Contents - September 2005

Special Report
Web-based business
The Internet has changed the face of the language travel industry. Most agencies rely heavily on their websites for at least initially attracting and informing clients of their options, while other agencies have been launched as pure Internet enterprises, and schools have embraced the Internet to enhance both teaching and sales. Amy Baker investigates the impact of Internet technology on the language travel industry.

Ready for school
Not all high schools offer overseas students the same level of preparation to join mainstream lessons. Agents must know what is available and counsel clients according to their needs. Gillian Evans reports.

Malta's magic
With great beaches, fantastic year-round weather, welcoming people and plenty of wonderfully preserved historic sites, Malta quickly weaves its magic on visitors, as Gillian Evans finds out.


The personal touch
Students are absolutely astonished by the beauty and the architecture in St Petersburg, says an agent in this month's City Focus (pages 36-37), underlining that there is no substitute for going to a foreign city to learn a new language. Not only do students learn so much more when they are in situ, but they discover a people and a culture that will always inspire and surprise them to some degree.

The human value of study abroad is the message this month, which comes after another terrorist atrocity in another world city, this time our home city of London. The messages of support received from around the world testified to a love of London that is shared across many borders, and a resoluteness that life should not change. Those of us working in this industry know of the adventure and life-changing possibilities that study abroad and travel overseas can bring. I think we all feel that future generations should not miss out on these possibilities because of the distorted beliefs and outrageous actions of a minority.

Studying overseas has, in fact, become an activity that has been embarked upon by younger and younger students in the last 20 years, as greater disposable income in many cases and a more travel-savvy public means parents now encourage their children to make the most of their opportunities at a younger age. Children from eight years old can now study at a mainstream school abroad and in the UK, a booming business sector has seen dedicated study centres being established at schools to better cater for an overseas clientele (pages 18-19).

Travel, as a leisure pursuit and lifestyle, does not really show any sign of waning in popularity, particularly as low-cost flights are becoming available from more and more countries (page 10). Language schools are working harder than ever to ensure that they become the school of choice for the future language traveller; a number of new schools have opened this summer (page 7) and all boast the latest innovations and facilities such as wireless Internet connection.

The Internet has not only seeped into classroom life – it is old news to suggest that no company could function without it now. It facilitates a quick response, easily accessible information and a global platform. Online agencies also offer a more economic business model and it seems this adaptation can work (pages 22-26). Change is inevitable, but more important is that all in the industry maintain a personal involvement in selling a life experience overseas.

The personal touch

Terror attacks in UK fail to shake market
News schools abound
Australia wants greater quality control
Dodgy colleges in the UK
Beta wants government attention
ELS closes UK operation to focus on USA

Travel News
Charges rise to meet increasing fuel costs
Easyjet shows strong growth
Flights expand between US and China

Agency News
Southwest UK plays host to Brazilians
Agencies organise expo to improve ELT in Brazil
Talk to us

Agency Survey
Italy inches along
Growth in the Italian market remained muted in 2004 but interest in more languages from a wider age range of clients bodes well for the market's future.

Language travellers responding to this year's Feedback survey on Germany were generally enrolled on a more intensive course than in previous years, perhaps due to the fact that a larger percentage were intending to go on to further studies in the German education system.

Course Guide
US summer vacation courses

Working in Ireland
Taking a language course and then putting new language skills to use in a work placement is becoming increasingly popular, and Ireland has a range of such options. We profile a selection of courses offering paid and unpaid placements.

City Focus
St Petersburg
Steeped in history and home to a mind-boggling number of cultural artefacts, St Petersburg is also a modern, youthful city with a busy social scene. Bethan Norris gets the lowdown on Russia's most cosmopolitan city.

France 2004
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. For the first time, it is possible to compare world market statistics.