EF International Language Campuses

Program Reviews

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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.
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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

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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.

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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.

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Sandra
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I've spent almost half an year in EF Nice and it was a nice experience. Many things didn't go well. I was very disappointed for the first weeks. The staffs in different countries don't communicate properly. I had to wait for hours in the Airport Nice for someone to pick me up and that was horrible! They told me that they were not informed about my Transfer. The classes were very unprofessional. They put me in a completely wrong class and I didn't understand anything they were teaching. And it took them 1 week to change the class. Also the host Family was really bad! It was tooo far away from the School and on the first day after class I couldn't get home. But they immediately changed the host Family for me. After the first month, everything went really good. I loved the students and the staffs, they were sooo friendly! I was a beginner and after Ive finished the course, I could speak without any big effort. They organize many activities, especially in summer. And ofcourse the places there are soo beautiful. Also there are really good clubs, but the drinks are very expensive. OVERALL IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. But I will not go with EF the next time, because their prices are very high and their courses are not intensive and good enough for exam preparations.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
My host family was near to the french riviera and seeing the light blue sea every morning, when I went by bus to school was very refreshing. Also the old town was very adventurous.
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Monkeria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I enjoyed every waking moment at EF Seoul. It was the best trip I decided to take and I wish I could go back already. I learned so much in my time and I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did in such little time. The teachers are very patient, understanding, and hilarious. The experience as a whole was just outstanding from the food, all the way to the cultural experience and location. TAKE THIS TRIP! Don’t wait. Whether you choose a host family or stay in the residence, you will enjoy it either way. The residence has 4 convenience store and countless restraints in walking distance, not to mention a stove and fridge in your room. The bus stop and train station is no more than a 5 min walk away, so when you travel you don’t have to walk too far to get to a station!

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Edrica
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would have to say this was quite frankly one of the best traveling experiences I’ve had. It was my first time traveling alone and going all the way to Seoul, across the world, was a HUGE step but everything turned out great! The campus is fun, the teachers are great and very accommodating, the activities are always amazing, etc. The classes are quite interesting and always educational. I also had the honor of staying in a host family and they were super nice and friendly. I made new friends and new memories. A very great place if interested in night time photography as all the lights and streets (popular ones anyways) are bright and alive. The food is amazing! I got to try many of the foods I only ever dreamt of eating. Not only that but the teachers and advisors are so helpful when looking for good, affordable food. Never be afraid to ask for help and recommendations. Overall an A+ of a trip :D.

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I would improve about this program would probably be the timing for activities in regards to classes. I was sometimes saddened by the occasional clash of my class schedule and an activity I would have enjoyed, but it isn’t a super big deal as I got to partake in many other activities.
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Helen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had spent 5 weeks in Paris during my winter break and I had an absolute blast. Yes there was mishaps and ups & downs, but I made the most of it with the time and money I was given. I had planned and paid for this entire trip myself and it was really up to me on what i did. I made friends the very first day and we are still in touch even months later! Exploring the city every night after class and creating unforgettable moments was definitely my favorite part. My french had improved greatly and I really took away a lot with the language and culture once I came back home. Thankfully I had an amazing host family who were caring and welcomed me with opened arms. EF provided me with my first study abroad experience and I can’t wait for many more!

What would you improve about this program?
Setting up classes and creating a timetable appropriately.
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Maile
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was actually the best experience of my life, because i met incredible people and of course because i learned French. Also if you have any problem, there's people that will always try to help you no matter what (Activity staff). Paris it's beautiful city where you never going to find yourself bored, you can find amazing restaurants, museums, clubs, parks and monuments. One of the things i liked the most and at the beginning i wasn't expecting is that there's a powerful mix of cultures, what i mean is that you will meet people from different countries and that will open your mind and teach a lot of things.
I recommend this program to people that want to do a real change in life, not only to learn or progress in the language, but also to know yourself more and live the most beautiful experience in your life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come! You will never regret it! You're going to love the experience.