Tuesday, September 30, 2008

#840 Studying Abroad, Gateway 21 Bankruptcy, Paul Newman

Show 840 Monday 29 September
Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah, welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today I wanted to talk a bit about an issue with studying abroad. A lot of people in Japan – and in other countries too – use agencies when they go abroad to study. For example, to study languages, like English.

Usually, you pay the agency, and they organize the trip for you – the flights, the place to study, the accommodation.

Anyway, one of these agencies in Japan has just closed down. It’s called Gateway 21. They suddenly closed on Friday and all these people have been writing about it on the internet, on sites like Mixi … with such sad stories. And the story has just come out in the news today.

Apparently, they were accepting money right up until they closed. And then they suddenly closed everything and disappeared – and now their offices are empty, no one answers the phone, and the website is gone. They’re not officially bankrupt yet, but they’re now preparing to file for bankruptcy.

Some people had just handed over all their money – so they might lose it all. And some of them had worked so hard, saving all their money … And for most people, it is a lot of money so it’s really sad. I did a couple of student exchanges when I was a teenager, so I know what it’s like working after school every day and in the holidays, saving all the money that you can to pay for the trip.

So I just wanted to say to those people who have lost all their money and suffered this setback that I hope it all works out and if it doesn’t, remember that every cloud has a sliver lining, so maybe something positive will come of this situation. And if it was your dream to study abroad, then I hope you don’t give up your dream because it’s such a great thing to do.

And if you’re thinking about studying abroad in the future, you might want to think about organizing the trip yourself. Not that all the agencies are going to go bankrupt – I’m sure some of them are great, solid companies. But organizing it yourself might be easier than you think. Especially with the internet, these days it’s a lot easier than it used to be. Before it might have been really important to have the agency for things like emotional support. But now you can get that off the internet. For example, if you’re staying with a host family and you’re having some problems and you’re thinking, “Are they complete freaks, or is it just me? Am I doing something wrong? What should I do?” Then, you can go online and tell your story and ask for people’s advice – and there are so many people out there who have been in similar situations and who are just waiting to help you and support you and give you advice.


Kia Ora in Stick News today, a thief in Germany surprised his victims by returning to deliver an apology note and compensation.

A kiosk in Germany was broken into on a Saturday night. Alcohol and cigarettes worth 4300 Euros were stolen. Reuters reported staff were surprised when they turned up to work on Thursday and found an envelope stuffed with 400 Euros. There was also a note which read: “Sorry. To make up for Saturday night.”

And that was Stick News for Monday the 29th of September.
Kia Ora.

Word of the Day

Today’s word is bankrupt.

I always thought that this word came from bank and rupture which means break or burst suddenly.

But I just looked it up and it says here in the Concise Oxford Dictionary that the word comes from the Italian for “broken bench”.

conversations with sarah
#518 Haven’t you heard of Paul Newman?

Step 1: Repeat Tim’s lines.
Step 2: Read Tim’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Tim Did you hear that Paul Newman died?

Sarah Paul Newman … who was he?

Tim He was an actor. Haven’t you heard of Paul Newman?

Sarah Mmm … the name sounds kind of familiar. What was he in?

Tim Lot’s of movies. The Sting.

Sarah I haven’t seen that.

Tim You haven’t seen The Sting?

Sarah No.

Tim How about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

Sarah No, I haven’t seen that either. I don’t think I’ve seen any of his movies.


today's news
today's STICK NEWS pictures


show start
artist: Boom Tschak
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: More Chocolate, Please
from: Former Yugoslavia

cws start
artist: Wolfgang S.
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: Dynamite
from: Belgrade, Serbia, Former Yugoslavia
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: Ensono
album: Night Culture
track: Wild Mind
from: Vigo, Spain
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo

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Ken Gardner said...

All of us at Vancouver English Centre were surprised and disappointed when we learned that Gateway 21 had ceased doing business. We understand the problems that such a situation can cause for the affected agents and students and we would like to help. Consequently, we will, at no charge, provide the same EFL training that these students have paid Gateway 21 for. The details can be found here: http://www.vec.ca/English/8/gateway-21.cfm

Anonymous said...


I enjoy your commentary, and your heartfelt advice and empathy for those who have had to go through the hardship of possibly losing their money are touching. I have two comments:

1.) The advice to plan the trip yourself is some that should be taken very seriously. For all English speakers reading this blog, I encourage you to give your best advice to all Japanese friends looking to study abroad, as I have encountered countless Japanese who have come to study in the US to strange places that you or I would never think of going (e.g., Alaska, the-middle-of-nowhere Oregon, etc...) under the pretense that 'whereever you go, you can study English just the same.' The fees that are paid to many of these places are in return for little more than pamphlets and pressure from a Japanese agent that most likely has never been abroad him/herself.

2.) If your blog is meant to be read by Japanese (which, judging by what you are writing, it is), I would suggest that you check your grammar, as there are, among other small mistakes, too many apostrophes where they really shouldn't be (such as the word lots and its).

Keep up the good writing!


Hi, my name is Kevin and I am a partner in Mitsuba Associates with my two Japanese partners and 3 bilingual Japanese counsellors. We are based in the UK and offer Japanese students support and application assistance to Language schools and Universities worldwide. We operate on the internet but are always available on the phone offering a very personal service. We personally know most of our Schools and their staff, especially in the UK.

In that way we offer so much more than remote advice on the internet and have frequently intervened to 'rescue' students from difficult situations.

The other BIG difference is that you the student pay the Schools directly. You pay us nothing. Much better for you!

As with VEC, we are disappointed that students have been abandoned. At Mitsuba Associates this cannot happen, and we will be pleased to help you. Contact Noriko at info@mitsuba.co.uk and see us at:

Ruben and/or Carolyn said...

Any news coming down the pipe about Archer College? I have hosted students for them for 8 years, but they have not paid since October.........

My Japanese student booked through Gia Club and paid all 15 weeks up front........she is VERY worried!

Ruben and/or Carolyn said...

Does anyone know what is happening with ARcher College? We have been hosting students for them for 8 years.......payments seem to have stopped..............

If anyone knows anything, we'd be curious to hear!

Anonymous said...


Archer College in Hamilton, Ontario was closed down last month. They screwed all the students who had paid up front. They even pulled a scam where they told all their students they were moving up one level so they would have to buy the next level's textbook. Then they closed shop without even one days' notice. Obviously their management knew this was coming and just squeezed a little more money out of their students. Just Disgusting!