November 2004 issue

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Germany feedback

The expansion of the European Union in May has resulted in a large increase in the number of Central and Eastern European students going to study in Germany as work opportunities increase.

Germany feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 109, female 67, male 35 (unknown 7)

Average age in years: 25.1

Average length of programme in weeks: 9.9

Average number of students per class: 5.4

Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 21.6

% of students who found their course through an agent: 19

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 28

% of students who had been on another language programme: 50

% of students who would recommend their school: 95

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (36%)
C & E Europe (23%)
Asia (23%)
North America (8%)
C & L America (5%)
Unknown (5%)
Africa (2%)
1.Japanese (12%)
2.Swiss (10%)
3.American (7%)
4.Polish (6%)
4.Spanish (6%)
4.French (6%)
7.British (5%)
7.Turkish (5%)

In my class there are... How will you use your German in the future?
Too many students (11%)
Too many students who speak my language (8%)
Too many students from one other country (6%)
None of these (72%)
Unknown (3%)
For college study in Germany (20%)
For college study at home (25%)
For current/future work (39%)
For pleasure only (16%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of your social programme
I saw it advertised (2%)
I found it on the Internet (38%)
It was recommended by an agent (19%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (38%)
Unknown (3%)
Excellent (24%)
Good (29%)
Satisfactory (20%)
Poor (9%)
Unsatisfactory (4%)
Unknown (14%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (21%)
Good (45%)
Satisfactory (11%)
Poor (4%)
Unknown (19%)
Excellent (26%)
Good (30%)
Satisfactory (15%)
Poor (4%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (24%)

Standard of the teaching What is your accommodation while in Germany?
Excellent (64%)
Good (27%)
Satisfactory (2%)
Unknown (7%)
Host family (39%)
Residential/single room (34%)
Residential/dormitory (1%)
Other (24%)
Unknown (2%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? Modes of travel to Germany
Yes (28%)
No (68%)
Unknown (4%)
Low cost carrier (15%)
Ordinary air carrier (57%)
Coach (6%)
Car (11%)
Train (10%)
Unknown (1%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (86%)
No (5%)
Unknown (9%)

Yes (51%)
No (40%)
Unknown (9%)

Yes (26%)
No (55%)
Unknown (9%)

Student nationality
In last year's Feedback survey of students in German language schools, the most noticeable trend was the large increase in Asian students (see Language Travel Magazine, October 2003, pages 14-15). This year, our survey shows that classrooms in German language schools have diversified even further with the rapid growth in the number of students from Central and Eastern Europe, who now make up 23 per cent of the student body compared with just five per cent last year. Western Europe remains the most important student provider region for Germany, while Asia also contributed 23 per cent of students this year. The most predominant Central and Eastern European nationality was Polish. Overall, 30 nationalities were represented in this year's survey.

Student motivation
The motivation for studying in Germany varied considerably depending on a student's world region of origin. Of the Central and Eastern European students, 80 per cent were studying in Germany for six weeks or less and the highest proportion, 48 per cent, were learning German for current or future work purposes. In contrast, 52 per cent of Asian students were studying in Germany for 10 weeks or over, and an equal proportion - 36 per cent each - were either intending to go on to further study in Germany or were learning German for work purposes. Central and Eastern Europeans were also consistently younger than the other nationalities represented, with 44 per cent under the age of 20 and the average age being 21.5 - below the overall average age of for all respondents of 25.1 years.

Student enrolment
Agent usage among our respondents was low this year with just 19 per cent saying that they had found their course through an agent and 28 per cent saying that they had booked via an agency. Last year, 41 per cent used an agent to book their course. A surprisingly low percentage of Asian students - 28 per cent - booked with an agent. Central and Eastern Europeans were the highest users of agents with 40 per cent of students using them. Overall, the Internet and recommendations from friends and family were both more important means of finding a language programme. Fifty per cent had been on a language programme before and 14 per cent had previously studied in Germany.

Standard of the schools
With such a diverse student mix taking part in our survey, it is not surprising that 72 per cent of respondents said that there was just the right mix of nationalities and numbers in their classrooms. The average class size was also quite small at 5.4 students, although size ranged from four to 14 students. Teaching standards received the highest praise from students, with 91 per cent judging them to be either excellent or good. The social programme offered by schools received the lowest score, with just 53 per cent of students regarding this as excellent or good and 13 per cent saying that it was either poor or unsatisfactory.

Living in Germany
The cost of living was said to be higher than at home by 51 per cent of students, while a further 35 per cent said it was the same.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Anglo-German Language Institute, Stuttgart; BWS Germanlingua, Munich; Carl Duisberg Centren, various; DID Deutsch-Institut, Munich; Die Neue Schule, Berlin; Eurocentres, Cologne; Goethe Institut, Rothenburg ob der Tauber; Institut Matura, Donaueschingen; Horizonte, Regensburg; Inlingua Munich, Munich; Sprachcaffe, various.
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