Around 10% of agents coming to meet UK education providers at StudyWorld this year will be from Latin America, including a special delegation of Mexican, Argentinian and Brazilian agents.
Maura Leão, president of the Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association, will also attend. BELTA is the largest agent association in Brazil, representing a third of the country’s agents. Maura will join a Latin American market session and shares her insights into the Brazilian market, Brazilian students and Brazilian agents below.
Make sure you register for StudyWorld so you can be the first to request meetings with Brazilian agents and to meet Maura to ask any questions about the market.
Brazil is a growing market for international study
“The Brazilian market for international education grew 23% in 2017 and reached the unprecedented volume of 302,000 students,” says Maura Leão, president of BELTA, drawing on the association’s recent research. They found that the average spend increased by 12% and estimated the sector produced an estimated US$3 billion in value.
The growth figure matches StudyTravel Magazine’s recent Brazil agency survey. This research also found the most popular method to meet educators is at agent conferences, fairs and expos, and that Brazilians primarily study abroad for future work or further studies.
Why Brazilian students choose the UK
In 2017 the UK leapfrogged Australia and Ireland to become the third most popular destination for Brazilian students, after Canada and US.
This is partly the positive impact of the reduced cost of the pound, says Maura. But the UK is also popular with Brazilian students because of its high quality educational institutions and programmes and the country’s diversity. There is something in the UK for all different student profiles, she says. BELTA’s student surveys found that the lifestyle of the destination country was the main reason to choose a destination. Security, currency exchange rate and local culture are also heavily referenced.
“And it is possible to travel to other European countries. This is something Brazilian students like a lot; the possibility to get to know other countries while they study in the UK.”
While most students study abroad to improve a language, Maura explains that “for the first time, graduate programs (Master and Doctoral degrees) were among the top ten products. Even with the decrease of public investment in international scholarships. The demand for undergraduate degrees and professional certificates have also increased. The UK is very strong in these programmes, so I see a great opportunity here.
“There is an opportunity in providing junior programs for January,” Maura adds. “It is summer in Brazil and school vacation, when most people travel abroad. Yet very few provide an option for junior winter courses.”
Doing business with Brazilian agents
When doing business with Brazilian agents it is important to seek reliable partners, give lots of details about lifestyle and what students can expect, and remain a little bit flexible to last minute changes, suggests Maura.
“The agent’s role is of utmost importance. They guarantee that consumers laws are observed, the student is supported, taxes paid and so on. Providing terms and conditions in Portuguese will offer a great support. Also give marketing support to your partners, help them promote you. Give webinars, even in English, that agents can later translate for their consultants in Brazil, offer some marketing help.
“Be open to understand the needs of Brazilian students that might differ from other cultures too. Brazilian students worry not only about the quality of education but also about the lifestyle they will have. Brazilian parents are very demanding and want to know everything in advance. Pictures should show exactly what they are going to see and have.”
And lastly, stay flexible. “Strict rules with high fees for changing what was first contracted should be discussed with their agents. Brazilians do not plan in advance and when they do, they change their mind very often. It’s cultural!”
Meet Brazilian agents at StudyWorld
The delegation of Mexican, Argentinian and Brazilian agents are joining StudyWorld before taking a trip to see education providers first hand in the South West. View StudyWorld fringe events and fam trips.
If you would like to develop your connections with Latin American agents, make sure you register for StudyWorld this week, as the appointments system will soon go live.