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September 2010 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction I
Direction II
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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South Africa’s breathtaking space


South Africa is a massive country and has a small but growing English language teaching industry. Adventurous students wanting to experience deserts, mountains, beautiful beaches and action packed adventure should look no further than this surprising and beautiful country, says Jane Vernon Smith.


With the eyes of the world upon South Africa when it hosted the recent football World Cup, the time is ripe for more students to discover its unique charms. With a range of different destinations for language travellers, South Africa provides an unforgettable experience for students.

Johannesburg (known locally as Jozi) is, according to Trish Cooper, Course Coordinator at Wits Language School in the city, “a true representation of the ‘rainbow nation’, for which South Africa is famous”. One of its most striking features is, as she points out, its political history. “Soweto, the biggest township in South Africa, is one of the main student attractions, and we run several tours [there] each year. The tour includes sites such as Nelson Mandela’s house, the Hector Pietersen Museum and now Soccer City [the stadium used for the World Cup final].”

Johannesburg offers a vast assortment of things to do and places to go. As the country’s financial capital, it “tends to attract the best music festivals, art exhibitions and theatre productions,” notes Cooper. Meanwhile, local colour is provided by events such as the Lusito Land Festival, run by the Portuguese community, and the Deutsche Schule’s annual beer festival.

Other tourist sites close to the city include the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill. “Not only are these buildings superbly and sensitively designed,” observes Cooper, “but they contain a wealth of historical information.” For those with a less serious bent, the school also arranges trips to Sun City, a famous casino and ‘pleasure resort’ and to game parks, where, she says, wild animals roam in a malaria-free area.

Wits Language School, is part of Wits University, and, comments Cooper, this means “the primary drive behind everything we do is quality assurance. Being attached to the university, it also shares the university campus, which is close to town, with “several trendy shopping malls” offering cinemas, restaurants and bars, as well as being close to the Johannesburg Zoo and major entertainment areas around the city.

South Africa’s rich history also comes to life in the Eastern Cape. According to Melanie Schwarz, Manager of Bay Language Institute (BLI) in Port Elizabeth, this was where its main protagonists – the Xhosa, Boer, Brit and San – first clashed. “This is an area [that] saw more than 100 years of conflict, yet people here are unbelievably hospitable and helpful,” and, she reveals, “I love this warmth.” Indeed, the school itself aims to reflect these qualities, and is about to move premises into a former residence located just three minutes’ walk from the beach, offering “a homely atmosphere with a huge garden”.

The town’s beaches are another huge plus, she notes. “Wherever you go in this area, you will find these beaches – surfing in Jeffrey’s Bay, or just chilling on the Wild Coast, or after a day’s hard work in Nelson Mandela Bay, with the best ocean temperature in the country!”

The wider area is renowned for wildlife and wilderness, with an abundance of parks, reserves and private game farms – all malaria-free, comments Schwarz. Then, there are “quaint old Karoo towns, mountains, plains, lush forests [and] semi-deserts, where you can hear the rocks cracking in summer”.

“The Karoo is incredibly beautiful. In fact, it is, [in] my opinion, our greatest treasure. Vast landscapes, everlasting plains, red sunsets, dust storms and the sense of smallness and insignificance, which only a desert area can give you. This,” she confides, “is where I go when I need to find my peace.” She adds, “At BLI, we encourage people to get out and explore on their own, and practise their English on locals, who would love to help them. There is so much fun here, but it has to be explored.”

In the town of Somerset West, on the Western Cape, is the “small and cosy” International English School. Here, as spokesperson Tania Copeland, explains, students can enjoy a small-town environment – with less traffic, no pollution, luxury homes, it’s safe and secure – with the added advantage of being able to reach Cape Town within 30 minutes. People here are friendly and caring, says Copeland, and the school is close to Internet cafés, coffee shops, pubs and a shopping mall, where prices are cheaper than in town.

As in Port Elizabeth, sea and mountains are a major draw. “I am a rock climber and mountaineer, so my slant would be mountains,” comments Copeland. “Obviously, the famous Table Mountain is a must…but there are so many others worth visiting,” she points out. “Helderberg Mountain for the less energetic, Suicide Gorge [which] offers a kloofing [canyoning] experience second to none, [while] du Toits Kloof offers some of the best rock climbing in the Cape.” Meanwhile, kite-surfing and surfing courses are available “for many hours of fun on the sea”.

One of the greatest tourist magnets of the Cape area is the city of Cape Town itself. According to Ann Piscopo of English Language School (ELS) Cape Town, “Cape Town has so much to offer students in the form of sights and attractions, it can truly cater for all budgets and personal preferences.” Furthermore, it has a diversity of language schools, spread over its many districts, each with individual characters of their own.

LAL is located in the “very fashionable” district of Sea Point, according to Emre Bilge, Assistant General Manager. Here, he says, there are many restaurants and shops, and the school is also only two minutes’ walk from the beach, and 20 minutes’ walk from the World Cup stadium. A former student there, Bilge comments that he identifies himself with the school, having “lived it and loved it“ and continues to do so. Also “right in the middle of vibrant Sea Point” is Interlink School of Languages, which offers a pleasant place to relax and enjoy the environment, without feeling that you are missing out on the vibrancy of the city life, observes Manager, Yolandi Farham.

“Ideally situated” in Green Point on the Atlantic seaboard, Cape Studies is close to numerous restaurants, the famous V&A waterfront, the well-known Long Street and the 2010 World Cup stadium, comments the school’s Helga Frank. It also benefits from a garden with a swimming pool and a barbecue area, where students can relax and have fun after lessons.

One of the trendiest areas of Cape Town is Gardens, comments Angela Pereira of EF, where the school has its base. Located in a Victorian school building that is “a stone’s throw away” from the city centre and from Table Mountain, EF is “small and homely”, making students feel immediately relaxed and part of a family, she says.

The aptly named Long Street is one of the oldest in Cape Town and now part of its central business district. As well featuring numerous Victorian buildings, this road is also full of pubs, clubs and shops. Close by is EC Cape Town, whose ethos, notes spokesperson Sue Camillieri, is “going the extra mile” and providing the highest quality school buildings and facilities for students, along with a warm, caring and vibrant atmosphere. A further selling point is that some classrooms offer stunning views of Table Mountain.

Meanwhile, Claremont, home to Cape Town School of English, is outside the city area. Its situation offers the benefit of being safer, closer to its homestay families, and with plenty of public transport, as well as being in the vicinity of the university and other colleges, and on the train route to some of the nicest beaches, points out spokesperson, Manya Bredell.

Whichever area a student selects for their base, they will be spoilt for choice when it comes to filling their spare time. As Maria Husarova of the city’s Eurocentres language school highlights, “Cape Town has so many tourist attractions, the entire city is a must-see in itself.” For her, one priority would be the “endless” beautiful beaches, such as Camps Bay, Clifton and Boulders Beach, where you can observe a penguin colony at close hand. She would also back Craig Leith, Principal of Good Hope Studies, in recommending a drive along the False Bay Coast, stopping at Kalk Bay Harbour, Fish Hoek, Simonstown and beyond, then visiting the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. “One needs to allow a full day – or even two – for this in order to explore all the nooks and crannies and unusual curiosity shops, restaurants and pubs along the way,” advises Leith.

Camillieri agrees that the city has “a wealth of unique and wonderful attractions. Of course, Table Mountain is a must,” she stresses. “It is so evident everywhere you are in the city, and even as you fly into the airport – if it is not cloudy – you will be staggered by the sheer size of it.” For those wanting to take in as much as possible within one day, on a reasonable budget, “I would recommend the topless red bus,” says Bredell. “For a one-day ticket [costing] R100 (US$13), you can get around the whole city area, including Table Mountain, the Waterfront and Camps Bay beach area.”

“Obviously, seeing wild animals is a priority for many visitors,” comments Jane Diesel, Director of inlingua Cape Town. “The Kruger National Park is a must-see destination for many. Others prefer to go to Kwa-Zulu, Natal or the Eastern Cape. At inlingua, we offer a week-long Learn English on Safari trip, along the Garden route to Port Elizabeth and back.” Meanwhile, “A sunset cruise on Table Bay is an unforgettable experience. Watch the sun set over the sea, [see] the moon rise over the mountains and the stars twinkle above Table Mountain – a cliché, but a memorable one!” she affirms.

Another unmissable experience for Husarova is wine-tasting, as the area boasts well-known vineyards, and some, including Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, have their own festivals, notes Verena Corzillius of Language Teaching Centre (LTC) in Cape Town.

When it is time to chill out, “A small gem is the Cape Quarter area, where there is an absolutely wonderful variety of amazing little restaurants, coffee shops and, in the evening, discos”, says Lauren Altmann, Marketing Coordinator at International House. “For salsa lovers, [on] Friday nights this is the place to be.”

Festivals of all types are another feature of city life in Cape Town, and Interlink encourages participation, by providing an accompanying teacher, Farham reports. One highlight is the Cape Minstrel Carnival, otherwise known as Kaapse Klopse, when, notes Frank, “up to 10,000 minstrels’ bands, singers [and] dancers parade through the streets to celebrate the New Year for the entire month of January”.

For as Leith observes, “South Africa is a country of many worlds in one nation – and Cape Town, in particular, is a microcosm of this…It is African, with obvious European influences, and is becoming more and more cosmopolitan on an almost-daily basis.”


Agent viewpoint

Ingrid Antons, Inlingua Santander, Spain
“All [our students] come home deeply impressed by the beauty of the country, and its colours in particular. When they choose South Africa over other English-speaking destinations, it’s normally because they plan a longer stay, not just a couple of weeks, and because they are curious about new experiences. It’s such a fascinating country, between European and African!”

Ludovic Seri, ESL, Switzerland
“[Students] choose South Africa over other English-speaking destinations because…it’s an off-the-beaten-track destination, because of the climate and because of the very interesting cost of living. [They] are always amazed by the beautiful landscapes of South Africa, which really make them feel that they are abroad… Then, they realise as well that South Africa is a really easy-to-travel country, and you could easily compare it to Australia in terms of discovering the country without spending a lot of money and in terms of backpacking facilities.”

Luiza Vianna, CI, Brazil
“Lots of clients choose South Africa in order to save money, as the living cost is low, and also schools offer very competitive prices, combined with good quality. Once they arrive, they discover a very beautiful country, friendly people, good food, nightlife, culture and much more.”

Katja Ebert, Dialog, Germany
“German students are fascinated with South Africa’s unique landscape and national parks, but also with its huge variety of different cultures and traditions. Cape Town is especially popular during the winter months, since our students take the chance to escape from the European winter and learn English in the sun.”

Contact any advertiser in 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.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
Britannia Student
      Services  
Nido Student Living  
Sara's New York
      Homestay LLC  
Unite  

ASSOCIATIONS/ GROUPS
ABLS  
English Australia 
Feltom
Groupement FLE 
IALC International 
International House
      World Organisation
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
MEI  
Perth Education City
Quality English
The English Network

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  
English Australia  
Globus Education
      Agency  
IALC International  
IEFT- International
      Education Fairs of
      Turkey  
International House
      World Organisation  
Ukranian
      International
      Educational Fair  

EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol  
IELTS  
Pearson Education  

GUARDIANSHIP
COMPANIES
Bright World
      Guardianships  

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  
Student Guard
      Insurance  

SERVICES
ICEF  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

AUSTRALIA
Bond University  
Carrick Institute of
      Education  
La Trobe
      University  
Language
      Studies International
NAVITAS  
Pacific Gateway International College  
Perth Education City
Shafston
      International College
Universal English
      College
      (Global Village
      Sydney) 
University of
      Tasmania  
University of
      Western Australia  
University of
      Western Sydney
      College  

BELGUIM
CERAN Lingua
      International  

CANADA
Bow Valley College
Braemar
      International
      College  
CLLC  
East Coast School
      of Languages  
English Bay College  
English School of
      Canada  
Eurocentres Canada  
Geos North America  
Global Village  
ILSC  
International
      Language School of
      the YMCAs Quebec
Language Studies
      International  
LSC Language
      Studies Canada  
National School
      of Languages  
Niagara College  
Queen's University  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Saint Mary's
      University  
SAIT Polytechnic  
Stewart College of
      Languages  
Study Abroad
      Canada  
Thompson Rivers
      University  
University of Victoria  
Vancouver English
      Centre  

CHINA
iMandarin
      Language Training
      Institute  
Mandarin House  

EGYPT
IH Cairo  

ENGLAND
ABC Languages  
Bury Language
      School  
Cambridge
      Education Group  
Camp Beaumont  
English Language
      Centre Brighton &
      Hove  
English Studio  
Hove College  
INTO University
      Partnerships  
Kaplan International
      Colleges  
Kings Colleges  
LAL Central
      Marketing Office  
Language in Group  
London Metropolitan
      University  
Malvern House
      College London  
Pearson Education  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
Shakespeare College  
SKOLA  
Spinnaker College  
St Giles Colleges  
Study Group  
SUL Language
      Schools  
Thames Valley
      Summer Schools  
The English
      Network  
Twin Group  
Unite  
University of
      Cambridge ESOL
      Examinations  
University of
      Essex -
      International
      Academy  
Wimbledon School
      of English  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France  
Alpha B - Institut
      Linguistique  
CLE  
College International
      de Cannes  
Ecole PERL  
Ecole Suisse
      Internationale  
Education En France
Idiom  
Institut de Langue
      et de Culture
      Françaises - ILCF  
Langue Onze
      Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu
      International  
Paris Langues /
      Club CEI des 4
      Vents
Universite de
      Paris Sorbonne  

GERMANY
Sprachcaffe
      International /
      Languages Plus  

GREECE
Filomathia  

GUADELOUPE
Media Langues
     Caraibes  

HONG KONG
ALLTERE
      Education Group  

IRELAND
Alpha College of
      English  
Centre of English
      Studies  
Horner School of
      English  
Linguaviva
      Centre  
MEI  

JAPAN
Tamagawa
      International
      Language School  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre  
English Language
      Academy  
Feltom
Global Village  
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps.  

SOUTH AFRICA
EC Cape Town  
EF - SA  
English in Africa
      Language School  
Eurocentres Cape
      Town  
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
International House
      Cape Town  
Kurus English CC  
LAL Cape Town  

SPAIN
Inturjoven  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Malaga Si  
Universitat
      Internacional de
      Catalunya  

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
Eurocentres
      International  

USA
ELS Language
      Centers  
IH New York  
Julian Krinsky
      Camps & Programs
Language
      Consultants
      International, LCI
University of
      Arizona 
University of
      California Riverside
University of
      California San Diego  
Zoni Language
      Centers  



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