Study reveals shifting motivations for language travel and changes in how students book courses

A new study published by the International Association of Language Centres (IALC) shows that students are increasingly interested in acquiring a new language to support their academic goals, though personal reasons – such as an interest in travel or desire to learn – remain the primary motivations for language study travel.

Patrik Pavlacic, head of research at StudentMarketing, presented key findings from the 2018 research report at IALC’s annual conference in Bologna.

Patrik Pavlacic, head of research at StudentMarketing, presented key findings from the 2018 research report at IALC’s annual conference in Bologna.

The IALC 2018 Research Report, Perfecting the Student Experience, is based on an online survey conducted among more than 4,700 students in 136 countries between January and March of 2017 and focused on the “pre-arrival phase of the study abroad journey.” It follows an earlier report in the series that “enumerated and quantified student preferences, experiences and, ultimately, satisfaction.”

The 2018 study respondents were former or current students of IALC schools around the world. Of the nine languages offered by IALC schools, English was the preferred language of study (46%), followed by German (19%) and Spanish (15%).

Students aged 18–24 composed the largest segment of respondents (37%), with 25–34-year-olds next (29%), followed by students aged 55+ (12%) and juniors aged 17 or younger (3%).

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