EF International Language Campuses

Program Reviews

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Andrea
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went with EF for 6 months to Tokyo in Japan and I had a great time. Japan is an interesting country with many beautiful sites to see with a beautiful language and culture to learn about. Since I was there when Corona broke out, I did not go to all the places I wanted and many things did change/happen, but the school can't be blamed for that.
Overall, even with Corona, I had a very smooth trip.

School:
The teachers at the school are very good at what they do. The classes are immersion style classes so the class is conducted fully in Japanese which can take some time getting used to if you are an absolute beginner, but the teachers, staff and the other students are extremely helpful and friendly if you need help. The teachers also make an effort to plan activities that are more interactive so you do not just have to sit and listen for an extended amount of time (but there are some days where that is the case). The other school staff also are very friendly and can all speak English so if you are having a hard time or something is bothering you, you are able to speak to them comfortably.

Accommodation:
I personally decided to live at the Residence instead of a host family. The residence is not owned by EF instead EF works with the residence to reserve rooms for EF students. Due to this, you get to meet many different people if you live there as other foreigners live there as well as native Japanese. I found the residence to be a lot of fun as you are surrounded by your friends and you have as much freedom as you want. The RAs are very helpful if you have any issues regarding residency. The downside, however, is that you do everything by yourself like buy or cook your own meals, buy your own bath products, clean up after yourself, etc so I would recommend the residence for those that are able to take care of themselves. Another thing to note is that it is sometimes to connect with the native Japanese that live there due to language and culture barrier, but eventually they warm up to you if you keep trying.

Activities:
Tokyo is a busy and exciting city so there was always somewhere to go, something new to see, or something new to try. The school also has activities planned everyday and those range from TeamLabs museum to visiting the shrine from "Your Name" so I would recommend trying to go to those if you are interested. Outside of those, the upper class men usually can recommend places to go to or you can just grab your friends and go spontaneously.

People:
All the students and school staff are so open and friendly. It is very easy to make friends with others even if you are more introverted. Also most students are from different countries around the world so you are able to learn a lot about different cultures along with Japanese culture. Japanese people can be a bit cold and standoffish which is just how their culture is sometimes, but mostly they will be nice to you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. Don't be afraid to be friendly. All the students there are in the same boat as you; they are in a foreign country where they probably don't know anyone. Due to this, all the students are willing to be your friend if you are simply just go up to them and talk. Most students speak English so that is not an issue most of the time.
2. Accept the culture. Japanese culture is very different from Western culture and many western people I knew struggled to adjust to the difference. In my experience, I think if you are just open minded and more easy going when it comes to accepting cultural differences then your trip becomes more fun.
3. Don't be afraid to try new things, New country, new people, new activities so don't be scared to try new things whether that be skiing in Nagano or trying natto.
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Cheyden
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in EF was very unique, as I stayed there in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that hit Spain pretty hard at the beginning. My first month and a half was the normal EF experience, and it was wonderful. The classes were of great quality, and EF was always very helpful with anything I needed. Then the pandemic arrived and most of the students left, however I stayed and was able to still have a good experience first in the Residence, and then later in a host family. We had online classes the rest of my time, and they worked very well. I ended up graduating from EF with a C1 in Spanish!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers is that it's okay if you're not sure exactly what to expect, go in with an open mind and they will be very accommodating and helpful when you do arrive.
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Esther
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Malaga for a month through EF, and it was an incredible time! The teachers were all amazing, and very kind! EF definitely is a lot about making money, but that didn’t effect my trip as much as others. Overall it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I had a host family, and they were incredibly sweet and accommodating. I am very happy I chose the host family because it definitely helped me learn much faster since I was much more immersed in the culture and language.

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Nikaya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was definitely something I’ll never forget! Everything from the school to the Seoul experiences was absolutely amazing . When I first arrived to Incheon airport the driver was waiting for me so patiently. (My flight was delay 7 hours) Getting around is so simple due to the amazing transportation system. I made it to the school my first day with no problems. The teachers were all really great ! They all took the time to make sure each student understood what was going on in the class . If your of age the night life is so awesome!

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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.
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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
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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!
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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.
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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.