September 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus

Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus 1
Regional Focus 2
Market Analysis

Contact Point:
Request information from our advertisers

Digital version
To view this page in the digital issue click on this graphic.

Back issues

Status Survey

Download Mediapack

Get a Free Copy

Calendar of events
Useful links
Study Travel Magazine
11-15 Emerald Street
London, England
T: +44 (0)20 7440 4020
F: +44 (0)20 7440 4033
Pacific Office
T/F: +61 (0)8 9341 1820

Other products

French defiance

French agents are experiencing healthy business growth despite a recession, although many are uncertain what the next 12 months might hold.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 15 agencies in our survey was 10,517

Individual agencies placed between 12 and 5,500 students on courses per year

Average business growth was 13 per cent

The average length of stay for French students was 6 weeks

Overall, 56 per cent of French students preferred host family accommodation when studying overseas

The largest percentage of French students (31 per cent) were studying for the purpose of further studies overseas

Language study is the largest sector of the study abroad market for French agencies (89 per cent)

Most popular course requests Average percentage of agency business by sector
1. General 27%
2. Junior 23%
3. Business 21%
4. Intensive 15%
5. Academic prep/university foundation 10%
6. Language plus work 3%

7. Summer 3%
1. Language programmes 89%
2. Secondary
education abroad 5%
3. Work and travel 2%
4. High schools 1%
5. Internship 1%
6. Other 2%

Reasons for studying overseas Top destinations

1. Further studies at home 31%
2. Current work 29%
3. Future work 18%
4. Further studies overseas 18%
5. Pleasure 4%

1. Ireland 9%
2. USA 7%
3. Australia 5%
4. Germany 5%
5. Malta 5%
6. Spain 4%
7. Canada 3%
8. China 1%
9. Italy 1%
10. New Zealand 1%
11. South Africa 1%
12. Other 2%

How do agents recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1.Word-of-mouth 33.5%
2. Mail shots 8%
3. Seminars to students 8%
4. E/online marketing 8%
5. Advertising in press/TV/radio 3.5%
6. Other 2%
1. b2b conferences 55%
2. Fairs and expos 12%
3. Internet 9% 4. STM
4% 5. Other press 1%
6. Other 19%

Market growth

France entered its second recession in four years earlier in 2013. Despite this, average outbound business for French agents grew by a healthy 13 per cent over the last 12 months – also defying the high unemployment rate as well as low business and consumer confidence in the country. Ten of the 15 participants in this month’s agency survey recorded growth – two revealing rates as high as 50 per cent – four reported that business had remained stagnant while one experienced negative growth. This growth mirrors conditions for agents in Spain – another eurozone country in recession – over the past 12 months. As we reported in our Spanish Agency Survey (see STM, June 2013, page 18), average business growth for Spanish agents from July 2012 to June 2013 was at 16.2 per cent.

Reflecting findings from this French survey (although accounting for the language sector only), Union Nationale des Organisations de Sejours Educatifs Linguistiques et des Ecoles des Langues (Unosel) found that requests for language stays abroad among French adults grew by 12.5 per cent between January 2012 and January 2013. “Numbers increased because, despite the economic crisis, language stays are seen to offer a return on investment,” comments Kseniya Yaskinka, Déléguée Générale at Unosel. “At a time where the unemployment rate is high, advanced English (and other foreign language) skills on a CV make a difference.”

It is also notable that in our last survey of the French outbound student market (see LTM, June 2010, page 22), business had declined in France by 0.9 per cent, and the average length of stay has shot up from three weeks in 2010 to six in this survey. Today’s comparatively favourable economic climate in France could account for this, with French gross domestic product (GDP) contracting by 2.1 per cent in 2009. However, French GDP grew by 0.1 per cent in 2012.

Language and destination trends

While market growth figures have changed, language trends have not since our previous survey. Unsurprisingly, English language courses accounted for the bulk of language bookings in this month’s survey (86 per cent, in keeping with the results of our previous survey), and four agents reported that in terms of language courses, they dealt exclusively with English. Indeed, the top four destinations for French clients in this survey are English-speaking countries: UK (56 per cent); Ireland (nine per cent); the USA (seven per cent) and Australia (five per cent). However, German language courses received a small, but noteworthy, five per cent of bookings, while Spanish programmes received four per cent.

Destination wise, the UK has gained 10 percentage points since our last survey on France, while Ireland and the USA have lost 11 and nine percentage points respectively. As we reported in our recent Market Analysis feature on Irish language schools (see STM, May 2013, page 55), some institutions in the country have seen numbers from traditional Western European markets decline. Australia, meanwhile, has gained four percentage points. This perhaps signals a surge in interest since the implementation of the 2011 Knight Review, including increased post-study work rights, as well as the high Australian dollar attracting working holiday students.

Student and course trends

While general language courses received the majority of bookings from French clients (27 per cent), junior language programmes were not far behind with 23 per cent of the market share. These results are similar to the findings in our last survey. And, in the Unosel survey, the number of requests for language programmes abroad grew by 3.2 per cent. “Parents are ready to invest in language stays for their young children,” says Yaskinka, adding that the most common average length of stay for juniors, according to the Unosel survey, is 15 days.

Interestingly, language programmes accounted for a whopping (89 per cent) of French agency business in this survey, compared with a mere 47 per cent last time. In the previous survey, higher education (17 per cent), work and travel (13 per cent) and internship (six per cent) courses also had a far greater chunk of bookings compared with this year’s survey. The contributors in both surveys were almost entirely different, which could explain the dramatic difference between results, or perhaps clients are now more focussed on gaining ESL skills in a globally competitive employment market. Indeed, 29 per cent of French students were motivated by current work opportunities.

Agency business

Agent websites (37 per cent) and word-of-mouth (33.5 per cent) were top methods utilised to attract new students to travel from France. Similar trends were recorded in our 2010 survey, although a greater proportion of students relied on agent websites that year (44 per cent).

Since our last survey, b2b agent conferences have become the primary source of agency business (55 per cent), with 10 out of the 15 agent participants reporting that they utilise these events to find new business partners. In our last survey, 44 per cent used the internet to gain business partners, while only 28 per cent attended agent workshops.

Looking ahead

With the recession hitting France in the first quarter of 2012, perhaps the effects this will have on the French outbound study travel market will truly resonate over the next 12 months. Agent participants are uncertain of what the next 12 months will hold, with a representative from Effective Linguistique commenting, “It is difficult to say [what will happen], given the depressed atmosphere in France at the moment.” Others are bold enough to predict growth, albeit modest, with Philippe Vélu from Uni Sco anticipating a business boost of between five-to-10 per cent, “Although there are too many variables to be sure at this early stage,” he reflects.

Rachel Muraro from Abeona06, meanwhile, has a strategy in mind for growth. “We hope to develop more of our activity and partnerships with schools all over the world,” she says, adding that the agency would be attending Alphe UK for the first time this year.

Japan Key Facts

Population: 65,951,611

Unemployment: 10.3%

GDP per capita: US$35,500

GDP growth rate in 2012: 0.1%

Inflation rate in 2012: 1.3%

Exports in 2012: US$567.5 billion

Export commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel and beverages

Imports in 2012: US$658.9 billion

Import commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics and chemicals

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey:
Abeona06; Activa Langues; Afterschool; Au Pays Des Langues; Carib’lang; Effective Linguistique; Formalangues; Francaustralia Education; Idealangues; La Ligue d’enseignement; Sejours Home Abroad; Solution Au Pair; Study Experience; Uni Sco; You’re Welcome – Sejours Linguistiques.
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.






Generation Estates  

CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Quality English  

CERAN Lingua International  

FAAP - Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado  
IH Sao Paulo  

Abbotsford School District Business Company  
Algoma University  
Avon Maitland District School Board  
Bow Valley College   
Calgary Board of Education  
Camosun College  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Centennial College of Appplied Arts and Technology  
College of New Caledonia  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Edmonton Public Schools  
English Montreal School Board  
Georgian College  
Grande Prairie Public School District  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Halton Catholic District School Board  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Langley School District #35  
Louis Riel School Division  
Niagara Academy of Sports  
Nova Scotia International Student Program  
Peace Wapiti School Division  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Pickering College  
Qualicum School District #69  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Study Manitoba School Divisions  
Surrey School District  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  
West Vancouver School District #45  

Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
Quality English  
Queen's College  
St Giles International  
University Campus Suffolk  

Alphe Conferences  
SR Events  

Cambridge Esol  

English For Asia  

ISI Dublin  

Comitato Linguistico  
IH Palermo  
Italian in Tuscany  

Akamonkai Japanese Language School  

International House Sevilla CLIC  

EF International Language Centers  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Besant Hill School  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Fork Union Military Academy  
Glenholme School  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
Meritas LLC  
Montverde Academy  
Rutgers Preparatory School  
Zoni Language Centers  

Boa Lingua  
ESL Ecole Suisse de Langues  
Idealist Education Consultancy  
Insight Lingua  
World Study Head Office  

English Australia  

ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Sol Schools International  

British Study Centres  
Cambridge Education Group  
Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
International House World Organisation  
InTuition Languages  
St Giles International  
Twin Group  
University Campus Suffolk  

Accent Francais  
France Langue  
French in Normandy  

BWS Germanlingua  
F+U Academy of Languages  
GLS Sprachenzentrum  

ISI Dublin  

Dr. Walter GmbH  
Guard. Me  
International Student Insurance.com  

Accademia Italiana  
Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci  

Genki Japanese and Culture School  
Kai Japanese Language School  

Academic Colleges Group  
Languages International  
New Zealand Language Centres - Auckland  

CIAL - Centro de Linguas  

Cape Studies  

International House Sevilla CLIC  
Escuela de Idiomas Nerja  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

Rennert International  
TLA The Language Academy  

Tellus Group   

Copyright © : Hothouse Media Ltd. All rights reserved.