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September 2012 issue

Contents
News
News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agent Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Direction I
Direction II
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus
Market Analysis
Grapevine

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US community colleges

International students are increasingly looking to US community colleges to provide them with job-ready skills for the marketplace, as well as a stepping stone to a US university degree. Bethan Norris reports.

With their focus on providing students with practical skills needed for the rapidly changing international job market, US community colleges are becoming increasingly popular with students looking to maximise their study abroad experience. Many community colleges actively recruit overseas students and report increasing enrolments from key markets.

Arlene Spencer from Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, NY, points to China as a particularly promising market. “We have seen a big increase in students from mainland China,” she says. “We have recruited in China for the last few years and are starting to see some results of those recruitment efforts.” Ross Jennings from Green River Community College Auburn, WA, agrees that Chinese student numbers have increased in recent years. “Chinese enrolment in the USA has exploded everywhere,” he says, adding, “We started developing programmes and ties in China in 1994, so we were well positioned to grow our Chinese enrolment when it took off generally.”

Increasing Chinese enrolments can be put down to a number of factors – both in changing attitudes and an easing of physical restrictions – as well as increased marketing efforts, according to Spencer. “In China we have seen a more positive understanding of community colleges both with students and their families as well as with the US visa granting offices,” she says, while David Cordell at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, WA, says, “We hear that visas are easier to get now in China and enrolments are increasing from there.” However, he adds more work needs to be done to make the system fairer. “We also hear that individual consulates and visa staff in China vary in the ease with which they offer visas,” he confirms.

Other student markets that have traditionally performed well for US community colleges include Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan, Korea and Indonesia, and colleges report that enrolments from these countries remain strong. Spencer says, “Strong support for community colleges in Vietnam by the US government and Edu USA offices has been very helpful with that market.”

Kelly Kester from Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA, says a variety of factors are currently influencing enrolment numbers from the key markets. “Political and economic stability and diplomatic ties have been good for Indonesia, visa issuance seems to be easier in Vietnam, parents with the financial resources to send children to study outside of Japan are doing so, [and] Mongolia’s economy is growing at a faster [rate] than anywhere,” he says.

With increased awareness of community colleges, it is important that the colleges make sure courses are hitting the right note with students. Kester explains their most popular courses with overseas students are those offering a pathway to higher education or those that offer an efficient way of gaining qualifications. “University transfer is our top programme,” he says. “It will continue to be attractive as new/developing markets better understand the merits of the programme. High school completion is only available in Washington State and allows students to earn an associate degree and high school diploma at the same time.”

Colleges report courses with strong job prospects are the most appealing. Jennings says, “Business, IT and engineering are most popular with international students. We have a very strong aviation programme which is also very popular.” Shemila Johnson at Solano Community College in Fairfield, CA, says their nursing and business programmes are the most popular, adding, “Recently we have partnered with Sonoma State University to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies to our students.”

Spencer reports meeting industry requirements has also helped recruitment. “Our electrical technology programme has been redesigned and emphasises skills needed for nanotechnology,” she says. “It was not done specifically for an international market, it was done for the fast-pace changes happening in the industry, but we have seen interest in the programme by international students as a result.”

When it comes to marketing, colleges report a varied approach in different markets. “We have participated in a variety of efforts,” says Spencer, listing high school visits in target markets, recruiting fairs in both China and Vietnam, virtual fairs and agencies. “Agencies and high school visits seem to be the most effective recruiting endeavours.” The use of agents seems to provide the backbone of many colleges’ recruitment efforts, as Kester explains. “Our key strategy is using consultants and supporting their work through in-country visits/fairs.”


Visa headaches

While international enrolments at US community colleges for some student markets have been performing well in recent times, many colleges report continued difficulties associated with the US student visa application system. Many colleges’ employees feel that the system is simply too complicated or that legitimate students are being denied visas to study in the USA.

Shemila Johnson at Solano Community College in Fairfield, CA, says that for some nationalities, the situation has been getting worse rather than better in recent years. “The challenge of getting a visa has had the most negative impact on our school and international students who want to study here,” says Johnson. “In the past couple of years, I have had more students be refused a visa than I have had in the seven years I have been working in this area.”

Ross Jennings at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA, agrees that the visa application system is a negative factor in their international student recruitment strategy. “US visas are still unpredictable and the process is complicated, expensive and humiliating,” he asserts.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study 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

ASSOCIATIONS/GROUPS
ALTO  
English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Quality English  
Study Gold Coast  
English in Chester  

AUSTRALIA
Impact English College  
Access Macquarie Limited  
Bond University  
English Australia  
Flinders University  
IELTS  
ILSC Australia  
International House Sydney Teacher Training & Prof  
Language Studies International  
NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  
University of Newcastle Language Centre  
UNSW Global Pay Limited (University of New South W  

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua International  

BRAZIL
GTMI Global Tailor Made Idiomas  

CANADA
Bow Valley College  
Connect School of Languages  
East Coast School of Languages (ECSL)  
English School of Canada  
Global Village  
Hansa Language Centre of Toronto  
Humber College  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
ILSC Australia  
ITTTI Vancouver  
Omnicom School of Languages  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Niagara College  
Ottawa International Student Programmes (OISP)  
Study Abroad Canada  
Vancouver English Centre  
Guard. Me  
Ingle International  

CHILE
Latin Immersion  

CHINA
iMandarin Language Training Institute  
Mandarin House  

ENGLAND
AngloLinguist  
Barnsley College  
Bell International  
Cambridge Education Group  
Camp Beaumont  
d'Overbroeck's College  
Study Group  
International House Bristol  
International House London  
International House World Organisation  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Prime Education  
LAL London  
Lila*  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
Mayfair School of English  
PGL  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
Sussex Coast College Hastings  
English in Chester  
Twin Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  
Westminster Kingsway College  
Wimbledon School of English  

EVENTS
British Boarding Schools Workshop  
IALC International  
IEFT- International Education Fairs of Turkey  

EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol  
City and Guilds Branch Office in Europe  
IELTS  
Trinity College London  

FIJI
Tadra Institute  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  
CAVILAM  
CLE  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
France Langue  
French in Normandy  
ILCF Institut Catholique de Paris  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  

GERMANY
Sprachcaffe Languages Plus  

HONG KONG
English For Asia  

IRELAND
Active Language Learning  
ATC Language & Travel  
Clare Language Centre  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Galway Language Centre  
Horner School of English  
IH Dublin  
Language College Ireland  
MEI Ireland  
MLI International Schools  
University College Cork Language Centre  

JAPAN
Yokohama International Education Academy  

MALTA
EC English Language Centre  
inlingua Malta  

SERVICES
Pay to Study/FELCA  

SOUTH AFRICA
Good Hope Studies  
EC Cape Town  
EF  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape Town  
English Language School Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
LAL Cape Town  
Kurus English CC  
International House Cape Town  

SPAIN
International House - Sevilla CLIC  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
Xul Comunicación Social  

SWITZERLAND
EF International Language Centers  
Eurocentres International  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism Authority  
Study Gold Coast  

UKRAINE
Novamova  

USA
Besant Hill School  
California State University San Marcos  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Glenholme School  
Liberty University  
New York Military Academy  
Rennert  
Saint John's University  
University of Arizona  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  





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