Perception of German partner agency on UK as study destination
4 May 2017

Sandra Große Höötmann is programme co-ordinator for Partner Agency Scheme member TravelWorks in Germany.

How did you become a study travel agent?

I worked as an au pair in the UK after I finished school - I really love England and the English language. Then I did an apprenticeship with the Travel Plus Group, training there as a travel agent since they have different departments not just language travel.

What do you do?

I work in customer service and I talk to students on phone when they decide what they want to do, and I deal with complaints. Dealing with so many partner schools makes it interesting. I speak to so many people in different countries: it's great. I really love the job.

Where do you send students?

The most popular course in the UK for our students is general English. We send juniors and adults all year round, juniors mostly in the summer. Business English is becoming more and more popular as well. London and the south coast is very popular, particularly Brighton and Bournemouth. 

How do they see the UK?

I would say it's a mix. I love the UK but I think it's interesting that Germans always want to go to London but also to have interesting countryside that can be visited.

What's their main reason for travelling for study?

In this world they need English. The English lessons at German high schools are good, and high quality. But what they are missing is the conversation and talking, the speaking bit.

So I think most of the students go to the UK to practice what they learned at school and see a different country. Many combine language with holidays.

What are your current challenges? 

Money definitely. Money is always a problem because in Germany we don't have programmes where they get support from government. They have to pay everything themselves. Good pricing and quality is something they are always looking for. 

We try to give clients a positive feeling about going abroad to see a different way of life.

Is there anything else that educators could do to help you?

They're doing very well attending fairs and workshops and giving us lots of material we can use to show the students. 

What made you join the Partner Agency Scheme?

I think we've been in it a couple of years. It's always good to have something that confirms the quality of schools and gives support for schools and agents.


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