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May 2006 issue

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

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South Africa hopeful

Schools in South Africa report good and bad performances in 2005, but all seem confident that a wider range of programmes will help boost enrolments.

Compared with other study destinations worldwide, South Africa is a relative newcomer to the language travel scene. Yet many South African language schools have been reporting solid growth in student enrolments over the last few years and the market is showing clear signs of diversification, in terms of offering a greater variety of programmes and reaching a wider student base.

Jens von Wichtingen from Cape Studies in Cape Town says that South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for language students. "Our winter season, in particular, seems to have extended and become busier," he confirms. "The easy visa applications and flight availability also make Cape Town an easy destination to visit."

While the language teaching industry in South Africa has been traditionally focused around Cape Town – one of the region's most popular holiday destinations – the increase in number of language schools located elsewhere in the country also points to a maturing of the industry. Karl Rutti, Managing Director of LAL Group South Africa, says that student weeks increased by 25 per cent across their two schools in Cape Town and Durban last year. "Our new school in Durban has been received very well by our agents, as many of them are starting now to promote two cities in South Africa," he says.

Wits Language School, based at the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, has experienced positive growth in enrolments recently. "We have had an increase in student numbers of about 30 per cent [over the last year]," says Trish Cooper at the school. "We attribute this to the relative ease with which students are able to acquire visas, and to the growing attraction of Johannesburg as a financial capital, and, with that, the growing awareness of Wits University as an internationally recognised institution."

However, 2005 did not bring a boom in business for all language schools throughout the country. Boston College in Cape Town recorded a 20 per cent decrease in student numbers in 2005, says Alan Lester, the college director. "Changes in China have had the biggest impact on our school," he relates. "This is complex but includes bad press about crime in South Africa and currency changes affecting affordability."

Andy Meyer from Shane Global Language Centre in Cape Town also points to the strengthening of the rand against the dollar as a possible cause of the decline in enrolments they experienced in 2005. "Last year did not quite live up to the expectations of 2004, but this was mainly due to the second quarter dip," he explains. "While we still haven't quite found a reason for this, we are happy to say that since then there has been an upward trend."

With schools keen to ensure 2006 is a successful year, they are turning their attentions to their products and introducing new language-and-activity combinations. Many schools are tapping into the growing adventure sports market. Joan Cihan from International House Durban says that their student numbers have increased by 30 per cent in the past year, largely as a result of changes to their leisure and activity programme. "The language course options have not changed but the leisure options have increased in variety and this is what has increased the student numbers," she says. "We now offer wildlife tours and safaris for a weekend and longer trips."

Meyer notes that the extensive array of language plus courses offered at his school were developed largely in response to agent demand. "We have just introduced a language plus golf package over eight or 16 weeks," he says. "We will also be introducing packages such as [English] plus extreme sports, where students have the chance to learn or hone their skills in windsurfing and kyte boarding at an internationally recognised venue. There are also language plus volunteer courses available."

Interlink School of Languages in Cape Town is another school where language plus activity courses will soon be a prominent feature of the course menu. "In 2006 we are going to offer language plus activity courses for the first time," says Luanne McCallum. "South Africa has so many specialities to offer that we think are a major draw for us as a destination."


Breaking into new student markets

In many areas of the world, the attractions of South Africa as a language travel destination are relatively unknown. Yet schools report that this is starting to change. Luanne McCallum from Interlink School of Languages in Cape Town says that prospects for the future are looking good. "There has been an overall increase in the interest shown in South Africa as a credible language travel destination," she asserts.

The largest nationality groups studying English in South Africa include the Swiss, Germans and Koreans, but schools have noticed increasing interest from other regions in recent years. "We have noticed that other markets are now increasingly becoming aware of South Africa and there has been an improvement in the Japanese, Italian and Brazilian markets," says Andy Meyer from Shane Global Language Centre in Cape Town. "We do believe that there is bigger potential in the Far East market than what we are getting and we hope to improve numbers from this region in the medium term."

At Cape Studies in Cape Town, Jens von Wichtingen reports an increase in the number of nationalities represented at the school. "The German and Swiss markets have always been our primary target," he says. "However, we have become a popular destination with the South American market like Brazil, Chile and even Bolivia. We have students from South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and all over Europe, making us a melting pot of cultures."

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.

Name

Company
Country
Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
Eltasa
Education New
       Zealand Trust
English Australia
English UK
Quality English

EXPOS/WORKSHOPS
CEC Network
International
      Languages and
      Education UK Fair
LTM Star Awards
      event

SERVICES
GSM International

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority

AUSTRALIA
English Australia

CANADA
Access International
      English Language
      Centre
Archer Education
      Group
CEC Network
Hansa Language
      Centre of Toronto
Pacific Language
      Institute

ENGLAND
Anglolang Academy
      of English
Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      Scotland, South
      Africa, Spain, USA)
Beet Language
      Centre
Bell International
      (Malta, UK)
Cambridge
      Academy
      of English
Churchill House
Cicero Languages
      International
Eastbourne School
      of English
Eckersley School of
      English
English Language
      Centre, Brighton &
      Hove
English UK
ETCA
Excel English
      Language School
Frances King School
      of English
LAF
Lake School of
      English
London School of
      English
Malvern House
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
      USA)
Langbourne College
Oxford Intensive
      School of English
      (Australia, England,
      France, Germany,
      Spain, USA)
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
      College
Regency College
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Wimbledon School
      of English
Work Experience UK

FRANCE
Accent Français
CAVILAM

GERMANY
Prolog- International
      House Berlin

IRELAND
Cork English College
Cork Language
      Centre International
Linguaviva Centre

MALTA
EC - English
      Language Centres
      (England, Malta)
English Language
      Academy
Lingua Time
Malta Tourism
      Authority
NSTS

NEW ZEALAND
Auckland English
      Academy
Education New
      Zealand Trust
Languages
      International
Rotorua English
      Language Academy

POLAND
York School

RUSSIA
Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies -
      Pacific Gateway
      Study Group
Eurocentres Cape
      Town
Geos Cape Town
      Language Centre
Good Hope Studies
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town
Interlink School of
      Languages
International House -
      Durban
Jeffrey's Bay
      Language Centre
LAL Cape Town
LAL Durban
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town

SPAIN
Colegio de Español
      La Janda -
      International House
Escuela de Español
      la Brisa S.L.
Escuela de Idiomas
      Nerja
Escuela Internacional
International House
      Sevilla - CLIC
Kingsbrook -
      Spanish for
      Foreigners
Kings College
      International
      (England, Spain)
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispánico SL
OLE - Español en
      Andalucia
Tandem Escuela
      Internacional Madrid

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

USA
American Language
      Communication
      Center
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
University of
      California Riverside
Zoni Language
      Centers


EDUCATION TRAVEL MAGAZINE

CANADA
Lethbridge
      Community College

ENGLAND
Bell International
Queen Ethelburga's
      College

USA
Oak International