Novemebr 2015 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Industry Faces
Tertiary Focus
Special Report
City Focus
Course Guide
Market Analysis

Advertising Index:
Request information from our advertisers

Digital version
To view this page in the digital issue click on this graphic.

Back issues

Status Survey

Download Mediapack

Get a Free Copy

Calendar of events
Useful links
StudyTravel Magazine
11-15 Emerald Street
London, England
T: +44 (0)20 7440 4020
F: +44 (0)20 7440 4033
Pacific Office
T/F: +61 (0)8 9341 1820

Other products

Part of

Japan optimistic

Business is mainly good for Japanese agencies, but with a weaker yen battling the strong pound, destination choices are changing, as Georgina Deacon finds out.

Key points

The total number of students placed by the 11 agencies in our survey was 8,920

Individual agencies placed between 10 and 6,000 students on courses per year

Average business growth was 27 per cent in the last 12 months

The average length of stay was 11 weeks

Overall, 64 per cent of students chose host family accommodation when studying overseas

The largest percentage of students (31 per cent) were studying abroad for further studies overseas

Language learning is the largest sector of the study abroad market for Japanese agencies making up 72 per cent of business

Most popular course requests Average percentage of agency business by sector

General 23%
Summer 19%
Intensive (+25 hrs) 18%
Undergraduate 10%
Postgraduate 5%
Junior 3%
Academic/exam preparation 3%
Language plus work 2%
Business language 2%
University foundation 2%
Other 13%

Language programmes 72%
Higher education 7%
Internships 6%
Work & Travel 6%
Secondary school 4%
Volunteering 1%
Other 4%

Reasons for studying overseas Top destinations

Further studies overseas 31%
Future work 24%
Studies at home 24%
Current work 10%
Pleasure 7%
Other 4%

USA 27%
Canada 26%
Australia 14%
UK 13%
New Zealand 5%
France 3%
Ireland 2%
Philippines 2%
Germany 2%
Malta 2%
Spain 1%
Italy 1%
Other 2%

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

Website 40%
Word-of-mouth 26%
Seminars to students 12%
Email/online marketing 10%
Press 4%
Mail shots 3%
TV/radio 1%
Other 4%

Internet 56%
B2B conferences 11%
StudyTravel Magazine 8%
Fairs and expos 6%
Other press 2%
Other 17%

Market growth
The average business growth in our Agency Survey of Japan was 27 per cent, although there was a large variation between individual agencies, with two citing growth of 130 and 110 per cent and another of -30 per cent. Of their positive business growth, Shizuko Oya from Arc Three International says that a younger generation of Japanese students are becoming more interested in studying abroad. “We had more students who were under 18 years old,” she says. Junji Kotani from PURE Canada notes a similar trend. “Our high school students increased,” he says. “Minor students – and parents – are getting more interested in studying abroad.”
Recognising the demand for secondary study overseas, Japanese agency association Jaos recently published a guide book for high school teachers and staff aiming to help them counsel international students (see page 8). Speaking about Guiding High School Students to Study Abroad, Tatsu Hoshino, Executive Secretary of Jaos, said there was an opportunity for Japanese agencies to tap into demand with many high schools already partnering with member agencies.

Language and destination trends
Japanese students continue to prefer learning English above all other languages. Uli Kulz at International Education Consultants (IEC) says, “Language is the key to finding good jobs in Japan.” The second and third languages of choice for Japanese students are French and German, and Wataru Sato from especia highlights that the agency is making an effort to “push non-English countries” to help increase their business. And Vision sends students abroad purely for music and dance education, and, as Hirotsugu Ikeda explains, “Germany and France are the destination choices for music and dance students, especially for classical and ballet.”

There was a shift among the top five most popular English-speaking destinations in this year’s survey. While the USA and Canada increased to 27 per cent and 26 per cent respectively, the UK’s popularity fell by 7.9 percentage points when compared with 2014’s survey (see STM, December 2014, page 36). Miki Harada at Ryugaku Journal notes that North America, and Canada in particular, continues to grow as their most popular destination. Toyo Keiyama at British Reservation Centre JP says that they focus on sending students to the UK, Ireland and Malta and that competing with the Canadian market could be tricky. “If the UK pound and euro are too strong, it will be a problem for us,” he says.

While there is a known rising trend of Japanese students travelling to the Philippines to study English – due to the cheaper airfare and shorter flight time – before embarking on further or higher education in an English-speaking country, such as the UK or Canada, our survey recorded that only two per cent of students chose to study there. While this is a decrease on our previous survey in 2014, one agency recorded that 70 per cent of its student clients wanted to study in the Philippines and another, Arc Three International, noted 20 per cent. “They provide one-to-one lessons with cheaper prices than group lesson price in any other English-speaking country,” says Shizuko. She adds that the intensity of the classes, from early morning until late evening, also appeals to Japanese students. “Students can use English 24/7,” she says.

Student and course trends
Of the popular course trends, general language was top with 23 per cent, followed by summer programmes with 19 per cent and intensive on 18 per cent. Compared with our previous survey, there was also a noticeable increase in demand for undergraduate (10 per cent) and postgraduate (five per cent) programmes. At IEC, Uli notes that their business has increased due to working with one specific university. “We are able to tailor-make their programmes and the staff appreciate the care we give to students once they are abroad,” he says. Experiencing a similar trend, Shizuko explains that over the past 12 months, Arc Three International has developed partnerships with universities in Japan, “hence why the number of university students increased compared to last year”.

Agency business
In terms of how agencies find new schools to represent, the top answer by far was the internet with 56 per cent, an increase of 34 percentage points over last year. B2B conferences were the second most popular with 11 per cent, although this figure was a decline of 15 percentage points on 2014. The internet was also a useful tool for agencies trying to market themselves to students, with websites accounting for 40 per cent of student recruitment. Word-of-mouth was the second most popular tactic accounting for 26 per cent of clients.

Looking ahead
Thinking about the future, agencies in Japan believe that there will be an increase in younger students wanting to study abroad. Canada, with its post-study work rights, is also becoming a stand-out destination for Japanese students, especially as students are currently being put off the UK and Europe due to the strong currency in these destinations. One of the agencies who cited a decline in business over the past 12 months hopes that the next will bring some good fortune and business growth.

Japan key facts

Population: 126,919,659 (11th in world rankings) *2015 est.
Youth population (15-to-24 years): 9.68%
Unemployment rate: 3.6% 30th in world rankings) *2014 est.
Youth unemployment rate: 7.9% (114th in world rankings) *2012 est.
GDP per capita: US$37,400 (56th in world rankings) *2014 est.
GDP growth rate in 2014: -0.1% (173rd in world rankings)
Inflation rate in 2014: 2.7% (120th in world rankings)
Education expenditures (GDP): 3.8% (115th in world rankings) *2012 est.
Literacy rate: 99%

Source: CIA Factbook

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: And Vision Inc, Arc Three International, British Reservation Centre JP, especia, Go Global, ICC International Cross Cultural Committee, International Education Consultants, Nexsis Japan, PURE Canada, Ryugaku Journal Inc., WEC.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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







EF International Language Centers  
ELS Language Centers  
ILSC International Language Schools  
Kings Education  
TLG - The Language Gallery  

Ability English  
Cairns Language Centre  
English Australia  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
Monash College  

CERAN Lingua International  

ELSAC - English Language Schools Association of Cyprus  

ABLS - Accreditation Body for Language Services  
English Language Centre Brighton  
Heart of England Language School  
LAL Language Centres  
Manchester Language School  
New College Group  
Tellus Group  

Ecole de Tersac  
France Langue  
Riviera French Institute  

MEI Ireland  

Intercultural Institute of
Sakura House  

IELS - Institute of English Language Studies  
Magister Academy  

CIAL - Centro de Linguas  

Kilgraston Language and Activities Centre  

Estudio Sampere  

Bridge Education Group  
Summer Study Programs  
Trine University  
University of California San Diego  


HSI - High Schools International  

Braemar College  
Calgary Board of Education  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Edmonton Catholic School District  
Edmonton Public Schools  
English Montreal School Board  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Kootenay Lake School District  
Langley School District #35  
Louis Riel School Division  
Niagara Catholic District School Board  
Ottawa Carlton District School Board  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Simcoe County District School Board  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Vancouver School Board  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  

Carlsbad International School  

Queen Ethelburga's College  

The King's Hospital  

Menaul School  


Hult International Business School  

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology  

Istanbul Aydin University  

Bridge Education Group  
Summer Study Programs  
Trine University  
University of California San Diego  
University of Virginia  


Campus Living Villages  
Dr. Walter GmbH  

ILAC - International Language Academy of Canada  

Cambridge English  
IALC International  
Quality English  

Irish Host family  

Sakura House  

Feltom Malta  

Idealist Education Consultancy  

ESL Townhouse  


Hult International Business School  

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology  

Copyright © : StudyTravel Ltd. All rights reserved.