french culture programme

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French and Culture Gap Programme

An immersive, intense French programme in our international boarding school set in beautiful French-speaking Switzerland in the heart of Europe.

The French Language and Culture programme is suitable for girls looking for a term, a semester, or year abroad in an international setting, a Gap Year or a Winter Camp experience. The programme is open to girls aged 15 to 18 years. Bookings can be made for 1, 2 or 3 terms with September, January or April start. In the Winter Term, short-stay options are available for girls looking for a Winter Camp experience.

Learning French at Surval Montreux

All language lessons and cultural immersion experiences are led by teachers trained in teaching French as a foreign language (FLE). Cultural immersion experiences take place regularly to put language into practice in authentic situations. Once a term, a residential French immersion trip is organised for students to take part in to further their language skills and embrace local traditions and culture of destination. French classes are taught in small groups of 2 to 10 students. The lessons and creative, fun and engaging; they are designed to develop confidence in the four key skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. View our latest blog on the Importance of Learning Languages in Today's World.


Living the Culture, European cultural immersion

In our beautiful setting in French-speaking Switzerland, we have easy access to rich cultural experiences both in surrounding Switzerland and neighbouring France and Italy. Switzerland is world-renowned for its beautiful alpine scenery and picture-postcard mountain villages, for winter sports, for chocolate and cheese, for its multi-lingual, multi-cultural environment, for world-leading hospitality and business management schools and for its strength in diplomacy. Our cultural programme explores the rich historic, creative, gastronomic and sporting heritage of our host country and complements the language programme, providing authentic opportunities to put language into practice whilst expanding perspectives and interests.

Discover Victoria's testimonial



The Common European Framework proposes three levels of proficiency (A, B and C), each of which has two sub-levels, eg, A1, A2. Each level is associated with a description of what the learner is able to do for that level in understanding, reading and writing.

The Alliance Française proposes that students can expect to reach CEFR levels with the following number of cumulative hours of instruction:

  • A1 : 60 to 100 hours
  • A2: 160 to 200 hous
  • B1: 360 to 400 hours
  • B2: 560 to 650 hours
  • C1: 810 to 950 hours
  • C2: 1060 to 1200 hours

In other words, if you are a complete beginner, it will take you between 60 to 100 hours to complete A1. With 12 hours of dedicated French tuition per week alongside immersive French experiences, it is possible to gain at least a level within a term at Surval, with hard work and commitment.

Get in touch with us for more information on our French Language and Culture Programme


" What's great about studying French at Surval is that we are living in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and we can put into practice everything we learn when we go to Montreux and exchange with the locals."

Katya, Surval Student


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