By Matthew Knott, News Editor of Study Travel Magazine

The FIFA World Cup starts today in Brazil, so how many football references can I get into one article?!

Well, perhaps I can kick off by saying that Portuguese language providers and other international educators in the country will be hoping to score with the special football-based activities and programmes they have pitched for the tournament. They’ll also be praying that there are no own goals from the organisers and that they don’t get caught offside by the increased travel and accommodation costs in the country. (OK, a lot is the answer, so I’ll stop there!)

I wrote a special feature earlier in the year in the build up to the competition, and most of the schools that we canvassed were enthusiastic about the tournament and the longer-term impact it will have on Brazil’s tourism profile. “We are so appreciative that it has attracted so much attention and put Brazil on the map,” said one contributor, Monica Szwarc at Bridge Brazil. Interestingly, she said Brazil hosting the tournament created a lot more interest from agents in the workshops she attended.

We have written previously that hosting a tournament like this can be a double-edged sword, as the price increases, or at least perceived price increases, may deter students that would normally come, and certainly English UK blamed the 2012 Olympics for falling student numbers in that year. However, it would appear that the lesser-travelled study destinations have more to gain from an event like this, whereas the UK’s profile as a study destination couldn’t get much higher.

So here’s hoping for a successful tournament, and we look forward to seeing some photographs of all of the colourful and exciting events that the schools there have planned to allow their international students to experience the unique atmosphere of the World Cup.

Elsewhere this week, we have some interesting stories on our website, including Spanish provider Enforex acquiring Malaga Sí language school, and Emerald Cultural Institute launching a new pathway programme in Ireland after partnering with a consortium of Irish universities.

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