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September 2005 issue

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Agency Survey
Special Report
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Germany feedback

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.

UK feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 48, male 31 (unknown 3) 83

Average age in years: 24.1

Average length of programme in weeks: 16.4

Average number of students per class: 8.1

Average number of hours of lang. tuition per week: 24.9

% of students who found their course through an agent: 33

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 36

% of students who had been on another language programme: 25

% of students who would recommend their school: 87

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (33%)
W Europe (31%)
C & E Europe (6%)
C & L America (5%)
North America (6%)
Africa (11%)
Middle East (2%)
Unknown (6%)
1.Japanese (14%)
2.Swiss (12%)
3.Vietnamese (10%)
4.Gabonese (8%)
5.Spanish (7%)
6.Korean (5%)
7.US (4%)
7.Italian (4%)
9.British (2%)
9.Mexican (2%)

In my class there are... How will you use your German in the future?
Too many students (7%)
Too many students who speak my language (19%)
Too many students from one other country (9%)
None of these (63%)
Unknown (2%)
For college study in the Germany (35%)
For college study at home (8%)
For current or future work (45%)
For pleasure only (12%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of the teaching
It was recommended by an agent (33%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (33%)
I found it on the Internet (31%)
No reply (2%)
I saw it advertised (1%)
Excellent (39%)
Good (45%)
Satisfactory (5%)
Unknown (11%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (20%)
Good (39%)
Satisfactory (16%)
Poor (4%)
Unknown (21%)
Excellent (23%)
Good (28%)
Satisfactory (19%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (3%)
Unknown (25%)

Standard of your social programme? What is your accomodation while in the Germany?
Excellent (18%)
Good (33%)
Satisfactory (24%)
Poor (11%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (12%)
Host famuly (32%)
Residential/single room (29%)
Residential/dormitory (6%)
Other (29%)
No reply (4%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (89%)
No (6%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (58%)
No (36%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (36%)
No (57%)
Unknown (7%)

Student nationality
Last year's Feedback survey showed an increase in the number of Central and Eastern European students going to Germany to learn the language, which was put down to the expansion of the European Union (EU), making employment and education opportunities more available (see Language Travel Magazine, November, 2004, pages 16-17). However, this year's survey shows a decrease in the number of Central and Eastern European students from 23 per cent to just six per cent. In contrast, Asians and Africans increased in numbers from 23 per cent to 33 per cent and from two per cent to 11 per cent respectively. Gabonese and Vietnamese were two surprise entrants in this year's top ten nationalities in Germany, which shows how individual language schools are diversifying their marketing strategies. Overall, students from 27 different countries took part in this year's survey.

Student motivation
The percentage of students intending to go on to further education in Germany increased this year from 20 per cent previously to 35 per cent, while students intending to use their German for college studies at home decreased from 25 per cent to just eight per cent. Supporting the theory that German universities may be becoming more popular with students, the average language course this year was longer than the average course last year. This year, the average length of stay was 16.4 weeks and the average number of hours' language tuition per week was 24.9, compared to 9.9 weeks and 21.6 hours last year. The largest number of students – 30 per cent – were studying in Germany for between 20 and 39 weeks. In terms of identifying nationalities most likely to be studying German for academic purposes, 100 per cent of our African respondents said they were intending to continue their studies in Germany after completing their course.

Student enrolment
The number of students finding out about their school through the Internet, an agency or the advice of a friend or relative was fairly evenly spread. Agent usage is low in Germany compared with other destinations, at 36 per cent this year. Students from Western Europe and North America were more likely to have found their school on the Internet, while 48 per cent of the students who used an agency were from Asia. Just 25 per cent of respondents had been on another language travel trip previously, down from 50 per cent last year.

Standard of the schools
Students in general had a particularly high opinion of their teachers and 87 per cent said that they would recommend their school to others (seven per cent did not reply to this question). Compared with the previous year, class sizes increased from 5.4 students to 8.1 students, and ranged from one to 15 students.

Living in Germany
Overall, 46 per cent of students found Germany to be more expensive than their own countries. Average tuition and accommodation costs for one week were e273 (US$325). When students were asked to rate different aspects of Germany, the people were in fourth position, behind language, culture and the countryside. Sixty-three per cent of students said it was quite or very hard to practise German with Germans.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
BWS Germanlingua, Munich; Carl Duisberg Centren, Berlin; Carl Duisberg Centren, Cologne; Carl Duisberg Centren, Dortmund; Carl Duisberg Centren, Munich; Die Neue Schule Berlin, Berlin; GLS Sprachenzentrum, Berlin; Humboldt Institute, Konstanz; Sprachcaffe, Frankfurt.
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