October 2006 issue

Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus

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Japan ticks over

Slow but steady business characterised the Japanese study abroad marketplace last year and agencies are confident that business may build – with many looking to university placements overseas as a growth area.

Key points
The total number of students placed by nine of the 10 agencies in our survey was 13,180

Agencies placed between 200 and 5,500 students on language courses per year

Average business growth was 24.5 per cent or 9.4 per cent barring one 100% result

The average length of stay for Japanese students was 11.4 weeks

The UK had risen in popularity among Japanese students

A number of agencies predicted increasing demand for higher education overseas

Two-thirds of agencies canvassed charged a handling fee to clients

In the last 12 months, agencies had worked with an average of 156 education institutions

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 32%
2. USA 21%
3. Ireland 20%
4. Canada 10%
5. Australia 9%
6. New Zealand 5%
Other 3%
1. General 48%
2. Intensive 21%
3. Junior 8%
4. Academic prep. 6%
5. Summer vacation 5%
6. Business 4%
8. Foundation 2%
Other 2%

Reasons for language travel Top languages
1. Future work 33%
2. Studies at home 23%
3. Studies overseas 18%
4. Pleasure 16%
5. Current work 9%
Other 1%
1. English 95%
2. French 2%
3. Spanish 1%
4. Italian 1%
4. German 0.5%
Other 0.5%

How do agencies recruit students?

How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Website 50%
2. Advertising in press 19.5%
3. Seminars to students 12.5%
4. Word of mouth 9%
5. Mail shots 2%
Other 7%
1. Fairs/expos 28%
Internet 26%
3. Workshops 11%
4. LTM/ETM 6%
Other 28%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 40%
English Australia 70%

Capls 80%
CLC 50%

Souffle 10%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%
FLE 0%

MEI~Relsa 70%
IEAI 30%

Asils 10%
Italian in Italy 0%

Feltom 30%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 60%
English NZ 60%

Aeple 10%

Fedele 20%

ABLS 30%
English UK 70%
British Council 100%

Eaquals 20%

Accet 60%
CEA 40%

Ialc 50%
Quality English 30%

Market growth
Some of the Japanese agencies canvassed did not indicate if business had increased or not on last year, while of those that did, the majority indicated a slight rise and some reported static business. Barring one agency’s growth rate of 100 per cent, a more realistic overall growth rate of 9.4 per cent was arrived at, which is lower than the 21 per cent recorded for 2004 (see Language Travel Magazine, January 2005, pages 14-15). However, the economy is reported to be improving, which might help fulfil the aspirations of agencies that business will continue to build in the coming year.

Language and destination trends
Since we last surveyed the Japanese market, the UK has risen in popularity among agency clients, now in number-one position, up from a lowly sixth position last time around. The USA remained in second position and one agency reported that the USA and Canada were definitely gaining in popularity. Ireland was in third position, although one agency in our survey dealt almost exclusively with this market. Other English language destinations, such as the Philippines, Malta and South Africa, scored less then one per cent each. In terms of language studied, English trounced the competition with a 95 per cent request rate, followed by French on two per cent.

Student and course trends
General and intensive courses continued to account for around two-thirds of course requests, followed by specific junior programmes and then academic preparation courses. However, work was the main motivator for studying overseas, with 42 per cent of clients citing future work (33 per cent) or current work (9 per cent) as the reason for their trip. Only 18 per cent of clients were thought to be studying for their further studies overseas currently, although this was identified by some agencies as a growth area. Seventy-two per cent of agency clients requested host family accommodation and the average stay was for just under three months – 11.4 weeks.

Agency business
An agency’s website has surged ahead as the new most important marketing tool for attracting business – in our last survey of 2004 trends, it was thought to attract just 16 per cent of clients, but now, agents estimate that 50 per cent of business comes via their website. Press advertising remained in second position in terms of importance, while seminars to students had risen to be the third most useful recruiting method. Agencies had dealt with an average of 156 education institutions in the last year, although many agencies represented more than that, and the number of countries marketed to students ranged from two to 19. Fairs and expos remained the most popular way of meeting new school partners, while some agencies commented that partners also got in touch with them.

Looking ahead
Many agencies were confident about business continuing to grow in the coming year, with a number pointing out that they had new marketing plans. One agency also remarked that the marketplace in Japan was very competitive with many agencies vying for the same students.

Economic outlook

Unemployment was at an eight-year low in May and there were more jobs than applicants for the six months from December to May.

Japan’s core consumer price index rose for the first time in eight years in the 2005 fiscal year, ending in March 2006. The tertiary index, measuring demand for services, rose 0.5 per cent in May, compared with April.

The central bank in Japan raised interest rates for the first time in six years earlier this year, forecasting sustained growth ahead. And the government economic report in July did not mention “deflation” for the first time in its key summary for more than five years.

Source: Bloomberg.

Japanese agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Australian College of English, Sydney, NSW; Global Village Noosa, Noosa, QLD; International College of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD. In Canada: ESH Language Centre, Toronto, ONT; Pacific Gateway International College, Vancouver, BC; Pacific Language Institute, Vancouver, BC; Tamwood International College, Vancouver, BC. In Ireland: Alpha College of English, Dublin; Atlantic Language School, Galway; Centre of English Studies, Dublin; Cork English College, Cork; Limerick Language Centre, Limerick; The Language Centre of Ireland, Dublin; The Horner School of English, Dublin. In New Zealand: Aspiring Language Institute, Christchurch. In South Africa: Cape Studies, Cape Town. In the UK: British Study Centres, London; Central School of English, London; English Out There!, London; Living English, Bristol; Regent Language Training, various; St Giles International, London; Twin School of English, London; Victoria School of English, London. In the USA: Lindenwood University, St Charles, MO. Worldwide: Aspect; ELS Language Centers; Embassy CES.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: ALC-Global Partners Education Network, Anglo Japanese Language Study Information Centre, Britain Reservation Centre/BRC, Global Study, ICT/Ireland Celtic Travel, International Education Exchange Center/Ryugaku Times, Ireland Ryugaku Club, JST Tokyo, Ryugaku Journal, Yes Travel Center.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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





Education New
       Zealand Trust
English Australia

English Australia

Malta Tourism

InterGlobal Ltd.


Byron Bay English
       Language School
CHEC English
       Language Centre
ELSIS English
       Language School
      in Sydney
English Australia
GEOS Sydney
Global Village
       Sydney (Universal
       English College)
Monash University
Sydney Institute of
University of
University of
       Western Australia

Archer Education
Vancouver English

Mandarin House

Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, England,
       Ireland, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       Scotland, South
       Africa, Spain, USA)
Bell International
       (Malta, UK)
LAL Language and
       Leisure (England,
       Malta, South Africa,
Malvern House
       Language School
Oxford Intensive
       School of English
       (OISE) (Australia,
       England, France,
       Germany, Spain,
Queen Ethelburga's
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)

EICAR- Paris
       International Film
SILC - Séjours
       Linguistiques &
       Culturels (England,
       France, Spain)

Prolog- International
       House Berlin

Emerald Cultural
High Schools
       International (HSI)
       (England, Australia,
       Canada, Ireland,

ISI Language School

EC - English
       Language Centres
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa)
Malta Tourism
NSTS (Head Office)

Education New
       Zealand Trust

Language Link,
Liden & Denz
       Language Centre
Moscow Linguistic

inlingua Singapore


EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       (Australia, Canada,
       China, Ecuador,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy,  Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, South
       Africa, Spain, USA)
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Italy,
       Japan, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Spain, Switzerland,

American Language
       Center (ALCC)
Hun School of
       Princeton, The
Kaplan Educational
       Centers (Canada,
       England, USA)
Program for
       American Language
       Studies (PALS)
University of
       California Riverside
University of West
Zoni Language