Practical Geneva

Practical information for internationals living in Geneva.

Education & Family Life:

Language courses

Knowledge of French is important for a successful installation in Geneva. Whether at school, at the doctor’s office, at the post office or for leisure, everywhere you need to communicate with other people.

  Find a course near you using the interactive map of the canton of Geneva!

Take advantage of the cultural diversity of Geneva to improve your skills and practice speaking the language of your choice in exchange for yours.

The Conversation Echange Programme is open to everyone, internationals and local residents (except children).

Based on the principle of exchange, this free program is a complement and not an alternative to language courses provided by schools. Register by completing the online form.

The School of French Language and Civilization (ELCF) of the University of Geneva allows you to strengthen your skills in French BEFORE and DURING your studies in one of the Faculties/Schools/Institutes at the University of Geneva. The ELCF ensures:

  • the French exam which allows the admission of non-French-speaking students of foreign origin to the University,
  • an intensive year (Propaedeutic year) of language upgrading for students who do not quite meet the requirements of the admission exam,
  • linguistic support for non-French-speaking students from the various Faculties, Institutes or Schools of the University who experience difficulties in understanding or expressing themselves, orally and in writing, or who wish to broaden their cultural horizon and/ or linguistics.

The Faculty of Letters of the University of Geneva also offers French courses during the summer .

The Department of Public Education (DIP) offers language exchanges in class or individually and professional internships for young people from 11 years old and over 16 years old in Switzerland and around the world.

The Association Vaudoise des Ecoles Privées brings together schools offering language diplomas.

In Lausanne, the Language Links school specializes in teaching French, German and Schwitzertütsch, English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Russian.

L’Association Vaudoise des Ecoles Privées regroupe des écoles offrant des diplômes de langues.

A Lausanne l’école Language Links est spécialisée dans l’enseignement du français, allemand et schwitzertütsch, anglais, espagnol, italien, chinois, russe.

Languages and cultures of origin (LCO)

Pupils whose mother tongue is different from the language of instruction can take classes in the language of their country of origin:

  • they are organised by the communities (embassy, consulate or association),
  • they are not compulsory and take place outside school hours (with the exception of Italian classes from 3P to 5P).

CAGI members

Other useful information for
education and family life in Geneva

Daycare centers
International Networking

CAGI services

To learn about the practical aspects of daily life in Geneva and the region

Founded by the Swiss Confederation and the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the International Geneva Welcome Centre is the single entry point for the support and integration of employees of International Geneva and their families, NGOs and visiting delegates.