ESL Language Travel Awards

​ESL Language Travel Awards

The ESL Language Travel Awards are assigned to the language schools that stood out during the past 12 months for providing an exceptional service to their clients. ESL chooses the winners among more than 400 partner schools around the world.
Based on clients’ testimonials (more than 7,400 last year) and considering the assessment provided by more than 180 ESL employees working in our 50 agencies, this prize is an objective and fair evaluation of those partner schools that had an extraordinary performance.

Here you can find the 2017 winners:

School of the year (English)

  • School of the year (other languages)

  • School group of the year

    School facilities of the year

  • Accommodation of the year

  • Leisure programme of the year

  • CSR Champion of the year

    Teaching programme of the year

  • Congratulations to all of the winners!

    To see the past ESL Language Travel Awards winners, click on the year below:

    ​How the Awards are decided

    Awards are assigned based on the feedback we receive from our clients and employees.
    Upon return, our students are asked to judge their overall experience: the school and its facilities, the quality of the course, the accommodation and the leisure activities.
    Each aspect is analysed through more specific questions, related to each category. For example, in the “facilities” category, we ask the students to describe the school’s distance from the city centre, the available space, the classrooms, the equipment, etc.
    In almost every category, the top 10 schools are ranked on the basis of the students’ feedback. Then, those ESL employees who have direct contact with the schools evaluate them considering their personal experience. Finally, the two scores are combined and designate the winner. ESL team members are asked a specific question to determine their overall relation with the schools, which is: “How does working with this school make it easier for you to serve clients?”
    At ESL, we are in permanent contact with our partner schools and our students. We have to be perfectly familiar with the programmes we offer and show an extensive expertise, but also ensure the necessary logistical arrangements to deal with all types of request, including the special ones. Our teams listen to our students’ needs and visit our partner schools on a regular basis; that is why they are the right people to provide a professional opinion on this matter. Furthermore, their personal implication in the execution of our clients’ projects allows ESL – as well as the partner schools – to offer a tailor-made experience to every student.
    The school elected as “CSR Champion” can claim to have met most of the criteria on our CSR Self-Assessment tool. Thanks to this online questionnaire, schools can self-evaluate their own success in the CSR strategies’ field. Very committed to sustainable development, we are the only ones to offer this self-assessment tool, and this is what makes this prize unique. Schools that are part of a group are assessed as a whole.
    In some categories, only students’ testimonials are considered. For example, for categories such as “Teaching Programme of the Year” or “Leisure Programme of the Year”, students express their overall opinion by recalling their personal experience.
    To win or not to win…
    The ESL Language Travel Awards are a great chance for our partner schools, as they recognise their excellent service and stimulate them to keep offering the best experience to our students. Check out our blog post to see the shortlist for each category. 

    Information days

    ESL – Language Travel will be out and about in London. Come and meet us at one of our information days in your area.


    1. Star Agency Europe

      ESL – Language Travel won Star Agency Western Europe for the fifth time at the 2016 ST Star Awards. 


      If you find our programmes cheaper with another language travel agency, you will be refunded 100% of the price difference.


      We offer you free and personal advice before, during and after your language course abroad.


      In 2016, 97% of our students would recommend ESL – Language studies abroad to their friends and relatives. 


      ESL – Language studies abroad is accredited by quality control bodies in the tourism and education industries.  



    Test your language level in a few minutes.


    Sara Mateos Arévalo

    My name is Sara and I decided to take a course in Lyon to improve my level of French. I had started to take French classes again in Barcelona and I thought it would be a good idea to give them a boost.

    I wasn’t very clear on my destination, but I finally chose Lyon because it’s a city that has everything but it’s not as big as Paris. And, as the language travel advisor that I am, and knowing the academic quality of the Alpadia school, I thought it would be a good option.

    After having been there, I can say that Lyon is an ideal destination for linguistic immersion. As a city, it has everything: shops, good public transport, restaurants, bars, tourism, parks, etc. What’s more, you’re constantly surrounded by events, culture and French cuisine, and it’s a city where a lot of French natives live. That’s why you can also learn about its customs and lifestyle in addition to the language.

    The first day when I arrived to my host family’s home, it was a little difficult for me to speak even though I understood Sylvie (the woman who was hosting me) very well. In the mornings, she was already working, but I enjoyed waking up and having a leisurely breakfast. In the afternoons after the activities, I went home and she was preparing dinner. I sat in the kitchen with her while she taught me French recipes. Every night we cooked a different dish, and she even taught me how to make French crêpes! I stayed in her daughter’s room who was studying in Toulouse. To this day, we still write to each other.

    With regard to the school, the first day they had me arrive half an hour early to show us new students the school, city, etc. and introduce us to each other. We had 4 and a half hours of class, but the time flew by, as the teaching method that they use is very dynamic and you have two different teachers. My morning teacher made the classes very exciting and helped us improve our weaknesses. The afternoon teacher, on the other hand, gave us a topic to debate and she made us talk a lot while she provided us with useful, daily vocabulary.

    There were only 6 students in class, perfect for learning more easily. At school there was a great atmosphere with a good group of students open to meeting new people and making plans after class. I felt like a part of the group from day one. The mix of nationalities was very good with few Spanish-speaking students. In the whole school, there were only two Spanish and two Mexican students, although we weren’t in the same class. Almost all of them were Swiss (from different regions), and there were students of all ages (18-22, 25-28 and 40+).

    Every afternoon, the school offered an activity for whoever wanted to participate (movie, visits around Lyon, wine tasting, etc.). At the beginning of the week, they posted a schedule of the week’s activities on the bulletin board. You just needed to sign up and show up at the meeting point at the time specified (even though almost all of us went there together directly from school). The activity I liked the most was wine tasting because we went to a really authentic wine cellar where they gave us different wines and cheeses. For me, this was a very French experience!

    To sum up, I’d like to say that for me, it was a great decision to take an intensive course and stay with a host family, since I learned a ton and at the end of my stay, I noticed that I really improved my fluency when speaking French. The truth is that I had a great experience and I would have liked to be able to stay for another week.

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    Victoria Eugenia Gómez Álvarez

    The teachers were a 10. They were all really nice and friendly, they learned your name after just one class with them and they developed a close relationship with us. They helped and advised you with the day-to-day in France. I only have good things to say about everyone who taught me.

    The classes were fun and entertaining and above all, very intensive. We covered a ton of material, and now, comparing it to a Spanish academy, I value it so much more. I think it was the equivalent of a year-long intensive course in Spain, among other reasons because there when you go out, you have to practise everything you’ve been learning, so you could better consolidate your knowledge.

    The school was very dynamic. Every day they organised activities and excursions where besides practising your French, you could get to know the region’s customs and places and socialise with students from all over the world: England, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, etc. We liked it so much that we lengthened our stay by a week.

    The city was young and very culturally attractive. Just like in the rest of the region, it has plenty of historical monuments to visit. If you like history, this is the perfect place. The same goes for nature lovers: the beach and mountains are both just a stone’s throw away. There’s only one but: don’t bring your car because it’s very expensive to park and parking on the street is impossible. Also, the restaurants in the city centre are pretty expensive, and it’s very hot in August.

    Communication with ESL was great. They answered all our questions, advised us and got in touch with us whenever we needed until we decided upon a destination.

    Without a doubt, I would do it all over again.

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    Beatriz Salcedo Gorostieta

    In addition to the spectacular city of Edinburgh and the wide range of everything it has to offer, I want to highlight my stay and what I learned at school. There was a great atmosphere in the classes and at the school in general. I’ll miss Susan’s classes – we learned a lot from and with her!

    Read more


    Check out our blogs, social network pages and various online platforms to read travel stories, articles and reviews from our students on language courses abroad.