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Old 19.10.2017, 21:48
Igotta Igotta is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Lausanne
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Hello,
I can share my experience with several schools in Lausanne. I was also looking for an affordable option last year (up to 20 CHF per teaching hour in a group class can be considered inexpensive).

Recommended:

1) Ecole Migros - they have many levels and groups, there's a level for anyone. Courses are 2-month semesters and it's possible to join any semester, even once the course has started. The school is well organized and communication is good. They will not rip you off (if you join in the middle of the course, they will charge proportionally). However, the groups can be large (up to 14 people) and some teachers might not be that good (however, in general they are great). They make you do (a bit crappy) online test but then you can move to a different group if the level is too high/low.
Pros: many levels, price around 15 CHF/hour (600 CHF for 40 hrs), no registration fee
Cons: groups can get large

2) Universite Populaire - I didn't do a course with them in the end but I went to a 'placement test' which had a written part and then there was a chat with the teacher who assessed my level and suggested the best course. I felt they really care about the quality of teaching. I heard good opinions about them.
Pros: good quality of teaching, good prices (around 15 CHF/hour (890 CHF for 60 hrs), groups up to 12 people
Cons: some financial commitment (you have to pay 890 CHF in one go)

3) Agora - didn't do a course with them but had a really good chat with one of the teachers (the owner?). I just walked into the reception and he devoted some 20 mins to talk to me in French (I was not a total beginner) to assess my level. I had a feeling that they care about the quality of teaching too. They are more pricy with appr. 22.50 CHF per hour (360 CHF for 16 hrs/month)
Pros: good quality of teaching, teachers who really want to make you speak
Cons: a bit pricy, plus registration fee of 150 CHF

4) For EPFL-based foreign people and members of their families:
ACIDE association organizes very cheap French courses, however it's only for EPFL employees + their families, and the courses are around noon and early afternoon. Great price (app. 9 CHF/hour) - 280 CHF for 2-month course.
Pros: great price, nice teacher
Cons: for EPFL community only, classes in the middle of the day, groups can get large

To avoid:
Ecole Lemania - it's a boarding school which also organizes evening classes of French. A bit pricy - 720 CHF + registration fee of 60 CHF for 2-month course (around 24 CHF/hour). I spoke to a secretary both in person and on the phone - she wasn't able to give me any details. I was made to do a written 'placement test' but I was never told the result, I was just asked to come to the first class. Warning: they make you sign a registration form with small print saying you declare to pay even if you cancel! So think twice before you sign anything. There were people of different levels in the group, there is no coursebook, the quality of teaching seems poor.
Do not recommend.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck!
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