About ESL, About us
About ESL

About us

About us

About ESL – Language Studies Abroad

Offering tailor-made educational programs in more than two hundred destinations internationally, ESL is one of the world’s leading study abroad providers. We are passionate about languages and travel; our expert language travel consultants are here before, during and after your stay to ensure you have the experience of a lifetime.

ESL – Language studies abroad is part of the independent international group ESL – Education, find out more here.

Our philosophy

Communication, education and cultural interchange are at the heart of ESL. As passionate language learners and travellers, we believe that seeing new places, meeting new people and speaking new languages are among the most enjoyable and important experiences one can have. Through our knowledge and professionalism, we help each individual get the most from their own journey. As a business, we believe in offering an exceptional level of service and beneficial terms to our students, partner schools, suppliers and staff.

Our story

We started ESL with a vision of providing study abroad trips to the widest range of destinations around the world, while giving each student complete support throughout their trip.

Our roots are in Switzerland, where four official languages are spoken on a daily basis and a high standard of service is culturally ingrained. ESL stood out because we offered a wide range of non-traditional destinations alongside the classics, all with transparent pricing: we charge students no fee or commission for booking a course.

From the start, we have recruited staff from a wide variety of backgrounds who have experienced study abroad first-hand. This basic formula has remained since we started in 1996 and has helped us grow from our origins in Montreux to have more than 40 offices around the world, in Europe and Latin America.

Our services

We view each student as an individual, with their own needs and wishes. Through strong relationships with our partner schools around the world, we can ensure that ESL students, whether taking a full academic year abroad or a two-week summer course, are treated like the VIPs that they are to us. We have repeatedly been voted Europe’s Star study abroad agency but believe that the satisfaction of our students is the real benchmark of success: more than half of our new learners come to us through a recommendation from a former ESL student.

Why choose ESL for your study trip?
More about ESL’s official accreditations and services


  1. Star Agency Europe

    ESL – Language studies abroad won Star Agency Western Europe for the fourth time at the 2015 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 2015, 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.  


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Adeline Zeni

My two-month stay in San Francisco was an unforgettable experience! I didn’t expect to live such an adventure. EC is a very good school, lots of activities… I recommend living on campus! I made the most beautiful encounters and I spent wonderful moments thanks to the people I met on campus.

A big thanks to Amanda from ESL for her advice!

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I have enjoyed my time here at The Liverpool School of English, it has been a very good experience for me. I have enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and practicing my English with them during lunch times and activities on the Social Programme. When I started at The Liverpool School of English three weeks ago I could speak little English just “My name is …” and “I live in …”, now I can have a conversation and I understand everything you are saying and asking me so I am very happy. Liverpool is a city with friendly people and lots of different nationalities, I love it. I would recommend Liverpool as a city to visit and The Liverpool School of English as a place to improve your English, I am pleased.

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Fanny Rosset

My 15 weeks in Vancouver were the best experience of my life! I chose OHC school, perfectly located in the pretty Gastown neighbourhood. It is a small school, which gives you the opportunity to meet all the students in a “family” atmosphere. Many activities were organised by the school. I lived in a host family, which turned out to be like a second family! Vancouver is a perfect town for many activities, like for example bike rides in Stanley Park, shopping in the city centre, beer drinking in the many microbreweries as well as various things - or outside the city but close to it: a road trip in the Rocky Mountains, a ski ride in Whistler or in the North Vancouver mountains, kayak in Deep Cove, whale or bear watching in Tofino etc. Canadians are known for being welcoming and nice, I can only confirm it! My English improved, my self-confidence as well and, most of all, I have friends from all over the globe! I am already organising my next stay.

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Check out our blogs, social network pages and various online platforms to read travel stories, articles and reviews from our students on language courses abroad.