Coming in at second place with 19 per cent (after the UK in first place with 54 per cent), Malta was cited by agents as an increasingly popular study destination due to a number of factors.
"Malta has always been our most popular destination on the Polish market," Joanna Galecka, Marketing Manager, Agent Helpdesk at Sprachcaffe Languages Plus, told ST Magazine. "There are good flight connections with budget airlines, the destination is very attractive pricewise, clients recognise it as a safe country and, of course, the weather is guaranteed for summer holidays."
Confirming this, Paulina Pietrzak, Co-Owner at JPEdukacja, added, "Thanks to new flight destinations of Ryanair and WizzAir, Malta has become more accessible from Poland. It is much easier to sell courses to Malta when you can combine the offer with a cheap flight from an airport located close to the student's place of residence.
"Despite the change of currency exchange rates, courses in Malta are still less expensive than courses in the UK with a similar number of lessons and standard of accommodation."
Language dominated the most popular course requests with 73 per cent, followed by other programmes (23.5 per cent), secondary (2.5) and higher education (1).
Looking further into language course requests, agents reported that 30 per cent of students wanted general language programmes, while 23 per cent asked for junior programmes.
"I have noticed a big change in the last few years in requirements for language courses for very young juniors," noted Halina Juszczyk, Director at Language Abroad. "It means there are more and more bookings made for juniors aged seven-to-12 years old.
"Parents usually ask for residential accommodation on campuses of boarding schools. Even if it is quite expensive, parents prefer this option for their kids."
Halina cited Spain as a growing destination for her agency, with the country coming third in the top destination list in our survey with nine per cent. Joanna at Sprachcaffe Languages Plus also commented on this trend.
"Spanish language courses are increasing every year; last year Spanish was our second chosen language, it's a huge change on the Polish market where French and German were always the strongest," said Joanna.
When it came to agencies finding new students to recruit, word-of-mouth was the most popular method used (35 per cent), followed by the agency website (30) and email/online marketing (24).
Agent conferences were the top way for agencies to find new schools to represent with 37 per cent. Student fairs and expos were also popular (24 per cent), followed by use of the internet (17) and StudyTravel Magazine (16).
According to reasons for studying overseas, the majority of Polish students in our survey wanted to study abroad for further studies at home (33 per cent). Other main reasons included further studies overseas (22 per cent) and for pleasure (18 per cent). Current work and future work accounted for 16.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively.
There were eight Polish agencies who took part in our survey, sending 1,725 students abroad in the past 12 months. Individual agencies placed 36 to 698 students per year, and the main preference of accommodation was for host families with 47 per cent.
To view the article and statistics in full, please click here.
By Georgina Deacon