This is actually a tiny proportion of the world’s language learners – estimated at 0.25% of all who study a second language globally.
English is unsurprisingly the most requested language among study trip students, but the overseas market share is still only between 0.3% and 0.9% of all language learners world, according to Samuel Vetrak of StudentMarketingwho presented the latest research results to the IALC conference in the UK this week.
Further growth in demand for language travel abroad was forecast for all markets, but teaching English, German and Chinese offers the best growth prospects, according to other data based on an in-depth survey conducted by StudentMarketing with educational agencies.
The research found that of the 466 education agencies that took part in the survey (sending an average of 526 students a year to study abroad), those promoting multiple languages were “not concerned about their business prospects,” Vetrak reported.
This signaled a business opportunity, he argued, for agencies to consider working with new language options.
Of the agencies surveyed, just under 30% currently represented Chinese language schools, for example.
Vetrak also indicated that for many language learners studying a language other than English, it was often the student’s third language and therefore they were more sophisticated and experienced clients to study at. the stranger. Booking channels beyond agencies were more likely to be considered by these more savvy students, he added.
Agencies in India, Mexico, Vietnam, China, Colombia and Argentina are most likely to have cited good growth
The survey also provided insight into agency sentiment in general, with the majority of agencies reporting a drop in activity for 2015 coming from Russia. Agencies in India, Mexico, Vietnam, China, Colombia and Argentina are most likely to have cited good growth in 2015.
Of the languages not listed but cited in the survey as generating some demand among customers, the most common was Arabic, followed by Korean and Turkish.
Jan Capper, Executive Director of the IALC, said News from the PIE that the association commissioned the report due to a lack of market data in the study tour industry.
“As the global trade association in this sector, the IALC is well placed to fill this gap,” she said. “Our second research report is on-demand for different languages - a natural fit for IALC as a multilingual network.”
Capper added, “What’s exciting about these results is the trend towards studying a language other than English, which means many agents have a new area of product to develop, as well as demographic trends and the type of course for all nine languages covered, including English. .”
The full report is available for download here.