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Bigger class sizes were commonplace at German language schools this year yet satisfaction rates remained high. Meanwhile, the number of students relying on agents to help find a suitable school has increased.
Germany feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 44, male 23, unknown 9, 76
Average age in years: 21.5
Average length of programme in weeks: 6
Average number of students in class: 8.4
Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 24
% of students who found their course through an agent: 19
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 46
% of students who had been on another lang. programme: 53
% of students who would recommend their school: 92
Respondents by world region of origin
C%E Europe 41%
Western Europe 33%
North America 11%
1. Russian 18%
2. Spanish 11%
3. US 8%
3. Czech 8%
5. Italian 7%
6. British 5%
6. Swiss 5%
8. French 4%
9. Brazilian 3%
In my class there are...
How will you use your Engish in the future?
Too many students (11%)
Too many students of my language (17%)
Too many students from one other countries (7%)
None of these (62%)
Coll. study in Germany (21%)
Coll. study elsewhere (10%)
College study at home (25%)
Current or future work (36%)
For pleasure only (8%)
How did you find your programme?
Standard of the teaching
1. II found it on the Internet (45%)
2. It was recommended by a friend/relative (31%)
3. It was recommended by an agent (19%)
4. I saw it advertised (5%)
Standard of your academic programme
What is your accomodation while in Germany?
Host family (31%)
Residential/single room (31%)
Standard of your social programme?
Standard of your accommodation
Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Country Yes (88%)
Unknown (4%) City/town Yes (58%)
School Yes (36%)
Student nationality A total of 27 different nationalities were represented in this issue’s Feedback survey of Germany, with strong representation from Central, Eastern and Western Europe. Seventy-four per cent of students surveyed hailed from the European region, a massive 25 per cent more than last year (see Language Travel Magazine, October 2006, pages 16-17). Meanwhile, Asian students made up only nine per cent of respondents compared with 24 per cent in 2006. Top nationalities altered slightly this year with Russian students making up the largest group – 18 per cent – compared with 10 per cent in 2006. Spanish students ranked second with 11 per cent, down from 13 per cent last year, and US students remained in third place. Other nationalities – that did not feature in the 2006 survey – found themselves in the top ten, with a new trend marked by Czech, Italian and French students.
Student motivation The average length of stay for students on German language courses dipped significantly this year to six weeks, compared with 9.5 weeks in 2006. Sixty-six per cent had enrolled on courses lasting six weeks or less, suggesting that students are opting for shorter, more intensive programmes. Learning a language for current or future work purposes remains a motivating factor for students – with 36 per cent giving this as their primary reason for studying German. Meanwhile, students learning German for their studies at home were more numerous – up three percentage points to 25 per cent this year – while the number of respondents who intended to continue their language studies at a university in Germany dropped to 21 per cent.
Student enrolment Nearly half of students polled this year found their school via the Internet this year – 45 per cent compared with 33 per cent in 2006. Otherwise, 31 per cent of students relied on word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. Agency recommendation proved less popular, however, achieving just 19 per cent, down from 41 per cent on the 2006 result. But the number of students booking a language course through an agency increased from 37 per cent to 46 per cent. Just over half of students had studied abroad previously, with 58 per cent studying English in an English-speaking country and 24 per cent studying German in Germany.
Standard of the schools Students viewed their schools highly this year with 92 per cent saying they would recommend their school. But class sizes were bigger – averaging eight students per lesson compared with 5.3 in 2006. Sixty-two per cent were happy with both class size and nationality mix, but 17 per cent of students, mainly Russians, reported that there were too many students who spoke their own language. Teaching standards were also high – 95 per cent of students said their teachers were either excellent or good.
Living in Germany The language, countryside and locals were students’ favourite aspects of studying in Germany; whereas sport, shopping and nightlife were indicated as the least favourite. The average cost of a one-week course with accommodation was US$573, slightly up on last year’s US$427. However, half of students said living costs were higher than at home; 85 per cent of which were Central or Eastern European.
Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Anglo-German Institut, Stuttgart; Collegium Platinum Heidelberg, Heidelberg; Humboldt Institut, Argenbuehl; IH Berlin – Prolog, Berlin; Sprachcaffe Language PLUS, Frankfurt; Carl Duisberg Centren, Munich.
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