The mission aimed to provide an opportunity to... show agents the fantastic range and quality of provision available from English UK members, said Ulrike Kadritzke at the association. The agents, all Belta members, were also able to make a short visit to other members in the region, bringing the total number of organisations taking part to 23.
Those schools hosting the agencies were English Language Centre Bristol, International House Bath, Taunton International Study Centre, Devon School of English and The Language Project, also in Bristol. Agent Andrea Fujii of I-Deia.com was on the trip and said she had not expected to see so many destinations in the UK.
I am sure that after this trip we will be offering courses from our new partners with positive points and information about the locations, she added.
The mission was one of a series being organised by English UK in the coming months. The next mission is scheduled in November for agents from the Ukraine. Katie O'Farrell, Market Development Manager at English UK, said, Members in the southwest were pleased with the opportunity to showcase a region that Brazilians have not previously focused on.
Agencies organise expo to improve ELT in Brazil
Two companies involved in the study abroad business are setting up an expo in Brazil that will focus on improving business practice in the English language teaching (ELT) industry. Aimed at local language school managers, as well as teachers and agencies working in the field, ExpoELT will take place in Sao Paulo on October 28 and 29.
Bridge-Linguatec, which has a headquarters and school in the USA and offices/schools in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, is one of the two companies involved in setting up the expo. Jean-Marc Alberola, from Bridge-Linguatec, explained that he discovered Laura Lewin of ABS International was providing management seminars oriented for the language training sector in Argentina. It's an interesting idea because many language school owners and managers have academic and teaching backgrounds, but lack management and business training, he said.
Together, Lewin and Alberola decided to organise an expo not only for teachers but management staff as well and they hope to take their idea to Chile too. Alberola hopes agents will also attend, because a great way to market study abroad programmes is to work together with schools. Local English schools can either receive a commission or allow agents to give presentations [to students].
Talk to us
Do you know which agencies were the first in your country to set up? If so, we would like to hear from you with information!
How do you market your agency so that it stands out from the crowd? Do you use incentives or gifts to attract potential clients? Do you organise post-trip parties to generate more interest in your services? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 14/10/05 with your comments.
Industry issues - agents speak out
Q Aside from your website, how do you use the Internet and email in your day-to-day operations and how has the advent of this technology changed your business?
Denis Mello, MA Intercâmbio & Turismo, Brazil
We try to answer questions in 24 hours, this way we get confidence from the future customer. Although our consultation is almost completely via the Internet, we almost always receive a phone call from the student confirming everything. The Internet [has] increased our number of consultations. We already have a form requesting registration online, but it is not used very much by the students. We keep in touch with our students during their period of studies [using the Internet], looking for information about their satisfaction.
Tatsuo Kayama, Raps Study Abroad Center, Japan
We already provide an online booking service for our clients and this is a completely free service. This service is quite smart and convenient, especially for busy people. We use the Internet and email for all inquiries and bookings for educational institutions all over the world. These technologies are quite smooth and convenient and clients have no need to visit the agency office.
Viktor Sundberg, Nomad Language Travel Agency, Sweden
Sweden has the highest percentage of Internet connections per person in the world. When Nomad started we took advantage of this and built our business around the Internet. We do not have a catalogue, which makes the Internet our single most important tool for marketing and we use lots of different activities that generate visitors to our site. One hundred per cent of our applications come through our website. Also, since administration is minimised, we have more time to help our students with information and support regarding our courses. The Internet has not changed how we work, on the contrary, we knew most of the facts when we began and it is the very foundation of Nomad. We see the Internet as an obvious tool and we always look for new ways to utilise it. For example, we are the first Swedish agency that can be contacted by chat services online and through Internet based IP-telephone systems. We like to think of ourselves as the most modern agency in Sweden and use the Internet in ways many agencies have not yet even thought of.
Rui Souza, BEI international education, Brazil
I can remember when we used to enter the office on Monday morning and see the long sheets of fax paper covering the desk. A 32 metre-square office was full of shelves with folders, prospectuses, leaflets, enrollment forms, videos and all [the] information materials for prospective students. Today the information is [all stored] inside [a] small device: a computer linked up to the Internet. And now we get up-to-date information right away. As we deal with a very large number of educational institutions, we need this technology [when] trying to find the best suitable educational programme for our clients. [It is easy to say] how the advent of this technology has changed our business at BEI international education. Most of all, information, contact and details are transferred by email. [It is] cheap, safe and comfortable, and we should consider the contribution to the [environment] we are making by avoiding printing. Booking online is our target for next year. We are analysing a system that lets parents follow students' progress at schools. And we are developing our website, which considers online contact vital for a fast response [to clients].
Agency of the month
In a series appearing each month in Language Travel Magazine, we ask a different language teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or agent partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.
This month, Cork Language Centre International (CLCI) in Ireland nominates Eurobridge International in Spain.
Joelle Coade, Customer Services Manager, explains her decision.
"We have been working with the agency for six years. Initially, the number of students from Eurobridge was small, but it has increased steadily over the years. There has been a significant increase over the last two years and, importantly from our perspective, there has been a steady flow of students.
The close relationship that has developed between our two companies is extremely important to CLCI. In keeping with our own approach, Eurobridge combines professionalism with the personal touch when dealing with clients. Tony Gamble [Director] himself takes a personal interest in each client that comes to study with us. All of the students that Eurobridge sends us have received detailed, accurate information on the courses that we offer and on what to expect when they come to study with us in Ireland."
On the move
Del Childs has recently become Director of Studies at Language Studies International (LSI) in Brisbane, Australia. Prior to this, Ms Childs worked for 12 years in regional Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast and in Cairns, where she was involved in start-up operations of two language centres as well as marketing in Europe and Latin America.
Julie Hutchinson, former Market Development Manager with English UK (ex-Baselt), is now International Manager with Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, UK. Ms Hutchinson is keen to continue working with existing partners as well as new ones to raise the profile of Hartpury College and increase opportunities for international students.
Amanda Henry (formerly Amanda Rudge) has joined the International College of Management (ICM) in Sydney, Australia as Head of Marketing. Ms Henry was previously with Australian Pacific College for eight years. ICM Sydney previously known as the International College of Tourism and Hotel Management has arrangements with several language schools for direct access from EAP programmes on to its courses.
After 12 years at Languages International in Auckland, New Zealand, most recently as Academic Director, Darren Conway took up the role of Chief Executive in July. He is looking forward to the challenge of maintaining the school's reputation as one of the best places in the world to study English. Owners, Chris and Frances Woolcott, continue to oversee the school from the board.
Kate Bailey is the new Director of EF Brisbane. She had worked in various departments at the EF office in Sydney previously. When the opportunity to start up a new school became available I jumped at the chance, Ms Bailey explained. Starting a new school has been very exciting and challenging.
Marianne Vacarro is the new Centre Manager at St Giles International San Francisco. Ms Vacarro comes to St Giles with over 11 years' experience managing English language schools, gained both in the USA and Japan, as well as six years' marketing experience. She will be responsible for the overall running of the school, including the academic management, and will assist in marketing the school to agents and students.
Fedele in Spain has been busy liaising with government and working with a new national association in the country. President, Francisco Pérez Navarro, answers our questions.
Full name: Federación Española de Asociaciones de Escuelas de Español para Extranjeros (Fedele)
Year established: 1999
Number of members: Eight associations with a total of 67 schools
Type of members: Private schools specialised in teaching Spanish for foreigners
Association's main role: To represent the Spanish teaching sector to the Spanish government and defend the commercial and professional interests of members
Membership criteria: Quality standard (Ceele or Instituto Cervantes)
Government recognition: Yes
Complaints procedure: Yes
Code of practice: Yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: Yes
Contact details: Fedele, CN 340, Km 189,6, Marbella (Málaga), 29600, Spain
Tel/Fax: + 952831153
What has Fedele been up to in the last year?
Last year, Spanish teaching to foreigners received an important push with the signing of a cooperation agreement between Turespaña, Instituto Cervantes and Fedele, to promote and support the promotion and international diffusion of language tourism. One of the results of the agreement is that this year Fedele has become a registration centre for the Dele exams in six cities in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Malaga and Seville.
How does the new national association, Aele, fit with Fedele?
Fedele is the representative body for regional associations of private accredited Spanish language schools. The reason this sector is structured on a regional level and not nationally is that Spain is administratively divided by autonomous regions. Initially, Fedele grouped the associations of Andalucía, Castilla y León, Cataluña, Comunidad Valenciana, Madrid and the Basque Country with a total of 62 members. However, aware of the fact that in other regions, the existing Spanish schools were unable to form their association because of an insufficient number of members, Fedele decided to adapt its statutes and promote the creation of an association grouping quality schools in [other] regions. This is how Aele was founded and incorporated in Fedele. This means that Aele is not different from nor opposed to, but a full part of Fedele.
How are plans progressing for the workshop this year?
The VII Fedele Annual Meeting will take place this year in Valladolid from 30 September to 2 October. As every year, we will have a selected group of about 60 Spanish language schools from all over Spain, [as well as] 120 to 130 agents from around the world.
What are Fedele's plans for the year ahead?
One of our main goals is to find a solution for the new Spanish immigration regulations which are hindering enrolments in several countries.
Agent Lucy Crosara of STB Uberlandia in Brazil has been elected head of her regional travel agency association for two years. Associação das Agências de Viagens do Triângulo (Avit) represents the travel agents of the Triangulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaiba region. Ms Crosara (pictured right) explained that the association provides its members with business and networking opportunities and a unified voice for issues facing the travel industry. It also organises an annual workshop.
Pictured here working at the Italian in Italy workshop, which took place in May this year, are Bui Le Thuy Chung from Vietnam Consultant Company and Amanda Coccetti, Accademia Costume e Moda in Rome. The workshop was held in cooperation with Italy's Ministry of Education and Ministry of Production and focused on incoming study tourism to Italy. Italian in Italy members encompass language schools, design schools and institutes of fashion and art.
The International Association of Language Centres (Ialc) has elected a new president. David Diplock of LSC Language Studies Canada succeeds Odile Migieu of Cork Language Centre International, who retires from the board. Other new board members elected at the last AGM include Alexandra Borges de Sousa of CIAL Centro de Linguas in Portugal, who assumes the role of Vice President for membership, and Walter Denz of Liden & Denz Language Centre in Russia, who is now the new Vice President for promotions.
Also pictured here at the Ialc AGM & Workshop is Eugene Murphy from Language & Leisure International in Dublin, who entertained colleagues on the piano, and Katy Cossio from Latin Immersion in Argentina, dancing with José Hellberg i Falguera from SI - Språkresor & Spanska Institutet in Sweden (above).