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EF International Language Campuses

About

The world is waiting. Learn a language abroad.

See the world, experience a new culture, and make friends from around the world as you prepare for your global future. EF's fun and interactive classes help you learn faster while living the language first hand. Earn college credit, participate in an internship, and explore your dream destination abroad. Start any Monday and study from two weeks and up, or join us for a semester or year abroad. We also offer University Preparation courses for students looking to attend college in France or Germany.

Website
www.ef.edu
Founded
1965
Headquarters

Two Education Circle
Cambridge, MA 02141
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This past summer, I spent two weeks in Paris, France with EF. Prior to that, I had studied just about two years of French in school. When I arrived to the school and my host family, I was very nervous considering I had never really spoken to a native French speaker in my life. However, my host mom was the best mom I could ever ask for, the teachers at EF were super charismatic, welcoming, and funny. I felt extremely comfortable in the environment. I also learned a great deal of French just from two weeks and was able to skip a year of French when I got back to school in Hawaii. My host-family's house was a little far, so sometimes it was hard to get to and from there every day, however that was only a minor issue. Nonetheless, I made so many life long friends that I still keep in touch with everyday. Not only did I learn French, but I was opened to a whole new world of people and cultures. I really got a globalized perspective on life from this trip. I am definitely going back next summer for even longer. It was an incredible and unforgettable experience and completely worth the money!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was when I first arrived to the host-mom because at first, I had no clue what she was saying. however, as days past I was able to pick it up very quickly.
Default avatar
Franco
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I can't stop milking the fact that I have a moderate amount of ADHD and the teachers were able to captivate my attention without even trying. Everybody at EF is so friendly and fun to be around that I wish I stayed longer than two weeks. Now I'll be a little more organized so you can skip through all the info you don't care about and get straight to what you want to know. This is based on my experience.

HOST FAMILY or EF RESIDENCE?

Host family (is what I chose) is basically like getting adopted and having to live in a new home. It's very cool because you get the full immersion into the Korean culture. My host family didn't speak much English, which I was thankful for, because this meant that I'd have to try harder to learn Korean so I can actually speak to them. We used the Papago (translator) app to speak to each other whenever we couldn't act out what we were trying to say (acting out what you're trying to say is probably like the funniest thing ever. We kept on laughing at each other from our expressions). I had to take the subway every morning to get to class which was about forty minutes so buy a sim card so you can watch Youtube videos and stuff while you're on your way to school. I didn't have a sim card because my network was locked so I just spent the ride listening to music offline and time flew by pretty fast. Transportation is pretty easy in Korea so if you've never gone in a subway before, don't worry. It's very easy and if you miss your stop, it's not the end of the world. One downside to host families is that they probably won't have air conditioning (mine didn't), but they will have fans. I honestly didn't mind the heat, but if you're a wimp, then don't pick host family. The best part about host families is that they feed you so you don't have to waste money on food unlike the residence where you're in charge of feeding yourself. Living in a host family is a plus for your education because you won't have distractions from practicing your homework or classwork. In my opinion, the host family was the best choice for me.

EF residence (what most of my friends chose) is living in a hotel full of other teenagers. You can probably predict how that's going to be. The good things about this is that you're going to have a very fun time messing around in each other's dorms, maybe watch a movie with a couple friends, have a sleep-over or something, whatever you want to do. You're basically taking care of yourself and living like an adult. Now if you live in a host family and want to sleep over at a friend's dorm at the EF residence for a night, you must have your parent(s) email the EF staff saying that it's okay for you to do that. Pretty simple. The residence is also very close to the school (short metro bus ride) and right smack in one of the wealthy areas of Seoul. There's also air conditioning. The only downside to the residence depends on you. If you're someone who'll easily get distracted (like me) and won't be able to reject peer pressure to hang out and etc, then you probably won't learn as much Korean as you would've wanted to. To people like me: if you want to attend EF for more of a fun time, pick the residence. If you want to attend EF for an equalized balance of having the time of your life and being productive while doing it, choose the host family.

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY

I stayed for two weeks. Definitely not long enough. I learned a pretty good amount of Korean for that short period of time, but I feel like I could've learned more if I was more responsible and didn't go out so much.

EDUCATION

I took the intensive course. I only had two tests and I thought they were pretty easy in my opinion. The homework is a pretty reasonable amount as some classes won't even give you homework because the teachers know that the best way to learn the language is to practice what you learned in class on your own. If you want to get the most out of this education, you must do beyond the homework you're given. Korean is pretty easy. It's just a matter of how much you practice.

THE STAFF

I love them. Every single one of them. They're the best people bestowed on planet earth. Director Yohan is so friendly and easy to talk to as well as everyone else. I actually commented on most of the teachers and how they're like on EF Seoul's instagram highlights: @efseoul. So if you're curious as to how the teachers are like, go read what I put out.

PREPARING FOR THE TRIP

- If you have a credit card or debit card, tell your bank you'll be making transactions outside of your country.
- Search up Youtube videos on the customs here. There are manners you need to learn so you won't end up being rude.
- Learn the Korean alphabet. This is easy. There are lots of apps for this. I used Memrise (it's free, but you have to pay for the full version. However, you can learn the whole alphabet and more with just the free version).
- Practice reading Korean even if you don't know what it means. The faster you are at reading the characters, the easier classes will be for you.
- If you want to go to 1Million Dance Studio, search up how to do it PRIOR to going there and how much it will cost aside from other expenses. Also, ask a bunch of people that have gone there already (your fellow classmates that have been at EF already should know). Don't ask one person. Ask several. Remember that people's experiences are different so it's best to get it from many people. Which is why I encourage you to read another review after this one.

I am 100% sure about what I've said and I'm also 100% sure that I missed some crucial things so if you want some clarification, or have a question, or think I'm cute, my instagram is @franco.afs and I'll be happy to answer whatever you need to know lol.

Thanks for reading this long review and I hope you'll consider going to EF Seoul. It's a wonderful experience and it's worth every cent.

If you end up going because of this review, tell Director Yohan so I can get him to hire me. I'm broke.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing. They did a perfect job creating this program.
Default avatar
bonni
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

My daughter spent 4 weeks in Munich. Her host family was a 45 minute train ride to the class each day. I thought she would have a roommate in her age group and also assumed there would be more of a "part of the family" feel. She was in a home where the students were in and out, some staying only for days. My 14 roomed with an 18 yo for a few nights, sometimes there were male students in the home as well. No real family "feel". In fact when we came to the home to pick her up, gift in hand, we weren't even invited in! Instead we were asked to wait at the door and out came our daughter! During the evenings there was very little supervision, many of the 14 and 15 yos drank beer. In fact my daughter was given her first beer under EF's supervision! She also was "courted" by a few different boys and once again, much less supervision than I am accustomed to. Needless to say, things did not go well. One evening my daughter got on the wrong train going home from an unsupervised event, took the wrong train and was lost in the city. She lost her phone and borrowed a strangers phone to call for help. She got back at 2 am! When I needed to call the emergency number...it didn't work! They apologized but the damage was already done. Mydaughter saw a lot of Munich, not sure how much language she learned, but she speaks more easily and quicker so I suppose she learned enough. I would NEVER go back to EF, as I am not comfortable with the oversight, and I would worry for the safety of my daughter

Default avatar
Ana
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Translation from Spanish: The great experience of spending 15 days in Paris was overshadowed by the great SCAM and incoordination of EF, which ended up sending us to a 2-star hotel with BUGS and no alternatives. I'm not exaggerating.

Next I count it step by step:

This trip to Paris to learn French was a gift from my son to my niece and to me, knowing the great illusion that would make us. During the reservation process in Spain, we were informed about the EF residence where we would stay, with kitchen, common areas and very good looks. We fly to Paris with all the illusion of the world to spend the first half of July and what is our surprise to discover once there, that the residence is saturated and they will redirect us to a hotel. The “surprise” becomes perplexed when we see the state and conditions of this 2-star “Jeff” hotel and the room they give us: a fourth floor with a narrow spiral staircase that had a ridiculous elevator with room for 1 person and highly claustrophobic. Therefore, and despite my arthritis, we did not even use it because it gave me no confidence.

But the big bomb arrives in class, when they tell us that we cannot return to the hotel all day (without prior notice to collect our things, stored in the suitcases in any way by the cleaning ladies) because there was a BUG INFECTION in the hotel and they had to spray.

At that time I lost my patience and went with my niece to the address, to ask how it is logical that please change us to the official Residence, which was what was advertised when the course was paid. They tell us that it is impossible, so we are helpless in the face of the problem. I do not want to worry my family and we endure the return to the hotel with the corresponding fear and disgust of the plague of bed bugs. This makes us sleep very uncomfortable, waking up and not being focused on the course we wanted to learn.

And this does not end there. In 3 different days this scenario was repeated in which we cannot return to the hotel all day for anti-bed bug treatments, even with the appearance of bites and a student's hospital visit.

I had the opportunity to visit the residence and verify that they do have a kitchen, a normal elevator and, above all, hygiene.

As we did not have a kitchen, we were forced to eat out all the time, with the corresponding expense of money that implies, also in a city that is not cheap. We went with the idea of ​​having the advantage they enjoyed in the Residence of being able to buy, store, and cook our own food.

I don't have anything bad to say about teaching and teaching at school.
The teachers are of excellent quality and impeccable class education, a great dedication for all their professionals.

However, the schedules were not what they said in Madrid, where they assured us that the classes would be at 8 in the morning and from noon we would be free. At the end each day we had a different schedule, and also classes until 6 in the afternoon. In addition, the excursions were not coordinated with most of the classes, so in order to go you had to miss class.

In conclusion, the teaching is of quality, but the organization of EF is a DISASTER. From the beginning there has been great false advertising. We were not even mentioned the possibility of sending us to a place other than the residence, much less Jeff, a hotel that had nothing to do with the conditions of the official Residence, in which we were in fourth-floor rooms, with a Indecent and most outrageous elevator, infected with bed bugs.

It is not fair to pay for services that are supposed to offer and we find this amount of nonsense, which when we complained we were not given any kind of solution or compensation.

On the last night of our stay, the roommate next door cried to our room, because she went to get a bag and a bed bug fell on her shoulder. He spent the night in our room with a phobia attack. By the way, she intended to stay a month, but has gone to Malaga back, because they did not seek a solution to the problem.

Regarding the hotel receptionist and the person in charge of us at the hotel, they did what they could to please, but the solution was not in their hands.

Too bad for not being able to take advantage of and enjoy the excellence of the classes for being worried about something unnecessary and that it did not correspond to us as it is everything mentioned before.

Back in Spain, I have the conviction that EF takes advantage of the young age and inexperience of most of his students to deceive them in this way. However, I was an exception because at my 58 years I was fortunate to be able to travel to Paris for 15 days, and I was able to realize everything that happened.

I am not a particularly demanding person. Some of the problems that I have mentioned such as the disorganization of schedules or the lack of cooking can be compensated with the quality of teaching and the great experience of being in a city like Paris for a few days. Even the inability to go to the residence could have been resolved by sending us to decent accommodation, or attending to our request once the situation in the hotel became embarrassing. BUT NOTHING!

The saddest thing is that the problem of this hotel, looking for information, we know that they have it since 2017, it is in the networks. And EF knows it. My complaint is to the organization and responsible for EF. It is a shame after the money paid for everyone to go crazy and keep fooling people selling an experience that is not real.

Ana María López Martín

Response from EF International Language Campuses

Hi Ana,

Thank you for your review.

The bug situation at Hotel Jeff was an unfortunate and rare occurrence. Please be assured that the staff at EF Paris immediately responded to the situation and took necessary action to ensure the safety of our students. The response from the school was swift and effective, and the issue was resolved as quickly as possible as a result of the school's fast action.

Please feel free to reach out to your local Spain Admissions office with any further concerns or suggestions. Our offices around the world appreciate your feedback and would love to discuss further on how to improve experiences for our students in the future.

Default avatar
Cristy
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

My daughter and a friend just returned from two weeks as Junior students in Malaga. We were sold on the fact that the program was going to improve their Spanish via leveled courses, yet upon arrival, all the students were placed in a single level Spanish (many students had never spoken a word). Do not expect any significant Spanish learning. If you are true beginner, this would be a fine program. We had told EF ahead of time that our girls had completed two years of high school Spanish.

The girls were placed initially with a host mother and her 15 year old daughter. Two days before departure, we discovered upon looking at the girls' online profiles (we were not notified by anyone at EF) that for some unknown reason, that host family had backed out. Instead the girls were placed with a young single woman (early 30s perhaps), who was nice upon initial meeting, but had no interest in conversing or spending any time with them. She ate once with the girls over the two week, and otherwise, went out each evening to the beach, leaving them unsupported. One night she left them alone overnight, claiming she had an emergency. We did not expect our 14 year old to be unchaperoned in a foreign country. EF never really accepted responsibility for the situation, in our opinion.

Response from EF International Language Campuses

Hi Cristy,

Thank you for your informative feedback. We continue to make sure every student can maximize their learning during their program. At EF, we strive to make sure every student can make the most language progress. Students take placement tests beforehand, and if they feel that they are not in the correct level after the first week of class, they can work directly with our Academic Director and teachers to be put in a class that better suits their learning.

On rare occasion, host families have emergencies that make them unable to host for our students last minute, which is a likely cause for a switch. This is, of course, an unusual circumstance that we must accommodate. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations – it was an uncommon instance. An emergency during a host family stay is a rare circumstance as well. We take the safety of our students very seriously and know that our host families would not leave our students in an unsafe situation by any means. We always have 24/7 emergency phone lines abroad as well as at our Admissions office in the US.

Thank you again for your feedback and for choosing EF as your study abroad provider.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 21

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Tanya Villafuerte

Tanya is a Mexican college student who is pursuing a degree in Fashion Marketing. She is devoted to loving food.

Why did you choose this program?

I choose this program because I go to art school and I have always loved art. Rome, having being the home to multiple artists, not only allowed to me to get to learn a new language and meet new people, but also to dig closer into the fascinating pieces it holds in all the museums and national sites. It also has great food.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I won this trip as a part of a giveaway, so EF practically arranged everything for me. The housing, the flights and the program itself was carefully taken care by the team, which made it super easy, stress-free and enjoyable overall. And Fiona was super sweet and easy to reach; she also gave me all the info I needed to chose a course and everything.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would say just go, even if you don't know anything about the language, the food, the metro or whatever is holding you. You will eventually find out - it is just way easier than expected, and you will find people around the path that will gladly show you and teach you all you may need to know. Also, I would recommend staying at a host family; this way you get more involved.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day to me would have been going to class in the morning from 8am till like 2pm, and then I would probably grab lunch somewhere new, and then wander around the shops, the streets or the free museums. At night, I would maybe go out or hangout with my roommate. Gelate was always the way to end my day.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was the homestay and getting around.

In my previous travels with EF, I always stayed at their residences, which made it super easy to get around, while this time I had to take the metro and the bus to get to the school, and having no knowledge on the language scared me because I thought I was going to be lost all the time.

What is close to Rome to visit on a Day trip?

Any weekend you can take a bus, a train or a flight to other cool cities like Venice, Florence, Naples, Milan, among other cool trips outside of Italy for a weekend getaway. It's easy to book and cheap, especially if you book with friends to keep you company.

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Matar Seck

Job Title
Activities Coordinator
Matar has been working for EF for almost 10 years as an activities coordinator,
he likes to travel and to meet new people.

What is your favorite travel memory?

EF Language Center students and staff

My favorite travel memory is from when I was in Tokyo, I was so amazed by the culture, traditions, and the kindness of the Japanese people.

One of great memory was when I went to karaoke with some locals. I experienced one of the most simple Japanese activities, that they do only to have fun and relax. For me it was unforgettable, it really allowed me to experience the Japanese culture.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I think I have grown in my role as an activity coordinator. I have been in the same position since starting with EF, however I have developed as a leader, and am more confident in my decision making, as well as more organized.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

The best story I've heard from a return student is about a girl who married a boy she met in France during one of our French courses.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose EF International Language schools to learn a new language.

Since I'm always in contact with students, I can see how people from all over the world are able to stay in touch and share experiences in another country. I would enjoy meeting people from all over the world in one of our international language courses.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I think the fact that we can help people learn a new language, and at the same time meet people from all over the world is a unique experience. I'm still in contact with students that I met 9 years ago.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think the biggest factor in being a successful company is making the most fair and correct decisions for the company, employees, and students.

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