in 2012, “Mainly Polish and Czech German language teachers were enrolled in the Comenius-funded teacher refresher courses.” Other populous nationalities at Horizonte included Spanish, English, Italian, French and Japanese.

As well as students from Europe, schools in Germany have also experienced good demand from other countries such as China, Brazil and Japan. Schomacher reports that demand from Latin America has increased recently due to “collaborations our local university developed”. However, he also adds that visa difficulties in some student markets have hindered enrolments from some areas. “[In 2012, we tried] to find ways to solve the visa problems with Russia, Ukraine and China,” he says, pointing out that a good way to achieve this is by “finding partners in the local market”.

Freidl too says that “visas are an everlasting problem in Germany, especially with students from Africa and the Middle East”. However, in general the market for learning German is quite expansive, and German language schools are able to welcome a large number of different nationalities through their doors. “We had students from over 80 countries in 2012 interested in learning German,” confirms Almir Krupic from did deutsch-institut, which has schools at various locations across Germany.

Krupic says that they have responded to student demand and focussed their efforts on expanding provision of academic language courses in recent years. “Over a year ago we added the university summer courses that focussed on more academic learning [and these] turned out to be a success again [in 2012],” he says. The school has also been involved in developing more innovative options for students keen to go on to further studies in Germany or boost their own academic attainment while in the country. “We are offering from 2013 a new guest student programme with some partner universities, where students can attend a semester at one of our partner universities and obtain a business certificate and receive 30 ECTS points. The guest universities would also allow our students to take their lessons in English as long as they have a good English level and basic German knowledge.”

However, as well as courting new student markets, schools also report that their more traditional junior and general language markets are also showing a healthy increase in numbers. Krupic says that their school has recently expended provision in this area. “For 2013, we are expanding our portfolio by making our Augsburg summer centre into a year-round centre for juniors who prefer to stay in families,” he says. “Another new centre is our Potsdam summer course with homestay accommodation, and completely new for us will be the first course in Vienna [Austria] with residential accommodation.”

Mirjam Braas, Marketing Manager at Sprachcaffe, which has permanent schools in Frankfurt and Dusseldorf and runs junior programmes in Frankfurt and the Rhine Valley, says that 2012 was a “really successful year”. Expansion plans are also in the offing, she adds. “Our approach towards teaching languages at Sprachcaffe is a cultural immersion. Due to the fantastic mix of nationalities in the adult, as well as junior, programmes it creates an unrivalled international flair. New destinations in the increasingly popular Sprachcaffe U20 junior programme are planned.”

When looking to the rest of 2013, schools in Germany are optimistic that their good fortunes will continue. Krupic believes that the current trends experienced in 2012 will continue over the next 12 months. “We are positive that Germany will remain interesting for students from abroad. German companies keep hiring staff from abroad due to a lack of enough qualified staff, and we recognise a growing interest from business people and students who wish to study German for their professional career, and whose needs we will try and focus on in the next few years. In 2013, we will continue to equip our schools with more modern media and technical equipment to reach a high level of technical standard within our language schools.”

Braas relates that for Sprachcaffe, 2012 was a particularly significant year with the company expanding its reach beyond Germany. “The acquisition of Italy’s eldest language institute Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri in Florence and the integration of the 11 Geos schools in North America has added even more high-profile institutions to Sprachcaffe’s extensive portfolio,” she says. However, the school is also looking forward to a significant event in 2013. “Whilst reflecting back on three decades of experience, Sprachcaffe is also looking forward to an equally successful 2013 during which we are celebrating our 30th anniversary,” says Braas.

Comparing the statistics with 2011

Chinese and Japanese students were more numerous at German language schools in 2012 compared with 2011 when they made up three per cent and 3.5 per cent of the overall student population respectively. In 2012, these figures were up to 8.4 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. Brazilian students also increased in numbers in 2012, making it into the top ten list of nationalities. This shows that German language schools are diversifying in their efforts to attract new students and branching out from the more traditional student markets within Europe.

Agents played a slightly more significant role in recruiting students in 2012 compared with 2011 – with schools indicating that 48 per cent of students were recruited via this route compared with 40 per cent in 2011. Internet recruitment was slightly down between 2011 and 2012 from 27 per cent to 22 per cent. Despite such a significant percentage of students recruited via agents, schools indicated that they allocated just 35 per cent of the marketing budget to this recruitment tool – compared with 48 per cent in 2011.

Students at German language schools were slightly younger last year with the largest group falling into the 19-to-24 year old category. In 2011, the largest group of students was located in the 25-to-30 year old category. This fits in with a trend towards catering for students interested in learning German for career purposes as European students look to Germany for job opportunities as their own countries suffer ailing economies.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.






AHLI - American Home Life International  
Generation Estates  
Homestay Technologies Ltd  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  
English UK  
Feltom Malta
Languages Canada / Langues Canada 
Quality English  

Ability English  
Academia International College 
Access Macquarie Limited  
Australian Institute of Professional Education  
Cairns Language Centre / Eu
rocentres Cairns  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
English Language & Foundation Studies Centre  
UNSW Global Pay Limited (University of New South Wales)  
Algoma University  
Bow Valley College  
Camosun College  
Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
East Coast School of Languages (ECSL)  
University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres  
Ecole Quebec Monde  
Hansa Language Centre of Toronto  
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Niagara College  
Ottawa International Student Programmes (OISP)  
St Giles Vancouver  
Anglia Ruskin University  
Bright World Guardianships  
Camp Beaumont  
International House World Organisation  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Prime Education  
London Language Centre  
London School of Business & Finance  
School of Oriental and African Studies  
St Giles International  
Trent College  
TUS Advertising  
Twin Group  
University of East Anglia  
Cambridge Esol  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service
Accent Francais  
Alliance Francaise Marseille-Provence  
Centre Mediterraneen d'Etudes Francaises  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
French in Normandy  
Groupement FLE  
ILCF Institut Catholique de Paris  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  
Université de Perpignan  
F+U Academy of Languages  
ESL Ecole Suisse de Langues  
English For Asia  
Guard. Me  
Ingle International  
Centre of English Studies  
IH Cork  
Travelling Languages - Think Ahead LTD  
A Door To Italy  

Feltom Malta
inlingua Malta  
City Education Language School  
EC Cape Town  
EF International Language Centers  
English Language School Cape Town  
Eurocentres International  
Good Hope Studies  
International House Cape Town  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
Kurus English CC  
LAL Cape Town  
Language Teaching Centre  
EF International Language Centers  
Eurocentres International  
Malta Tourism Authority  
International Mediterranen Academy  
AHLI - American Home Life International  
Brown University  
California State University San Marcos  
ELS Language Centers  
FLS International  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Glenholme School  
Global Language Institute  
Hun School of Princeton  
Lawrence Academy  
Montverde Academy  
Saint John's University  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Lan
guage Centers

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