November 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus

Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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Italy's consistency

It was another year of steady growth for the participants in this year's agency survey on the Italian outbound market, with lesser markets and destinations emerging.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 12 agencies in our survey was 3,283

Individual agencies placed between 12 and 2,000 students on courses per year

Average business growth was 8.8 per cent in the last 12 months

The average length of stay for Italian students was four weeks

Overall, 46 per cent of Italian students preferred host family accommodation when studying overseas

The largest percentage of Italian students (36 per cent) were studying overseas for future work purposes

Language study is the largest sector of the study abroad market in Italy (83 per cent)

Most popular course requests Average percentage of agency business by sector
1. Junior 53%
2. General 20%
3. Intensive (+25 hrs) 9%
4. Summer 8%
5. Business lang. 4%
6. Lang. plus work 4%
7. Academic prep/Foundation 1%
8. Other 1%

1. Language programmes 83%
2. Internships 7%
3. Work & Travel 6%
4. High school 3%
5. Higher Education 1%

Reasons for studying overseas Top destinations

1. Future work 36%
2. Further studies at home 23%
3. Pleasure 22%
4. Current work 13%
5. Further studies overseas 6%

1. UK 48.4%
2. USA 12.1%
3. Ireland 10.8%
4. Spain 8.3%
5. Malta 6.6%
6. Germany 5.6%
7. France 4.3%
8. Canada 1.4%
9. Australia 1%

How do agents recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?

1. Word of mouth 50%
2. Website 24%
3. E/Online marketing 8%
4. Seminars to students 7%
5. Advertising in press 3%
6. Mail shots 2%
7. Other 6%

1. B2b conferences 35%
2. Other 28%
3. Internet 21%
4. Student fairs and expos 10%
5. Study Travel Magazine 6%

Market Growth

Despite well-documented economic problems in Italy, the study abroad market has recorded consistent growth over recent years. The average business increase of 8.8 per cent in this this year’s survey is comparable to the 9.8 per cent registered in last year (see STM, November 2012, pages 22-23), and 8.4 per cent in the 2011 questionnaire (see STM, November 2011, pages 30-31). However, the growth was not fully experienced by all contributors; of the 12 agencies that took part, six registered an increase in business (ranging from 10 per cent to 50 per cent), four had a stable year, and two saw business decrease – 25 per cent in one case.  As has previously been noted in STM Agency Surveys on other European markets, parents seem to become more willing to put money into study abroad when times are hard. Lorenzo Agati, President of the Italian agency association Ialca www.ialca.it, says, “Despite the difficult economy in Italy, we find that families are still investing in their children’s education and therefore agencies are experiencing another slightly positive year.”  This was also reflected in an average length of stay for a study abroad trip of four weeks, a slight increase over three weeks in the 2012 survey and back to the same level that agents reported in 2011.

Language and destination trends

English remained the core demand for the Italian outbound market, constituting 80 per cent of all requests - exactly the same as last year’s survey. Spanish was the second most requested language with 8.7 per cent, followed by German (6.4) and French (4.7). The only other languages requested at any of these twelve agencies were Chinese and Portuguese. The UK remained comfortably the preferred destination over the last twelve months on 48 per cent, a finding consistent with the member data released by English UK earlier this year, in which Italy was number one source country (see STM, July 2013, page 6). Ireland’s market share more than halved from 26 per cent to 11 per cent, while the USA notably increased from three per cent share to 12, perhaps explaining the rise in average student weeks. Indeed, longer-haul appears to be a potential growth market. Daniela Maccolini, Director of Coming agency, said some Ialca members had visited Australia recently, and that this destination was becoming attractive for working holiday students. Observing trends among Ialca member agencies, Agati advises, “We have seen more last-minute enrolments and some growth for less traditional destinations,” mentioning Australia and Canada in particular. Consistent with the language requests, Spain and Germany were the most-popular non-English destinations on eight and six per cent respectively.

Student and course trends

The most glaring difference between this year’s survey of business trends and last year is the predominance of junior courses on 53 per cent.  This can partly be explained by the fact that for three of the agents participating were heavily involved in this sector: for one agency junior courses represented 100 per cent of its bookings. Beyond this switch between junior and general language courses, there was a notable increase in intensive programmes, nine per cent compared with five last year, and business courses, up from two per cent to four per cent. At 36 per cent, future work was still the most-commonly cited reason for study abroad. The stark decline compared with 85 per cent last year, and the increase of study for pleasure from 2.5 to 22 per cent is probably again explained by the younger clientele of the agencies surveyed. Similarly, future studies at home was a more predominant incentive, up from seven per cent to 23 per cent, as was future studies overseas, which doubled to five per cent.

Agency business

The language sector is clearly the mainstay of trade for the agencies in this year’s survey, representing 83 per cent of business. Nonetheless, this is a slight decline compared with the whopping 90 per cent recorded in last year’s survey. While work and travel programmes remained largely consistent – six per cent compared with seven last year – and higher education continued to be a small part of business at one per cent, there were some notable increases. The internship sector rose from one per cent last year to seven this time, perhaps bolstered by the aforementioned increased attraction of longer-haul destinations and youth unemployment levels in Italy. Meanwhile, the secondary sector became a slightly more significant source of business, rising from one per cent to three per cent. Maccolini confirms that the boarding school sector is becoming a new market for her agency. Biance Bugane, Director of Study Abroad Educational Travels, an agency specialising in more academic study abroad trips at secondary and tertiary level mostly to the USA, says that business has improved in these sectors so far in 2013, although yet to return to the levels of a few years ago.

In terms of finding new partner schools to work with, workshops continued to be the most-cited method at 35 per cent, although this was a drop compared with 53 per cent last year. A curious increase this year came in the shape of other methods, which rose to 28 per cent, suggesting that Italian agencies are employing numerous different techniques to find partners.

Word-of-mouth continues to be a major source of business, accounting for 50 per cent of student recruitment, down slightly from 52 per cent last year. Websites became a more significant source of clients, up six percentage points to 24, while student fairs and expos dropped from 18 per cent to nine this time.

Looking ahead

When asked to predict trends over the coming 12 months, cautious optimism was the general response. Most of the agents surveyed anticipate an increase in business and none predicted a decrease in students, although one agent said it was “very unpredictable at this stage”, but remained hopeful of receiving more students. Agati said that there was a noticeable slowdown in enrolments during the election time and that political uncertainty was not good for business. Nonetheless, he added, on a positive note, “We think we will soon see some positive growth of the economy and this will be beneficial for all sectors, including education abroad of course.” matthew@hothousemedia.com

Italian Key Facts

Population July 2013: 61,482,297

Unemployment: 10.6%

GDP per capita: US$30,600

GDP growth rate in 2012: -2.4%

Inflation rate in 2012: 3.3%

Exports in 2012: US$478.9 billion

Export commodities: engineering products, textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals, food, beverages and tobacco
Imports in 2012: US$453.5 billion

Import commodities: engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals and nonferrous metals, textiles and clothing, food, beverages and tobacco

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey:
Lingue del Mondo; ATW Across the World; Studiareinaustralia; Easy Language; Cultuvagando; Godspeed; Coming; Helkin; London Calling; Sunflower Exchange; Cittadini del Mondo; Quality Travel Infotraining.
Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.






Britannia Student Services  

English Australia  
English New Zealand  
Feltom (Via Malta Tourism Authority)  
IALC International  
Languages Canada  
Spanish Tourist Office  

Ability English  
Academia International Collegs  
Access Macquarie   
Australian Institute of Professional Education  
Cairns Language Centre  
English Australia  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
UNSW — University of New South Wales  
UNSW — University of New South Wales  

CERAN Lingua International  

Dialogo Language School  
FAAP - Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado  
IH Sao Paulo  
The Language Club (TLC)  
UNISUL- Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina-  

Algoma University  
Bow Valley College  
Braemar College  
Cambrian College  
Camosun College  
Centennial College of Appplied Arts and Technology  
College of New Caledonia  
College Platon  
Georgian College  
Global Village  
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced  
Languages Canada  
London Language Institute  
Niagara College  
North Island College  
Pickering College  

World Education  

English 100  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
Heart of England Language School  
International House Bristol  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Kings Colleges  
King's School Ely  
LAL Language Centres Holding Ltd  
Language in Group  
The Language Gallery  
Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE)  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
Target English International  
Worthing College  

Goethe Institut Berlin  

English For Asia  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

Celtic School of English  
Clare Language Centre  
Dublin Cultural Institute  
University College Cork Language Centre  

Italian in Tuscany  

Kai Japanese Language School  

Feltom (Via Malta Tourism Authority)  

Auckland English Academy  
Campbell Institute, The  
English New Zealand  
Southern Lakes English College  
University of Otago Language Centre  

CIAL - Centro de Linguas  

EF International Language Centers  
Eurocentres International  

Malta Tourism Authority  
Spanish Tourist Office  

ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Global Language Institute  
Zoni Language Centers  

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