Travelling abroad always brings numerous questions, whether it’s you who’s leaving or you’re sending away your child. Here is the list of the most frequently asked questions we get and the answers that we typically give.

If you cannot find what you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact us.

A.1. Who are your programmes for?

To young people :

  • who want to move far ahead in a foreign language
  • who have academic skills and want to put them into practice
  • who practice a sport and wish to improve their language skills in that discipline (tennis, hockey, golf, horse-riding, football, etc.)
  • wishing to spend a term or academic year abroad
  • wanting to finish their English studies (such as the International Baccalaureate) in the best possible conditions
  • wishing to prepare for university studies abroad
  • wanting to go abroad for the first time but in a safe environment with suitable supervision

To students :

  • having particular difficulties in school: changing subject, falling behind, considering dropping out…
  • in languages, economics, engineering or law who wants to improve their CV by participating in a fun and useful course
  • who want to add a professional experience to their CV with a company internship
  • who want to get commited in a volunteer project

To adults :

  • who want the best effective results over a short period of time
  • with free time and traveling for fun or personal fulfilment

A.2. Why a language programme abroad? Is it more effective?

Lessons taken locally often suits young people best, but it’s something else that makes it so effective.

You will get the para-linguistic experience (i.e. teachers speaking in their native language, students of different native languages forced to speak in the target language, daily vocabulary and expressions, the global cultural environment such as newspapers, television, food, local currency, folklore, songs…) which is one of the most important factors in total immersion programmes. It’s what makes linguistic exchanges so effective (especially compared to traditional language lessons at school).

A.3. What’s the best age to start learning? What’s the ideal duration for a stay abroad?

It’s obviously never too late to start learning, but linguistic instincts are often more firmly learned when obtained at a young age. Around the age of 10-15 seems to be the ideal age of a first trip, lasting from around 1 to 3 weeks, with a well-supervised programme. From there, an additional two to four weeks are recommended to repeat and practice the language. Four weeks abroad is the rough equivalent to a school year of study at a rate of 4 hours per week.

For longer programmes, a motivated student might return truly bilingual (for example after 6 to 9 months), even if they leave at a relatively low level. A student wishing to improve their English, for example, or start learning Spanish, or just polish off their German, could easily take part in consecutive programmes studying different languages. Our flexible dates allow all sorts of combinations. However for efficient and effective studies, we advise any potential participant to limit themselves to two, if not just one, language. Speed of learning and rate of retention increase gradually by a longer stay. A minimum of one semester is needed for fluency in a foreign language.

We believe that 6 to 10 months (an academic year) are necessary if your goal is to attain a permanently active level of communication and with a goal of being bilingual.

A.4. Do you have a license and a security guarantee to protect the consumers?

Conforming to the law, we abide by the “Commission de Litiges Voyages” (Travel Disputes Commission) and to the terms and conditions laid out by the law of 16/02/94. All of our programmes are covered by the “Fonds Garantie Voyages” (Travel Guarantee Fund) which protects clients in case of the company going bankrupt or into insolvency.

B.1. What types of programmes do you offer?

In order to respond to a particularly varied range of requests, our selection of programmes has expanded considerably the last few years.

Our programmes are now fully adapted to any desire:

  • General language courses with various intensity lessons (standard, intensive, etc.)
  • Languages courses with official language exam preparation (TOEFL, TOEIC, Cambridge, DELE, TestDaf, etc.)
  • Total immersion Homestays without lessons or in a teacher’s house with private lessons
  • Academic courses in schools (High School, College, Community College, University)
  • Company internships
  • Volunteering missions or jobs abroad

B.2. Is it possible to book courses out of morning or afternoon ?

No this is not possible: we only offer language courses where lessons are held either in the morning or afternoon, Monday to Friday.

B.3. Which destination should I choose?

Many people ask if it’s better to learn British English over American English. The answer is NO ! Neither option is “better” than the other. This is the same answer for Spanish. The most important thing is to choose a destination based on what attracts you most about a particular country in terms of culture, environment, activities, etc.

B.4. What language programme would you recommend ?

That depends on what you’re looking for. The terms and intensity of the classes vary according to the programme, but the format of lessons offered is as follows:

  • Standard courses (15-20 lessons in the morning, Monday to Friday): for those who wish to both develop their language skills and take time to explore the area.
  • Intensive courses (25-30 lessons in the morning and afternoon, Monday to Friday): for a deeper language learning experience
  • Business courses and other specialisations: for a focus on a particular domain, plus learning a specific vocabulary.
  • Language exam preparation courses: for an intensive teaching of the skills necessary to succeed in official language exams.
  • Private courses: private lessons with your teacher in order to target specific areas of the course according to your needs.

B.5. Is there a minimum/maximum level for signing up to certain language programmes?

The majority of language schools accept students of all levels, from complete beginner to near-fluent speakers. Some schools have specific starting dates for each session, while others do not accept complete beginners at all. Please refer to the details of each individual programme for more information. It may be that you’ll be required to take intensive classes before you are allowed to follow a preparatory course for a language exam.

Academic programmes always require a minimum language level, because you need to be capable to following classes in the target language alongside native speakers. In general, an official language test will be required (TOEFL, IELTS, …), equivalent to B1 (intermediate).

B.6. How do I work out my language level?

When you enrol, we’ll ask you to specify your level in the chosen language. We’ll send this information to the school once your enrolment has been confirmed.

In most schools, an assessment test takes place on the first day to place the students in the appropriate class according to their actual language level.

C.1. What qualifications do the school teachers have?

All the teachers of the schools we work with are highly qualified native speakers. They have all been trained to teach foreign students, according to the national standards of the country in which they’re teaching.

C.2. Are the language schools reliable?

Our partner schools have helped hundreds of international students achieve their linguistic goals.

They have all acquired an excellent reputation in the world of teaching thanks to their dynamic and fun environments, for rapid student progress. The majority of them are accredited or certified by national or international official organisations.

C.3. What nationalities are the students attending these schools?

We choose our partner schools partly based on the diversity of nationalities attending their courses. For the most part, students come from over 50 different countries, speaking just as many different languages.

For us, the mix of language and culture is an additional bonus for a successful trip, which allows students to grow accustomed to different accents and learn to express themselves more informally in the target language.

C.4. Do schools also offer activities, tourist visits, and assistance with local travel?

Our partner schools all organise activities every week, so that students can immerse themselves in local culture and meet new people. Activities are organised according to the interests of participants and upon request. Some schools offer free activities, some ask for an extra fee.

C.5. Will I receive a certificate at the end of my stay ?

All students receive a certificate of participation when they finish their programme, saying the length of their exchange, and their language level. This certificate has no official significance and is not a valid replacement for an international language diploma like TOEFL or IELTS.

Some academic programmes allow you to obtain a diploma at the end of secondary studies, or acquire credits for American universities. Please refer to the pages of the programmes you are interested in to learn more, or just contact us.

D.1. What kind of accommodation do you recommend?

We offer a wide range of accommodation options to meet nearly any preference. The accommodation types vary according to programme: the general rule is that you’ll have the choice between living with a host family and staying in a student residence, depending on availability.

  • Homestay: we particularly recommend living with a host family. It’s an excellent opportunity to practice the language, immerse yourself in the country’s culture, and get inside tips and advice on all the local and tourist attractions in the area. The host family option normally includes half-board (breakfast and evening meal) or sometimes full board (lunch also included).
  • Residence (Juniors programmes): residence accommodation generally allows the young students to live and attend classes in the same place and campus, that is, at the same time practical and securing. All meals are served at the cafeteria or dining room and the students benefit from a 24/7 supervision.
  • Student residence (ages 16+): for students who want to be a little more independent, and meet other people outside, the residential accommodation option (in student houses or shared apartments) would probably be the best option. You’ll have access to an equipped kitchen for preparing your meals, and you’ll be able to share in the daily lives of other international participants. You’ll definitely appreciate this type of accommodation if you take on a programme of several months.

D.2. What should I expect in my host family’s home?

Our host families particularly appreciate meeting overseas participants and taking them in as part of the family. The “family” can be anything from a single professional, a single person, a young family with children, a busy couple, or a retired couple..

Our local representatives take care in choosing families and visit them regularly. Furthermore, students give feedback to ensure that this remains a quality accommodation option.

D.3. What should I expect in my residence, student house or appartment?

Our residences are generally not far from the school, sometimes even on the campus itself. In each of our programmes, we give a precise description of the available facilities : bedlinen, bath towels, meals, cafeteria, cleaning service, etc.

D.4. Will I have access to the internet?

Most host families and residences have internet access. Moreover, free access (wifi) is available at the school.

D.5. Are there laundry facilities?

  • In host families, the washing machine is generally at your disposal once a week on laundry day. If there are not, it will be indicated on the programme page and your host family will give you the information regarding the closest launderette.
  • In residences, washing machines are often at your disposal on the premises but are not always free of charge. If there are none, it will be indicated on the programme page and the local staff will give you the information regarding the closest launderette.

D.6. If I want to stay longer, is it possible to keep the same accommodation?

Yes, you can stay longer and extend your stay according to availability. However, we ask that you warn us as much in advance as possible so that we can guarantee the accommodation.

E.1. Are your programme dates fixed?

For the great majority of our programmes (excluding the trips to Bournemouth with accompanied travel, or private lessons at a teacher’s home), arrivals are on a Sunday, and departures are on a Saturday. If you intend to arrive earlier or leave later, extras for additional nights are required, according to availability at the selected accommodation.

E.2. How do I get around once I’m there?

Our schools and housing are either situated in the city centre or have an easy access from the centre by public transport. Therefore, you will easily be able to get the most out of your time abroad and explore the local area without wasting too much time getting there. You will have to pay for public transport and journeys from your accommodation to the school (unless otherwise indicated).

E.3. Is the city environment where programmes are based safe?

Our schools are always situated in safe and modern locations and thanks to our strong links with the local schools and organisations, we have a thorough knowledge of the locations.

E.4. Do you offer airport transfers ?

For nearly every destination, we can arrange a transfer from the airport or train station to your accommodation. This service is often much appreciated, especially after a long journey, or if your language skills are currently limited, or if you’re not used to travelling

For nearly every destination, we can arrange a transfer from the airport or train station to your accommodation. This service is often much appreciated, especially after a long journey, or if your language skills are currently limited, or if you’re not used to travelling

E.5. Do I need a visa? How do I get one?

For some destinations, a tourist or student visa (depending on the length of visit) will be required. Once your enrolment has been confirmed, we will provide you with all the documents and information necessary for its application. However, the procedure itself (meeting at the Embassy, etc…) and the application fees are your responsibility.

Visiting a European country never requires a visa for EU citizens. For the majority of other countries (apart from the USA), a tourist visa allows 12 weeks of study, and is sometimes renewable. The language programmes in the USA are subject to particular conditions which change regularly. You can contact us for more information.

E.6. When do I have to pay?

Once enrolled on one of our programmes, we’ll send you all the necessary documentation for proceeding to payment. A advance sum will need to be paid before the booking can be confirmed, and the total fee will need to be paid before the start of the course.

E.7. Is it possible to work once I’m there?

This will depend on local law. The student visa for the US does not allow you to work. In Australia, there are visa programmes which expressly allow the combination of studies and work.

For European destinations, it is generally possible to find a small student job. The type of job you’re likely to find is generally determined by your language ability. Look it up before you go, and ask at the school once you’re there. Don’t forget, of course, that attendance at your classes is obligatory – any job you get cannot take priority over your lessons.

E.8. How much pocket money should I bring?

The “pocket money” budget for your particular exchange will depend entirely on: your personal needs, the cost of living on location, the type of accommodation chosen (self-catered/half-board/full-board), and the kind of activities/excursions you’d like to take part in. In general, we advise our students to anticipate a budget of 100 Euros per week.