ESL Language Travel Awards

​ESL Language Travel Awards

The ESL Language Travel Awards recognise schools that have performed exceptionally during the preceding year.
More than 400 ESL partner schools around the world are eligible for an award.

Decided according to more than 7400 client reviews combined with feedback from more than 180 ESL team members from our 50 sales offices, the ESL Languge Travel Awards offer a fair and objective view of which schools have really excelled.

The 2017 winners are:

School of the year (English)

  • School of the year (other languages)

  • School group of the year

    School facilities of the year

  • Accommodation of the year

  • Leisure programme of the year

  • CSR Champion of the year

    Teaching programme of the year

  • Congratulations to all of the winners!

    To see the past ESL Language Travel Awards winners, click on the year below:

    ​How the Awards are decided

    Awards are based on the feedback we receive from our students and staff.

    When students return from their study abroad stay, we ask them to rate all aspects of their experience, including facilities, teaching quality, accommodation and leisure. Behind these questions are more specific ones in each category (for example location, common areas, classrooms and infrastructure all fall under 'facilities').

    In most categories, the top ten schools are first ranked by student feedback, and then all ESL team members who work directly with schools rate them based on their own experiences. The scores are then combined to find a winner. (The questions we ask our team really boil down to “how does working with this school make it easier for you to serve clients?”)

    Our team work daily with students and schools. The relationship involves not only product knowledge and know-how, but also logistics, availabilities and dealing with special requests. As well as caring for the needs of students and listening carefully to each customer’s goals, our team regularly visit schools, enabling them to give comprehensive feedback. All of this work allows us and our partner schools to deliver a personalised experience to each student.

    The CSR Champion category is based on schools’ use of our CSR Self-Assessment tool. This online questionnaire allows partner schools to self-assess the degree of achievement in their CSR strategies. With our commitment to sharing CSR best practice in the field, we are uniquely placed to give this award. Schools which are members of groups are measured as a whole, as opposed to individual schools.

    In some categories, only student feedback counts. For example, Teaching Programme of the Year and Leisure Programme of the Year. These are directly linked to students’ on-site experience.

    Winning isn't everything...
    But it matters. The awards are an opportunity to reward excellence and encourage all of our partner schools to keep pushing to provide the very best student experience. To see the top ten lists of runner-ups for each category, check out this blog post.

    Winners of these awards can be proud of the fact they have been elected by the people who matter most of all. 


    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 2017, 96% 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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    After spending 3 months of pure happiness, it’s sad that I have to leave this incredible place with the head full of good memories and magical experiences like Niagara Falls, basketball game, visits in downtown, ice skating and celebrations far from our families like Christmas organized by the school. In addition to that I enjoyed participating in the after school clubs allowing me to learn even more and have a great time. Thanks to this experience I met incredible people (Brazilians, Asians, Russians, Mexicans, etc.) from all over the world that I want and will visit. The supervisors are excellent and always listen to my requests. I definitely recommend to everybody to live the same experience as me but all good things have an end and now it’s my time.

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    Sirine Tounsi

    In October 2017, I decided to go to Toronto for 2 months. I had just finished my studies, and I had always dreamt about going to Canada. I wanted to improve my English, so I decided to take an 8-week intensive course at OHC – a school I highly recommend. I became friend with students from all over the world and with very nice teachers. I was surprised to see how fast I improved; I passed 2 levels in 8 weeks! In order to be in total immersion, I chose to live with a host family. If you don’t like rules, I suggest staying in a student residence – you’ll have more freedom. I loved the style of the city (I’m Parisian, so everything looked very different). Toronto has the advantage of being close to French-speaking Québec and to the US – you should visit New York, as I did! If I could do it all over again, I would! Thank you ESL for making my dream come true in a few days only.

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    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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    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.