November 2002 issue

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Germany Feedback

The number of Asian students studying in Germany increased this year, according to our Feedback survey, and a larger majority of students were learning German to prepare for further academic study in the country. Satisfaction rates overall were good, but social provision was not rated highly at all schools.

Germany feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 53, male 65 118

Average age in years: 24.6

Average length of programme in weeks: 8.9

Average number of students per class: 10.9

Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 23.9

% of students who found their course through an agent or
educational adviser: 57%

% of students who booked through an agent: 61%

% of students who had been on another language programme: 43%

% of students who would recommend their school: 92%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
North America (8%)
Western Europe (19%)
Central & Eastern Europe (27%)
Latin America (4%)
Asia (31%)
Latin America (4%)
Africa (3%)
Middle East (3)
Australasia (1%)
Unknown (2%)
1.Chinese (12%)
2.Russian (11%)
3.American (8%)
4.Spanish (7.5%)
5.Japanese (7%)
5.Indian (7%)
6.Swiss (4%)
7 Mexican (3.5%)
8.Polish (3%)
8.Italian (3%)

In my class there are... How will you use your German in the future?
Too many students (25%)
Too many students who speak my language (9%)
Too many students from one other country (8%)
None of these (58%)
For college study in Germany (50%)
For college study in my home country (17%)
For current or future work (26%)
For pleasure only (4%)
Unknown (3%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise German with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (6%)
I found it on the Internet (15%)
It was recommended by an agent (57%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (17%)
Unknown (5%)
Very easy (9%)
Quite easy (41%)
Quite hard (42%)
Very hard (7%)
Unknown (1%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? Standard of your social programme
Yes (61%)
No (33%)
Unknown (6%)
Excellent (15%)
Good (35%)
Satisfactory (34%)
Poor (12%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (3%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (19%)
Good (57%)
Satisfactory (16%)
Poor (3%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (4%)
Excellent (23%)
Good (39%)
Satisfactory (28%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (3%)
Unknown (6%)

Standard of the teaching Compared to your home country, the cost of living in Germany is…
Excellent (53%)
Good (39%)
Satisfactory (5%)
Poor (1%)
Unknown (2%)
Higher (69%)
Lower (10%)
Same (20%)
Unknown (1%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (10%)
No (86%)
Unknown (4%)

Yes (41%)
No (53%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (53%)
No (42%)
Unknown (5%)

Student nationality

In contrast with our previous Germany Feedback survey (see Language Travel Magazine, January 2002, page 18-19), the largest student group by world region of origin this year was from Asia, reprsenting 31 per cent of our respondents, compared with 18 per cent last year. This is due in part to increasing numbers of Chinese, who were the largest single nationality this year, although the mix of nationalities remains fairly evenly spread. The number of students from Central and Eastern Europe increased by eight percentage points from last year, making this category the second largest student grouping in the survey, while numbers from Western Europe declined from 35 per cent in our previous survey to 19 per cent this year.

Student motivation

In terms of the reasons for our student respondents learning German, the biggest change this year was the increase in the number of students wanting to go on to further study in Germany. This year, 50 per cent of students wanted to use their German for further college or university study, compared with 38 per cent last year. Of this grouping, 47 per cent were students from Asia, and a further 27 per cent were from Central and Eastern Europe. The average age of students, at 24.6 years, was slightly lower than last year, indicating fewer students studying for work reasons.

Student enrolment

When asked where they first found out about their school, by far the largest group, 57 per cent, said that it was recommended to them by an agent, while an even larger 61 per cent of respondents reported that they booked their course through an agent. Of the other methods used to find a language course, the second most popular reason, given by 17 per cent of respondents, was recommendation by a friend or relative, followed by the Internet, which was used by 15 per cent of students.

Standards of the school

Overall, students in Germany appear to be satisfied with their study abroad experience, with 92 per cent of our respondents saying they would recommend it to others, compared with 96 per cent last year. Seventy-six per cent of students said that their academic programme was either good or excellent and 92 per cent said the same of the standard of teaching. However, student satisfaction with the accommodation provided was notably lower, with only 62 per cent judging it to be good or excellent, while just half of students surveyed rated their social programme good or excellent. Of the four per cent of respondents who said that their accommodation was poor or unsatisfactory, the accommodation provision ranged between host families and residential options.

Living in Germany

The cost of living in Germany was deemed to be higher than in students' home countries by 69 per cent of our survey respondents, including 81 per cent of students from Central and Eastern Europe and 73 per cent of students from Asia.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:

BWS Germanlingua, Munich; Carl Duisberg Centren, various; GLS Sprachenzentrum, Berlin; Horizonte, Regensburg; Humboldt Institut, Argenbuehl; Inlingua, Munich; Sprachcaffe Reisen, Frankfurt

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