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Read the digital May 2015 issue of
Study Travel Magazine here








Contents - May 2015


Study Travel agent marketing
In an industry that spans the world, as well as numerous education sectors, products and target markets, it is no surprise to find that popular marketing techniques used by study travel agents vary widely. Bethan Norris talks to some of the marketing pioneers in the study travel agent industry and finds out how agents on the ground are keeping up with new marketing trends.


Agency Survey
Steady Switzerland
The value of the Swiss franc shot up in January, which gave agency business a boost, but also devalued commission payments, as Claire Twyman reports.


Secondary Focus
Canada secondary school survey
Agent usage among students studying at Canadian high schools was high this year, while the majority of international students preferred homestay as an accommodation option. Bethan Norris reports.

Secondary Focus
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
While the majority of boarding schools in the UK are to be found in England, there is excellent provision in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales which should not be overlooked, says Jane Vernon Smith.


Industry Faces
Keith Segal
Keith Segal, President of guard.me International Insurance, talks about his early days and how his experience in the study travel and insurance industries has enriched his life.


Tertiary Focus
ASEAN advances
Closer economic integration in the ASEAN region is set to reap benefits for the international education sectors in countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, as Matthew Knott discovers.


Tertiary focus
UK Competition

The UK enjoys a strong position within the international tertiary marketplace. However, policy changes have impacted overseas recruitment with students looking to competitor markets. Nicola Hancox reports.


Direction
Take cover
Insurance providers are continually reviewing and upgrading their packages to keep up with changing laws and requirements of international students. Georgina Deacon looks into the range of cover available.

Destination
Stunning South Africa

The Rainbow Nation of South Africa lives up to its name through its diversity of cultures, landscapes, activities and tastes. Matthew Knott gets ready for an adventure.


Regional Focus
Californian connection
California is the most populous state in the USA. It is also one of the most popular states for international students to visit, and with good reason. Join Nicola Hancox as she samples laid back surf culture, takes a bike ride across a huge orange bridge and goes in search of a famous hillside sign.


Market Analysis
UK strength
The strength of the UK as an international study destination prevailed throughout 2014, with student numbers, particularly from Europe, dominating the top 10. A streamlining of marketing techniques helped with this, as Georgina Deacon finds out.


Spotlight
Português no Brasil
Last year's FIFA World Cup football tournament put Brazil on the world stage, but the country became popular as a language learning destination way before that. Claire Twyman finds out more.


Opinion
Added value

Grapevine


Opinion

Added value




by Nicola Hancox,
Editor

The role of the study travel agent is a versatile one: recruiter, marketer, promoter, advice giver, sympathetic ear. And there are some great examples of the diverse role that they play in this issue (and in every issue for that matter!)

Agents don their marketing hat in this month’s central feature (page 28), which looks at the different marketing techniques agencies employ to attract student clients and support school business partners. With agent portfolios comprising several different products managed by several different school partners, the challenge is how best to promote and market each one effectively. Add to the mix the different target markets (student, paying parent) and you have yourself a veritable marketing mountain to climb! More than just a student recruiter, agents should be treated as marketing partners, suggests one contributor.

The importance of sharing up-to-date, quality marketing material with agent partners is another area flagged by contributors. “There’s a random and globally mediocre level of pictures made available by schools,” laments one agent. Photos can sell a destination, a course, a school, so it is critical the images schools provide accurately reflect the product they wish their agent partners to promote. However, schools and agents should always be wary of the perils and pitfalls of copyright infringement.

Our Direction feature on page 41, meanwhile, looks at the world of international student insurance. Agents play a key role here, too. According to participating service providers study travel agents generate a significant amount of annual business (between 60 and 70 per cent at one insurance company, 85 per cent at another). Guiding students as to which package best suits them and their needs is by no means easy – especially when students seem hell bent on insuring their personal possessions rather than their health!

The feature also highlights the growing prevalence of mental wellness (one insurance provider notes a significant increase in the number of claims in this area) with insurers keen to provide better coverage and support for overseas students. With so many different guises, from extreme homesickness to study-related stress, eating disorders to relationship conflict, mental health can affect anyone and symptoms can often be exacerbated when a student is away from home and their loved ones. As a constant and tangible link to home, agents prove indispensable in this respect, providing advice and guidance in a students’ own language before, during and even after a student has completed their course.
nicolahancox@hothousemedia.com



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