Travel study is an increasingly complex field, and as the IALC Study Travel Research Report reveals, has an increasingly sophisticated client base. While nearly 80% of students are travelling to learn a second language, one in five is seeking to immerse themselves in a third or further language.
This requires more flexible courses and a commitment to ensuring the cultural context of language is a key component of travel study. IALC member schools must both 'offer courses and levels that meet clients' needs' and 'provide course counselling, properly checked accommodation and varied social activities'. This means that students develop profiency and cultural awareness in combination, giving them a more robust ability to use not just language but cultural skills, as is demonstrated by Galway Cultural Institute's recent contribution to the viral meme of the 'Mannequin Challenge'. While no language is used in the video, the complex planning, intensive mangement and superb production skills required for such a project reveal how these students have gained an intensive understanding of both language and culture.