May 2003 issue

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Spain feedback

International students in Spain were very happy with the standard of their language courses and the majority were studying Spanish for work purposes.

Spain feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 233 (female 139, male 88, unknown 5)

Average age in years: 26.8

Average length of programme in weeks: 13

Average number of students per class: 6

Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 18.2

Average accommodation and tuition costs per week: US$268

% of students who found their course through an agent or educational adviser: 29%

% of students who booked through an agent: 46%

% of students who would recommend their school: 97%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Western Europe 67%
North America 22%
Central & Eastern Europe 4%
Asia 4%
Unknown 2%
Africa 0.5%
Latin America 0.5%
1.Swedish 26%
2.US 21%
3.British 12%
4.German 12%
5.Dutch 4%
6.Swiss 3%
6.French 3%
8.Irish 2%

In my class there are... How will you use your Spanish in the future?
Too many students 6%
Too many students who speak my language 14%
Too many students from one other country 4%
None of these 73%
Unknown 3%
For university/college study in Spain 13%
For university/college study at home 19%
For current or future work 42%
For pleasure only 19%
Unknown 7%

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise Spanish with native speakers?
I saw it advertised 5%
I found it on the Internet 28%
It was recommended by an agent 29%
Recommended by a friend/relative 33%
Unknown 5%
Very easy 15%
Quite easy 42%
Quite hard 37%
Very hard 5%
Unknown 1%

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? How did you travel to Spain from your home country?
Yes 46%
No 45%
Unknown 9%
Low-cost air carrier 21%
Ordinary air carrier 65%
Coach 3%
Car 5%
Boat 0.5%
Train 0.5%
Unknown 5%

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent 42%
Good 46%
Satisfactory 4%
Poor 1%
Unsatisfactory 0%
Unknown 7%
Excellent 36%
Good 31%
Satisfactory 14%
Poor 2.5%
Unsatisfactory 0.5%
Unknown 16%

Standard of the teaching What do you like most about Spain?
Excellent 77%
Good 18.5%
Satisfactory 1%
Poor 0%
Unsatisfactory 0.5%
Unknown 3%

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (88%)
No (8%)
Unknown (4%)

Yes (56%)
No (39%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (31%)
No (63%)
Unknown (6%)

Student nationality
There were some interesting changes in the nationality composition of the students who took part in this year's Feedback survey on Spain compared with last year's survey - most noticeably the proportion of students from the USA, which increased from seven per cent last year to 22 per cent this year (see Language Travel Magazine, July 2002, page 14). In contrast, the number of students from Asia declined greatly, dropping from the 14 per cent recorded last year to just four per cent this year. Western Europe remained the largest provider market, with all but one of the top student nationalities from this world region.

Student age and motivation
At 26.8 years, the average age of our respondents was slightly higher than last year, although the reasons given for studying Spanish remained roughly the same. Overall, current or future work was the most popular reason for studying Spanish according to our respondents. However, it was interesting to note that of the 19 per cent of students learning Spanish for pleasure only, 45 per cent were from Sweden.

Student enrolment
The percentage of students who booked their course through an agent or educational advisor was slightly higher, at 46 per cent, than those who didn't - at 45 per cent, although nine per cent of respondents did not reply to this question. Only 29 per cent originally found out about their course through an agent, compared to 33 per cent who relied on a recommendation by a friend or relative and 28 per cent who found their course on the Internet. Of all the students who found out about their course from the Internet or were recommended a school by a friend or relative, 41 per cent made their final booking through an agent. Sixty-three per cent of students were on their first study abroad trip.

Standard of the schools
Our respondents were glowing in their evaluation of the academic and social programme and the teaching at their schools. An impressive 95.5 per cent of students said that the standard of their teaching was either good or excellent, while 88 per cent said the same of their academic programme and 77 per cent said the same of their social programme. Students were generally happy with the student mix in their classes, with 73 per cent saying that there were neither too many students in their classes nor too many students who spoke their own or a different language. Of the 14 per cent who said that there were too many students speaking their own language, 34 per cent were from Sweden and 28 per cent were from the USA.

Living in Spain
Fifty-seven per cent of respondents reported that the cost of living was lower than in their own countries. A further 33 per cent said that the cost of living was the same. Of the 10 per cent who said that the cost of living in Spain was high, 18 per cent were from Asia and a further 14 per cent were from Eastern Europe.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in this survey:
Abaco Instituto Hispanico, Salamanca; Academia Bravo, Cuidad Rodrigo; Academia Eurolink, Málaga; Academia Inhispania, Madrid; Centro de Idiomas Quorum, Nerja; Colegio Maravillas, Málaga; DILE Cursos Internacionales de Español, Salamanca; Escuela Internacional, various; Escuela Montalban, Granada; Estudio Internacional Sampere, various; Hola Denia, Alicante; International House Lacunza, San Sebastian; UCO Idiomas, Universidad de Cordoba, Cordoba; Universidad de Alicante, Alicante.

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