Contents - September 2008

Special report
Giant steps
The evolution, direction and future plans of the industry’s major players are of interest to us all, marking out global trends, individual success stories and, with big corporate money entering the industry, signifying the industry’s validity as mainstream money maker. Amy Baker analyses many of the giant corporations out there and finds out about their business paths to date and beyond.

Protective layer
Insurance may not be the most exciting consideration for clients, but it is necessary, and for agencies, it is another product that they can add to their range of student-oriented services. Jane Vernon Smith finds out what sort of products are tailored exclusively for the study abroad market.

Having fun down under
Most students are attracted to Australia by the lure of a relaxed beach lifestyle. And with 60,000 kilometres of coastline there is certainly no shortage of beaches to visit! Bethan Norris talks to language schools in Australia about what they have to offer students.


Industry spirit

I’ve always thought that self-help books are redundant; trying to teach those who can’t change strategies to be better at something, while for most of us, the advice might seem obvious or patronising. I’m sure you can pick up tips from others in your journey towards business, personal or social satisfaction. But you can’t teach ambition, although you can encourage it I suppose.

I’m not sure if others feel the same way, but I’ve also read adverts for seminars that teach you how to make money surreptitiously and wonder: how many millionaires really started out by attending a seminar on what to do to be successful?

Perhaps I should have asked some of the “major players” in our Special Report this month. I was very interested to research the origins and evolution of some of the best known educators in the industry and chart large-scale corporate direction (pages 42-48). The founders or leaders of many of the industry giants are still involved in the business, and the evolution of their companies came about because of vision, unfettered ambition, possibly a timely acquisition and, indeed, the support of peers, their team and contemporaries.

Passion is a word that is often used. EF’s milestone 40th birthday brochure recounts that Bertil Hult, Founder of EF, and his first partner, Kaj Gahnström, shared similar outlooks on enterprise: “You had to dream big to become big” and it relates that camaraderie and a work-hard-play-hard ethos was essential to the “EF spirit”. (Interestingly, it also relates that in the 70s, all EF staff were given a company tracksuit and had to attend compulsory morning exercises once or twice a week because of Hult’s belief that physical activity helps mental focus).

Antonio Anadon, owner of Spain’s largest language corporation, credits the support of agencies as integral to his successful empire in the Spanish speaking market, and newcomer to the head table, EC, also asserts that its growth is thanks to agencies who believe in the brand.

Drive, passion and amiability are all ingredients in a success story as well as foresight and nerve. Those first three qualities are certainly in abundance at industry workshops, many of which are taking place this month. Helping fuel cross-cultural exchange is a great way to make money and this spirit is captured at such events. We report on the progress of workshops and bring you top tips for survival at the upcoming autumn events (pages 52-58).

Industry spirit

Malta confident despite Spanish slump
Sunshine Coast in Australia launches its own association
UK mobilises immigration crime teams
Two new brands at LAL
Camp Beaumont in UK sold to bank’s private equity arm
New school premises for Actilingua and Sprachcaffe

Agency News
Sheffield Centre opens inbound brand for Spain, Discover Canada expands worldwide

Agency Survey
Turkey upbeat
The market in Turkey remains robust and largely focused towards the UK, with good growth recorded and little change in trends since 2007, except Canada gaining market share

US language schools had fewer nationalities in their classrooms this year and Asian students remained the most dominant world region. Agent usage among students was higher than last year.

TestDaF prep. in Germany
With the TestDaF gaining ground as a universal test of German skills for university entrants, TestDaF preparation courses look set to become more popular in the future.

Course Guide
One-to-one in Spain
One-to-one Spanish programmes, offering personalised tuition with a teacher, are widely available in Spain and come in various guises including one-to-one for business and one-to-one plus culture. Students can choose to live and learn in a teacher’s home for a really intensive experience or choose a host family or more independent living arrangements.

Market Report
A united Canada
Canada looks set to steal the limelight this year with the launch of a national government-backed education brand and a new unified schools’ association. Gillian Evans reports.

UK 2007
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.