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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
Kayla
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I studies abroad for a short term in Seoul, and I changed the way I look at my world. I feel like I havent left the city there and I will forever look back on that trip as one of the best times of my life. My host family was amazing, they really do care about who they pick to house students and it shows. The classes were amazing, the only thing I'd change would be making it a more set schedule and maybe more outside activities, but aside from that there is nothing else I would have changed. I do plan to travel again with EF and highly recommend you do as well!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
My most nerve-racking moment was honestly getting to the school, they are a very do it yourself kind of place and they wont hold your hand whole you're there and this was perfect for me, but I know my roommate struggled with this.
Default avatar
Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The EF program was very informative and from the beginning, the staff was extremely helpful. I immediately felt at home with my host family and even though communication was a challenge at first, my classes taught me useful grammatical skills that I could practice at home and in daily conversations outside of school. I made lasting friendships with people from all around the world. The city was gorgeous and there are so many opportunities of travel. It is a place that honestly suits any person; whether you’re into partying or touring castles. Even if you get bored with the Nice itself, the train is extremely accessible, so you could easily take yourself to somewhere like Monaco or Cannes with only a 30 minute train ride.

What would you improve about this program?
I was a bit annoyed about the alternating schedules because I wish I could just have all my classes at the same time. However, it was very easy to change my schedule to match my friends’, which I greatly loved.
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Ed
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The scores I posted are based on our sons response. EF was very helpful in the pre trip arrangements from registration to numerous questions we had and making sure he was met at the Liberia airport. The host family was very nice and the food was good. The content of the actual class was good as he had minimum knowledge of Spanish and he came away with more vocabulary and was able to make himself understood in conversation with his Mother. Overall we are are happy with his experience and we think he had fun while there.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Remember you are in an emerging country and your creature comforts will be slightly tested
Default avatar
Erich
7/10
No, I don't recommend this program

My son went to the EF Munich school from June 2018 until August of 2019. While his experience there was good, he was asked to leave his guest family and given only two weeks notice to leave in mid-May of 2019. The very next day he told the Munich school, and as he would be enrolling in a German University in the fall and would need his own apartment he went and found one and vacated his EF lodging by June 1. Accordingly we both contacted EF seeking a refund for room and board we had paid for from June 1 to the end of August. After some initial push back, in which it was claimed he had not given sufficient notice. On 9/17/19 after about 10 attempts to contact him since mid June, on 9/17/19 Spencer Mott finally agreed to refund me $1220.31 (the cost of room and board from June through August. He also agreed to refund an additional $56.59. I was told this would be refunded to my credit card, and as my ex wife and I had both paid Stefan's tuition, she would need to call to give her consent that the payment go to me alone. After arranging all this I called his assistant Spencer's instructions and left my credit card information. And… nothing happened. I followed up checking my credit card statement 3-4 weeks later, saw I had no refund, and on November 14, 2019 I contacted William Cavanagh, who Spencer had said was his boss. William apologized for the problem and promised me that a check would be cut as soon as possible, on the next Wednesday, which would have been November 20. It is now December 4, 2019 and once again. Nothing has happened. I have received no check. I have been trying to email and phone William Cavanagh for the last three days to no avail.

I draw several conclusions from this: First, EF is not being transparent about the actual cost of room and board with host families (which is arguably the single most important aspect of language learning in a study abroad experience). The miserly amount of this refund suggests that EF is paying host families a mere $13 per day. This can’t be right as that would barely be enough to pay for food, let alone lodging, and it is difficult to understand how it would be enough of an incentive for any host family to participate in the program. Although I suspect that they are actually being paid more than this refund suggests, I doubt they are being paid much more. What does this mean? It means that EF has rolled everything into a single fee that makes it impossible to determine what portion of their very expensive program fee is for housing and what part is for language training. Second, this also clearly indicates that EF’s customer service is abysmally bad. Having spent well over $40,000 I can’t fathom why any organization would treat its customers this way. I have made multiple inquiries by phone and email but I can’t seem to get anyone to respond and settle this matter. I can't tell if I am being lied to or if EF is simply incompetent. How hard is it to issue a refund you have clearly acknowledged I am due? They have admitted the debt. I have an invoice and an email indicating as much, but three months later I cannot get them to honor it. Beware!

What would you improve about this program?
Customer Service is terrible. The Boston Office needs to be much more responsive. The costs of the various aspects of the program (room, board, language school, etc.) should be broken down more transparently. My son decided to extend his stay to a university prep year. While there was a lot of selling of this experience, no one bothered to look into changing his return ticket, so we lost the return flight. For the cost, there were far too many loose ends all the way around!
Default avatar
Ignacio
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Definitely, when booking the trip I was scared and anxious, but this trip taught me how to be independent and overall expose myself to new things. I'd definitely say this was one of the most memorable things in my life I've ever done. I'd say that the best thing about this program was the immersion within the culture and so much more room individuals of any Spanish level can still grow at EF Barcelona. One thing I wish could be changed would be adding more trips to parts around Barcelona, but still was very pleasing and I would really recommend! you will make friends from all over that will become some of your closest friends. I'd definetly say don't hesitate to take the trip and become a local for your stay it really creates an unforgettable experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't hesitate on taking the trip and having a memorable experience. When at the destination don't hold back from anything and really indulge yourself in the culture and try and become a native!! but overall have a fun time.

Jobs

Programs

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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.

Staff Interviews

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

Stephen Cai

Job Title
School Director
Stephen is fun and passionate, and he is always right there to help whenever you need him. :)

What is your favorite travel memory?

I had countless beautiful travel memories! But my favorite is definitely when I went to Lake Louise in Banff in 2014.

I had my dream come true by doing a road trip in western Canada and finally got to sit there on my own and take in the stunning but peaceful view of the Lake. The great nature always fascinates me the most where many great memories were left.

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

The biggest change comes from within. We meet students from all parts of the world and see them grow every day, and being part of this program, I also become more open to different cultures.

I love being with our students and listening to how much they find China a great place to explore. Working with EF as a school director also helps me understand customer services are everywhere in the school.

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

It has to be the transformation that I see in our students, both in language and, more importantly, in the ability to embracing differences. Hayato from Japan did not speak a word of Mandarin when he first arrived in April and was quite negative towards the cultural difference between China and Japan; however, after a 9-month course, he can now have conversations with all the staff in Mandarin, and he's mentoring new students with some personal tips to help them adapt to the Chinese culture.

A star student for sure! :)

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

The language Academic Year program! Seeing how much fun our students have had and how much they have grown as a person really inspired me. You can not only improve your language skills during an academic year program but also make friends and become more independent. Just be a bit more specific, I wish I could also do a one-year program in EF Barcelona learning Spanish one day. :)

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

I think we do live by our company's core values and mission of "Opening the world through education", which gives us motivation and reasons why we work.

When people share the same values and a common goal, they work as a team and give their best towards the customers/students day in and day out. And that's what makes EF very very special. I am proud of the team every single minute because we are changing the world for a better place by breaking down barriers through education! Seriously!

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

I've been working with EF for almost 10 years now and I've been also speaking to a lot of colleagues, and if you ask them the same question, the answer is going to be the same: it's the PEOPLE, and people with the good company culture fit.

I truly believe there's no job that cannot be done by a group of people with a tremendous passion for education that paired up with the "Nothing is Impossible" philosophy. In the meantime, being flexible and agile as a company is also key in my opinion.

US visitors, meet us in person!

  1. Wednesday 19 February
    El Segundo, CA Gap Year Fair
    Vistamar School
    Fair:
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Presentation:
    6:00 PM - 6:45 PM
  2. Thursday 20 February
    La Jolla, CA Gap Year Fair
    La Jolla High School
    Fair:
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Presentation:
    6:00 PM - 6:45 PM
  3. Saturday 22 February
    Davis, CA Gap Year Fair
    Davis Senior High School
    Fair:
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Presentation:
    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Professional Associations

The Forum on Education Abroad Logo
NAFSA Logo
USA Gap Year Fairs Logo