Industry issues - advisors speak out
Q. Have you witnessed/noticed any new destination trends recently?
Paolo Barilari, Lingue nel Mondo, Italy “In the past two-to-three years we have noticed a decrease in interest towards Spanish courses for adults, although Spanish still remains for us the second most popular language. As far as studying English abroad, the most popular destination is still by far the UK, but Ireland, after a drastic decline, is taking off again. Especially this year, with the Olympics in London and the pound stronger against the euro, we forecast that a higher number of students will choose Ireland for their summer courses. English courses in Cyprus and Turkey are the new trend almost always in combination with a summer vacation and therefore in direct competition with Malta. Quite a lot of students book junior English courses in Spain. Other languages and new related destinations Chinese, Arabic, Japanese are attracting the interest of a consistent number of people, still the actual bookings are very few.”
Ayla Akkoc, Yero International Education, Turkey “Most of our clients still prefer popular destinations like the UK and the USA. While the south of England and London were more popular in the past, nowadays, the north of England and cities like Bristol are getting more popular, as tuition fees and living expenses are lower. Malta is still keeping its popularity for short summer courses, generally for the juniors. The USA is mostly preferred for long-term language courses, especially for higher education. There are a lot of inquiries for language education other than English, and it is getting popular among Turkish students. French and German are taught as a second foreign language in Turkish private high schools and many students tend to attend summer programmes in France and Germany. Students mostly consider affordability first and then location. So countries like Ireland and Canada have been popular destinations in the last couple of years.”
Thiago Franciscato Fujiwara, Kangaroo Education, Brazil
“I’ve been working with educators in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa since 2006 and a few years ago almost all of our students wanted to study English in Australia. As the next World Cup and Olympics Games will be held in Brazil, many students want to go abroad and learn English as soon as possible. When the Australian currency started to rise, many students decided to go to cheaper destinations like South Africa and New Zealand. They are visa-free countries for Brazilians and are also very popular due to the amazing places to visit and hundreds of activities to do. In my opinion, both of those countries will become increasingly popular among Brazilian students and I hope the number of students for both destinations increases a lot.”
Mehmet Catalagac, Y.E.S - YURTDISI EGITIM SERVISLERI, Turkey
“The UK, Canada and the USA are still the best destinations for our students. Just for a short time there has been a slight change of destination to Malta instead of the UK for general English study when the UK changed visa procedures. However, visa procedures for Malta are getting more complicated, leading to a focus on the UK and USA. We believe that creating a good education system for international students always needs good co-operation between all the government departments and its education sector.”
Q&A Advisor association
Marta Galea, Secretaria General at Aseproce, talks about recent activities and accreditation schemes.
Full name: Aseproce - Asociación Española de Promotores de Cursos en el Extranjero Year established: 1987
Number of members: 75
What has been the main focus of Aseproce in the last year?
We held our 25th AGM in the city of Santander this year. The meeting was a new opportunity for members to interact both during the working hours and the leisure time and re-electing the President, Juan Manuel Elizalde, and Board of Directors for another period of four years. Despite organising our own student fair, we participated as usual with our own stand at Aula. We continued maintaining close relations with the tourist offices in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Malta and New Zealand to promote traditional and emerging destinations and programmes for language study abroad. Close and cordial relations continued with the Spanish Ministry of Education for the operation of language scholarships granted by the government. A total of 22,000 scholarships were granted in 2011 for students aged 16-to-30 for three week courses. Aseproce members sold the courses to 52 per cent of the students that received the scholarships. A group of members specialised in high school and academic year programmes abroad, organised in a sub-group under the name of AECAE, are making special efforts and investments in reactivating sales of school programmes to the USA, Ireland, the UK and Canada. During 2011 four new agencies joined and two resigned from their membership. The total number of members at the end of 2011 was 72.
Where do you stand on accreditation? Our associates seek and work for excellence and they have a higher level of quality, and we sincerely believe these are the aspects that make us different from our competition. For that reason, we are preparing an internal self-control regulation for our business that shall be binding for our partners.
What are your feelings concerning agent training schemes?
Instead of agent training, we need to draft rules to regulate activity; a control system that allows us to decide who are professional companies.
Agency of the month
In a series appearing each month in Study 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 Language Teaching Centre in London, UK, nominates New Beetle Viaggi Studio in Italy. Sonya Kennedy, Principal of the school, explains this decision.
“We have many excellent agents and long-standing partners, but the agency I would like to nominate is New Beetle Viaggi Studio in Italy, who send us groups both in the summer and low season. LTC London has been working with New Beetle for 10 years or more. They are our most productive agent and also work with our schools in Brighton and Eastbourne. One thing I really like is that they are excellent communicators. During the crucial phase between group enquiry and arrival, we know that if we make a suggestion, New Beetle will listen and will pass it on to the group leaders. Similarly, group leaders can be confident that their requests will be passed on to us. When a New Beetle group arrives, we can be sure that the group leaders will be well briefed and thoroughly prepared. New Beetle has all the qualities you would associate with a good agent.”
“We are grateful to our partner LTC London. Our professional cooperation has grown a lot as we believe that the best partner schools are those that make the student stay a memorable one!”
Federica Fiorini, New Beetle Viaggi Studio, Italy