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Contents - October 2002


Special Report
Teamwork
Educators' associations are slowly growing in size, as language teaching institutions worldwide realise that they can achieve much more when they combine forces with other like-minded businesses. The specific efforts of some of these associations to introduce agencies to their members is commendable and in the current climate of changing immigration rules and market fluctuations, they can prove a crucial information source. Gillian Evans reports.


Direction
Living arrangements
A number of agents around the world spoke to Language Travel Magazine about requests from their clients for independent accommodation options. Host family accommodation is still the most popular form of provision during language travel trips abroad, but it is becoming clear that more and more students are expecting alternative accommodation provision, and some schools are not equipped to meet these demands. Amy Baker reports.



City Focus
Beautiful Florence
Florence is known as a living museum because of the beautiful heritage and architecture in the city. It is famous the world over for its art galleries, museums and links to the Renaissance art movement. Language schools in the city say that aside from these obvious charms, international students enjoy getting to know local Italians and sampling Florence's local cuisine. As Gillian Evans reports, there is plenty to fascinate students in Florence.



Opinion

The season of workshops will soon be winding down as many agencies around the world spend the latter quarter of the year concentrating on organising their brochure for the coming year and profiling the products and programmes that their clientele will be interested in.

One particular option that many agents say is increasingly popular among their clients is independent accommodation, such as private apartments or flat shares. While many clients request this, acccording to agents in some countries, not all language schools seem to be in a position to be able to offer it yet (pages 18-19).

Any efforts between agencies and schools to improve business relations and deliver good service is important as the market continually evolves. For this reason, the efforts of educators' associations to embrace the agency industry should be applauded. Many national and international associations claim to be working to improve industry relations as well as lobbying national governments for the good of international education (pages 24-29). Inbound fam trips for agencies, as well as trips to visit agents in their home countries, are both initiatives that some educators' associations have been participating in. The International Association of Language Centres (Ialc) reports that it has conducted a mini-workshop in the Baltic States and Finland because agents have 'busy schedules', and 'it's also very important for schools to understand the markets they serve' (page 28).

In New Zealand, the export promotion body, Education New Zealand, has organised inbound fam trips for agencies for a range of countries this year (page 9). Meanwhile, in the UK, Baselt - which unveiled its new logo and brand image during workshops in the UK - has planned a programme of inbound fam trips for agents rolling into 2004 (page 8).

The workshop season is certainly a busy time for agencies, following the summer which sees many clients undertaking their language courses. While agencies have undoubtedly been working hard, they will be pleased to hear of other efforts in the UK to help language travel students enjoy their stay there.

One police force that is part of the student safety scheme, Operation Columbus, has come up with an ingenius plan to issue all foreign students in its area with ID cards, to help them gain access to pubs and clubs if they are over 18 years old, and to encourage them to tell police if they become a victim of crime. Other police forces around the country have been working, and succeeding, in reducing crime against foreign students through a range of different initiatives (page 4).

There have been other developments that are likely to help the language travel market. Particularly in Germany, where the arrival of a number of low-cost airlines in the aviation market means cheaper air fares for all Germans considering travelling in Europe (page 6). And new work regulations for foreign students in Germany, scheduled to be introduced in January 2003, could boost interest in Germany as a study destination (page 4).

Next year does hold promise, and many schools and agencies hope that there are continuing signs of a revival in the market. Schools in the UK believe 2002 will already be better than 2001 (page 21). To make maximum gains from any potential upsurge in student travel, agencies and schools need to remember the importance of open dialogue and cooperation.



Opinion
The season of workshops will soon be winding down as many agencies around the world spend the latter quarter of the year concentrating on organising their brochure for the coming year and profiling the products and programmes that their clientele will be interested in.

News
Sevis site up and running
Operation Columbus helping students in UK
Membership
boost for Ialc
Japan makes super effort to improve English ability
New work regulations in Germany

Travel News
EC closes probe into two alliances
KLM cuts fares to stay competitive
Low-cost battle
ground in Germany

Agency News
Baselt opens arms to agents
Thais soak up NZ atmosphere
UK matches US and Australia in visa price rise

Agency Survey
Japan's slow climb
While consumer confidence about study abroad and Japan's economy is still shaky, agencies are nevertheless seeing increased business, as career motivations influence Japanese clients.

Feedback
Italy Feedback
This year's Feedback survey of students learning Italian in Italy reveals a high proportion of North Americans and a very low conversion rate of agency enquiries into actual bookings.

Market Report
UK outlook bright
While student numbers in the UK generally stagnated in 2001, student weeks increased, and schools forecast an even better year for 2002. Gillian Evans reports.

Course Guide
Under-16s in Spain
There are a variety of language courses specifically catering for under- 16s in Spain, most also offering a variety of activities such as sports, excursions and other social events.

Profile
France
Famous as much for its celebrated writers, philosophers, artists, designers and musicians as its countryside, France is a kaleidoscopic country with a strong sense of national pride and wonderfully varied scenery.

Status
Status: global comparison
In our global comparison articles, we provide a breakdown of results from our Status surveys over the past year. In this first article, we look at nationality breakdown for international students across the major language teaching markets in the world.