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.

Consult the online directory of French and literacy courses offered by non-profit organizations in the canton of Geneva. Most are partners of the Office for the Integration of Foreigners (BIE) of the Canton of Geneva.

Find a French 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 Exchange 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.

CAGI members

Other useful information for
education and family life in Geneva

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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 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.