October 2003 issue

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Germany feedback

More Asian students are taking German language courses and agent usage is up, according to the results of this year's Germany Feedback survey.

Germany feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 74, female 43, male 28 (unknown 3)

Average age in years: 24.7

Average length of programme in weeks: 11.7

Average number of students per class: 7.8

Average cost tuition and accommodation for a one week course: E375.60 (US$419.50)

% of students who found their course through an agent: 34

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 41

% of students who had been on another language programme: 39

% of students who would recommend their school: 95

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Western Europe (41%)
Asia (27%)
Africa (8%)
Latin America (7%)
Eastern Europe (5%)
North America (4%)
Other/unknown (8%)
1.Swiss (11%)
1.Japanese (11%)
1.Spanish (11%)
2.Chinese (8%)
3.French (5%)
3.Cameroonian (5%)
4.Italian (4%)
5.Canadian (3%)
5.Mexican (3%)
5.Nepalese (3%)
5.Russian (3%)
5.Swedish (3%)

In my class there are... How will you use your German in the future?
Too many students (5%)
Too many students who speak my language (15%)
Too many students from one other country (8%)
None of these (68%)
Unknown (4%)
For college study in Germany (31%)
For college study in my home country (19%)
For current or future work (41%)
For pleasure only (8%)
Unknown (1%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise German with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (7%)
I found it on the Internet (20%)
It was recommended by an agent (34%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (37%)
Unknown (2%)
Very easy (8%)
Quite easy (37%)
Quite hard (51%)
Very hard (4%)

Standard of the teaching Standard of your academic programme
Excellent (59%)
Good (30%)
Satisfactory (5%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)
Poor (0%)
Unknown (6%)
Excellent (18%)
Good (50%)
Satisfactory (14%)
Poor (4%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (13%)

Standard of your accommodation Standard of your social programme?
Excellent (24%)
Good (35%)
Satisfactory (15%)
Poor (3%)
Unsatisfactory (5%)
Unknown (18%)
Excellent (18%)
Good (41%)
Satisfactory (26%)
Poor (0%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (14%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? What do you like most about the Germany?
Yes (41%)
No (53%)
Unknown (6%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (89%)
No (5%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (73%)
No (22%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (43%)
No (50%)
Unknown (7%)

Student nationality
The proportion of Asian students studying on German language courses in Germany increased from 18 per cent in last year's Germany Feedback survey (see Language Travel Magazine, January 2002, pages 18-19) to 27 per cent this year. While Chinese students remained in second position this year - despite the fact that their share had dropped by three percentage points - the proportion of Japanese students had risen substantially, boosting the overall share of Asians. This year, Japanese students accounted for 11 per cent of respondents, putting them in joint first place with Swiss and Spanish students in the league table of largest student nationalities.

Student motivation
Last year, a majority of students were learning German for their further studies in Germany. This year, however, taking a course in Germany to prepare for university or college studies in the country was in second place, accounting for 31 per cent of students' responses. Respondees were predominantly made up of students from China and African countries. In first place, with 41 per cent, was learning German for current or future work. The average age of students this year was 24.7 years. A closer look at the age range of students reveals that 47 per cent of students were aged between 20 and 25. Only 16 per cent of students were under the age of 19.

Student enrolment
The average length of stay was down slightly from 14.9 weeks in our previous Germany Feedback survey to 11.7 weeks in this survey. Despite the fact that academic motivations were important for a majority of students, short-term courses were most popular, with 41 per cent of students enrolled on programmes that were six weeks or less, and a further 38 per cent on courses of between seven and 18 weeks. A much higher proportion of students had found their programme through an agent this year - up from only 19 per cent in last year's survey to 34 per cent this year.

Standard of the schools
The schools that took part in our survey scored highly in terms of quality, evidenced in the fact that a huge majority of students - 95 per cent - said that they would recommend their school to others. Class sizes were generally small among the schools that participated in our survey, averaging out at just under eight students per class. As a consequence, only five per cent of students said there were too many students in their class.

Living in Germany
Half of all our respondents said they found the cost of living to be higher in Germany than in their home countries, while 32 per cent found it to be the same. Only 16 per cent said it was lower than in their countries of origin. This year, we also asked students how they travelled to Germany, and despite the fact that Europeans made up 46 per cent of respondents, only 11 per cent had travelled by low-cost airlines, 10 per cent by train and four per cent each by car or coach. Sixty-eight per cent of students had flown to Germany by an ordinary air carrier.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Anglo German Institute, Stuttgart; Carl Duisberg Centren, various; Did Deutsch-institut, various; Die Neue Schule, Berlin; Eurasia Institut, Berlin; Germalingua, Munich; Inlingua Sprachschule, Munich; Sprachinstitut Treffpunkt, Bamberg.
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