Families, Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions

Language studies abroad programs for Families: Terms and conditions

1 Enrolment and confirmation
By enrolling, you accept the contract, travel terms and conditions of ESL Education SA (' ESL – Language studies abroad '). The enrolment can be handwritten/sent by fax (enrolment form), made by telephone/orally or through our website. Once we have received your enrolment, we will confirm your holiday within 7 days. We will inform you in good time if your chosen course is full and offer you an alternative. In the event of late enrolment of 2 weeks (or less) prior to departure, a last-minute fee of 50 CHF will be charged.
2 Payment
To make a reservation for two participants, an administrative fee of 160 CHF will be charged. Administrative charges are increased by 40 CHF for each additional participant. A deposit of 500 CHF is due once confirmation of enrolment is received. The outstanding balance is due 4 weeks before the start of courses at the latest. If enrolment is completed less than 8 weeks before the start of courses, the total amount is to be paid upon receipt of invoice. Flights must be paid for once your plane ticket has been confirmed. Full payment needs to reach us before your departure. In the event of non-payment of the deposit and/or balance, your booking may be cancelled by ESL – Language studies abroad (in accordance with the conditions of cancellation mentioned in point 4). All documentation is sent to you following receipt of the full payment (approximately 10 days before your departure).
3 Booking changes
Before your departure
For every change in booking which takes place prior to your departure, we charge a minimum administration fee of a 50 CHF and a maximum of 150 CHF. A change of school is regarded as a cancellation under the conditions specified in point 4.
Following your departure
Shortening the course which was booked originally is considered to be a cancellation and does not entitle you to a refund. Please contact central admissions at our headquarters in Montreux if you wish to change your accommodation option or request any other change. If the change is with respect to a complaint, please refer to point 12.
4 Cancellation
Regarding language studies abroad
a) An eventual cancellation needs to reach us by registered letter. If the cancellation occurs more than 30 days prior to your departure, a fee of 500 CHF is charged to you.
b) If your cancellation occurs less than 30 days prior to your departure, you will be charged a minimum cancellation fee of a 500 CHF, or the following charges of the full invoiced amount:
From 29 to 15 days prior to your departure : 20%
From 14 to 08 days prior to your departure : 40%
From 07 to 01 days prior to your departure : 80%
From the 1st day of your stay or in the case of an early return, no refund is granted.
Regarding flights
If a flight is cancelled, the tour operator's cancellation fee will be charged in full to you, except if you have insurance covering this type of cancellation (see point 6).
Regarding accommodation
Student residences/apartments/studios/hotel rooms are subject to the terms and conditions of cancellation of the various local service providers used by our partner schools and the cancellation fees are generally higher than for host families. Detailed terms and conditions of cancellation are available on request.
5 Travel insurance
ESL – Language Studies Abroad is a member of the Guarantee Fund of the Swiss Travel Industry. This Guarantee Fund will reimburse the lump sum of your language holiday in the case of bankruptcy or insolvency on the part of your service provider prior to your departure. If insolvency occurs after your departure, the Guarantee Fund will assume responsibility for the return travel expenses, provided that the provider fails to comply with its obligations.
6 Insurance
Cancellation insurance–family assistance (valid for 1 month)
Family insurance can be arranged for all our holidays with our partner Allianz Global Assistance. In the case of inability to travel (illness, accident, death of a loved one, passport theft, etc.) occurring prior to your departure, the insurance will cover you against cancellation fees. The insurance will also cover assistance guarantees (early return, transport to hospital, repatriation, etc.). By selecting this insurance when you enrol, you accept the terms and conditions of Allianz Global Assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact us to obtain the terms and conditions, as well as the subscription charges.
Annual cancellation insurance–family assistance with ELVIA
You can also take out annual family insurance with ELVIA, which is valid for all your travel. This insurance is valid from the date of your enrolment. It is automatically renewed each year. The insurance can be cancelled by the policyholder in writing 3 months before the renewal date. Please let us know if you already have travel insurance when making your reservation.
Accident-health insurance
You are obliged to be covered against the risks of illness and accidents abroad. You must inform your health insurer of your departure abroad.
7 Admission to the destination countries
All the requirements necessary for a trip abroad (obtaining a visa, valid insurance, customs formalities, etc.) are your own responsibility. We will provide you with information given out by the embassies and will help you with the necessary steps for obtaining a visa. You are responsible for compliance with all of the important guidelines concerning your journey. If you fail to do so, the fees, in particular the cancellation fees, will be at your own expense, except if it is due to false information or to the non-transmission of information from ESL – Language studies abroad.
8 Rights of the organiser
ESL – Language studies abroad and our partner schools reserve the right to refuse an enrolment or to expel a participant, with no refund, if, in our opinion, his/her behaviour detracts from the smooth running of the school. All associated costs, including the return journey, are at the expense of the participant or his/her parents. Course participants, or their legal guardian, are also responsible for any damages or losses caused during their stay.
9 Responsibilities of the organiser
ESL – Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for being unable to fulfil services initially planned due to failure of its service providers, conflicts, or serious problems outside of its control. ESL – Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to person or property howsoever caused. ESL – Language Studies Abroad is responsible as a language travel agent for the authenticity of its current brochure, the accuracy of its content, the conscious decisions of the service providers, as well as the forwarding of travel documents at the point of sale/to the client. ESL – Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for accidents which take place during the language stay or during the journey. Only the service provider (school, airline, etc.) can be held liable. ESL – Language studies abroad take no responsibility for compensation claims related to flight arrangements. Travellers are advised that ESL – Language studies abroad do not organise air travel and will only act as an intermediary. As a result, we would draw your attention to the terms and conditions of partner travel agencies. ESL – Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for any eventual changes to the programme (courses, classes, accommodation details, etc.) which its partner schools may be forced to make. ESL – Language studies abroad reserves the right to change, without prior notice, the content of its brochure as well as the chosen service providers.
10 Cancellation of a programme
The organiser may cancel a programme in the event of unforeseeable circumstances, by the order of authorities, due to unrest or other compelling reasons. The total amount paid for the course is immediately returned, however, in all cases, the organiser reserves the right to keep a compensation payment for services partially provided.
11 Price changes
ESL – Language studies abroad reserves the right to modify the prices in the event of unpredictable changes, such as monetary fluctuations, an increase in transport costs, the introduction or increase of State taxes such as airport taxes or VAT. If the increase is more than 10% of the rate confirmed by ESL – Language studies abroad, you have the right to terminate your contract with ESL – Language studies abroad by registered letter within the 10 days of receiving our confirmation without paying any charge.
12 Complaints
Any complaint must be made directly to the school and during the duration of your stay. If your approach to the school has no effect, contact ESL – Language studies abroad. If the problem cannot be solved directly, you can demand a written report from the school and post it to us with your complaint no later than 30 days after the end of the course. Any complaint made after this deadline is invalid.
13 Course material
All course materials are not always included in the price of the holiday. When this occurs, they can be paid for on site. This varies according to how language level develops (during the holiday), the programme selected (specific courses, exam preparation) or on the basis of the particular needs of the student (reinforcement, private lessons). As a guideline, the price for course material will vary between 30 CHF and 150 CHF.
14 Public holidays
If teaching does not take place on public holidays (national holidays, etc.) and if our partner schools do not catch up on the lessons, the missed hours are not reimbursed.
15 Course changes
Sometimes, based on the number of participants, their level of language or the season, our partner schools have to replace courses originally reserved as group courses with mini group courses or a private course with fewer lessons. These changes do not incur a price change.
16 Release from liability for optional junior activities
A release from liability/written permission of the legal representative may be required for certain activities, such as surfing, sailing, horse riding, paragliding, canyoning, etc. If the required form is not produced 10 days before the start of the holiday, the programme which has been booked will automatically be cancelled by ESL – Language studies abroad (in accordance with the terms and conditions of cancellation mentioned in point 4).
17 Promotional material
ESL – Language studies abroad reserves the right to retain and/or use photographs or pictures taken in the partner schools or during the language course for promotional purposes with the agreement of the participants. In return, ESL – Language studies abroad undertakes to respect the privacy of participants in order to preserve the rights and property of its clients, in accordance with current legislation.
18 Organisers responsible
Organisations of our respective partner schools.
19 Place of jurisdiction
Only the provisions of Swiss law are applicable in subsequent relations between you and ESL – Language studies abroad. The pace of jurisdiction is Montreux.
ESL Education SA
Grand-Rue 50
P.O. Box 1204
CH-1820 Montreux
E: info@esl.ch


  1. Star Agency Europe

    ESL – Language studies abroad won Star Agency Western Europe for the fifth time at the 2016 ST Star Awards. 


    If you find our programmes cheaper with another language travel agency, you will be refunded 100% of the price difference.


    We offer you free and personal advice before, during and after your language course abroad.


    In 2016, 97% of our students would recommend ESL – Language studies abroad to their friends and relatives. 


    ESL – Language studies abroad is accredited by quality control bodies in the tourism and education industries.  


Test your language level in a few minutes.


Sara Mateos Arévalo

My name is Sara and I decided to take a course in Lyon to improve my level of French. I had started to take French classes again in Barcelona and I thought it would be a good idea to give them a boost.

I wasn’t very clear on my destination, but I finally chose Lyon because it’s a city that has everything but it’s not as big as Paris. And, as the language travel advisor that I am, and knowing the academic quality of the Alpadia school, I thought it would be a good option.

After having been there, I can say that Lyon is an ideal destination for linguistic immersion. As a city, it has everything: shops, good public transport, restaurants, bars, tourism, parks, etc. What’s more, you’re constantly surrounded by events, culture and French cuisine, and it’s a city where a lot of French natives live. That’s why you can also learn about its customs and lifestyle in addition to the language.

The first day when I arrived to my host family’s home, it was a little difficult for me to speak even though I understood Sylvie (the woman who was hosting me) very well. In the mornings, she was already working, but I enjoyed waking up and having a leisurely breakfast. In the afternoons after the activities, I went home and she was preparing dinner. I sat in the kitchen with her while she taught me French recipes. Every night we cooked a different dish, and she even taught me how to make French crêpes! I stayed in her daughter’s room who was studying in Toulouse. To this day, we still write to each other.

With regard to the school, the first day they had me arrive half an hour early to show us new students the school, city, etc. and introduce us to each other. We had 4 and a half hours of class, but the time flew by, as the teaching method that they use is very dynamic and you have two different teachers. My morning teacher made the classes very exciting and helped us improve our weaknesses. The afternoon teacher, on the other hand, gave us a topic to debate and she made us talk a lot while she provided us with useful, daily vocabulary.

There were only 6 students in class, perfect for learning more easily. At school there was a great atmosphere with a good group of students open to meeting new people and making plans after class. I felt like a part of the group from day one. The mix of nationalities was very good with few Spanish-speaking students. In the whole school, there were only two Spanish and two Mexican students, although we weren’t in the same class. Almost all of them were Swiss (from different regions), and there were students of all ages (18-22, 25-28 and 40+).

Every afternoon, the school offered an activity for whoever wanted to participate (movie, visits around Lyon, wine tasting, etc.). At the beginning of the week, they posted a schedule of the week’s activities on the bulletin board. You just needed to sign up and show up at the meeting point at the time specified (even though almost all of us went there together directly from school). The activity I liked the most was wine tasting because we went to a really authentic wine cellar where they gave us different wines and cheeses. For me, this was a very French experience!

To sum up, I’d like to say that for me, it was a great decision to take an intensive course and stay with a host family, since I learned a ton and at the end of my stay, I noticed that I really improved my fluency when speaking French. The truth is that I had a great experience and I would have liked to be able to stay for another week.

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Victoria Eugenia Gómez Álvarez

The teachers were a 10. They were all really nice and friendly, they learned your name after just one class with them and they developed a close relationship with us. They helped and advised you with the day-to-day in France. I only have good things to say about everyone who taught me.

The classes were fun and entertaining and above all, very intensive. We covered a ton of material, and now, comparing it to a Spanish academy, I value it so much more. I think it was the equivalent of a year-long intensive course in Spain, among other reasons because there when you go out, you have to practise everything you’ve been learning, so you could better consolidate your knowledge.

The school was very dynamic. Every day they organised activities and excursions where besides practising your French, you could get to know the region’s customs and places and socialise with students from all over the world: England, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, etc. We liked it so much that we lengthened our stay by a week.

The city was young and very culturally attractive. Just like in the rest of the region, it has plenty of historical monuments to visit. If you like history, this is the perfect place. The same goes for nature lovers: the beach and mountains are both just a stone’s throw away. There’s only one but: don’t bring your car because it’s very expensive to park and parking on the street is impossible. Also, the restaurants in the city centre are pretty expensive, and it’s very hot in August.

Communication with ESL was great. They answered all our questions, advised us and got in touch with us whenever we needed until we decided upon a destination.

Without a doubt, I would do it all over again.

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Beatriz Salcedo Gorostieta

In addition to the spectacular city of Edinburgh and the wide range of everything it has to offer, I want to highlight my stay and what I learned at school. There was a great atmosphere in the classes and at the school in general. I’ll miss Susan’s classes – we learned a lot from and with her!

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