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There are many reasons why expats living in Geneva put off learning French. For some, it is because there is simply not enough time in between long work hours and for others it can be out of fear of learning a new language later in life. It is also relatively easy to get by without learning French in Geneva as so many people speak several languages and English seems to be the lingua franca.
There are, of course, many people living in Geneva who are interested in learning French but are deterred by the high cost of language courses. For those of you out there who fall into this category, don’t despair, because believe it or not there are some inexpensive ways to learn French in Geneva!
Centre d’Accueil – Genève Internationale
The welcome centre of Geneva offers a free language exchange program for people wishing to improve their French conversation skills. The program allows you to practice French while helping others with their English. For people wishing to improve their conversation skills in other languages, the program can help facilitate language exchange in languages other than English too. To register your interest in participating in the program complete the registration form and return to the centre.
106, Route de Ferney
Case Postale 103
1211 Geneva 20
Tel: 022 546 14 26
The Geneva Red Cross, Croix Rouge Genevoise, offers French language courses for both adults and children. The courses are focused on French language for day-to-day life and include written and oral components. There are intensive (6 hours per week) and non-intensive courses (2 hours per week). The subscription fee per annum is 15CHF and certain courses may attract a small additional fee per semester. The centre also offers other services for foreigners, including cultural integration programs and a multi-lingual library for adults and children.
50 Rue de Carouge
Tel: 022 320 59 55
Université Ouvrière de Genève
The Université Ouvrière de Genève offers a range of French courses, including general French and French for working professionals. The general courses usually consist of a 1.5hour class per week over 9 months and the course fee is 100CHF. The classes designed for non-French speakers who are in employment are often held over 5 months and are scheduled as 2x2hour classes per week and cost 375CHF.
3 Place des Grottes
Tel: 022 733 35 19
The American International Women’s Club
The American International Women’s Club also provides 5-6 French classes a week, of varying levels, complementary to its members. For more information on our organization, click the link below.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.