Back in 2012 Karina wrote a blog about Cheap French Classes in Geneva. I am long overdue updating her blog because a lot has changed. The good news is there are a lot of choices in Geneva. Below I have listed the organizations with whom I have had experience or a friend has recommended (with the exception of the Cultural Exchange Center and the Geneva Red Cross). Feel free to let me know how your search and classes turned out.
The American International Women’s Club
For women only, the AIWC offers complimentary French classes to it’s members. Our mother-tongue French speakers organize a beginner’s French class and one Intermediate and two Advanced French conversation classes. This was one of the first activities I did when joining the AIWC. For more information about our organization, click here or come to one of our Welcome Coffees the second Wednesday of the month (except July and August).
Centre d’Accueil – Genève Internationale
The welcome center 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 your mother-tongue. To register your interest in participating in the program complete this registration form.
University of Geneva Summer and Intensive February French Programs
These are excellent classes that several friends of mine have completed. Each session has daily morning classes and optional afternoon classes totaling 4-6 hours. The three week courses are held throughout the summer (June, July and August) for CHF 800; six week courses begin mid-July costing CHF 1,500; and University Preparatory classes also mid-July costing CHF 1,800. At the end of the courses, you may take an exam in order to receive a diploma stating your language level for CHF 100 extra. For information regarding the Intensive February classes, click here and the summer class information can be found here.
When I came to Geneva 17 years ago, these were the classes I could began with. Some were good, others were ok. Since Migros has an amazing selection of classes and times I can just provide you an example: a semi- intensive beginners class (16 lessons of 50 minutes) costs CHF 270 plus CHF 46 for materials. Ecole Migros’ Swiss-wide offering can be found here. On the left side of the page you can specify your level and location. They also have a language test that takes approximately 20 minutes to complete in order recommend your level here.
Various Subsidized French Classes
This pdf document on the Geneva Cantonal website has a list of locations and organizations whose purpose is to teach French to migrants with the sole purpose of integrating non-Swiss into our society. Many will not be open to you but a few might be. For example, the Ecole de Parent is run by the Department of Public Instruction (DIP). If you have children in the public school system, you have the right to inscribe in these classes. I paid CHF 40 for a year of advanced French classes with this group. Another organization is Fédération Maison Kultura in Eaux-Vives. Their classes are open to the public and cost CHF 56 per trimester.
The Geneva Red Cross, Croix Rouge Genevoise, offer French language courses from beginner level (A1) to Intermediate level (B2). The courses focus on French language for day-to-day life while at the same time learning about Swiss culture and customs. The next group of classes are from September until February so you must inscribe at the end of August. The cost of the courses are CHF 80 + CHF 20 inscription fee however, priority is given to people with F or B refugee permits. Their web page is here.
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/.