Study abroad / Gap year in Switzerland

Immersion programs in a Swiss boarding school

French or bilingual French/English program


Academic year, short stays, winter & summer camps

Language programs, fun activities, excursions & sports

Chantemerle has more than 50 years experience of teaching French, English or German as foreign languages. Every year, students ages 6 to 16 come to Chantemerle to join our study abroad programs during the academic school year and for shorter winter or summer camps.

Long-term students prepare for official language certifications (French DELF, English Cambridge tests). Students are also invited to integrate mainstream classes (mathematics, physics, history, science) and validate a full school year abroad with an official grade report. They can then return to their country of origin without interrupting their studies. Some students decide to remain at Chantemerle and continue their studies in Switzerland preparing for the Swiss maturity or the IB diploma.

Short-term students choose a shorter course of study, enrolling on our language intensive courses, discovering the beauties of western Switzerland in the Fall or Spring season or enjoying skiing during the Winter, as they rapidly improve their written and conversational French.

French Immersion

Long-term immersion

Throughout the school year, Chantemerle proposes long term immersion programs (up to 10 months) in French or bilingual French/ English. Long term students prepare for the DELF / Cambridge diplomas and can validate of full school year in French with an official grade report. 

Winter Language Camps

Winter camps – Language + ski

From January to March 2020. Students join our immersion program for a minimum stay of 1 week, up to one trimester. This is a wonderful way to learn French, English or German while learning to ski and discovering Switzerland in winter. 


Summer French language camps

Summer language camps 

During the summer, from April 15th to August 9th 2020, learning French, English or German is combined with performance sports as well as artistic, cultural and recreational activities in the beautiful part of west Switzerland. 


6 to 16 years


DELF certifications
Cambridge certifications

Dates 2019-20

Full school year (10 months)
Winter camp (January-March)
Spring camp (April-June)
Summer camp (July-August)

Fees 2019-20

1 to 4 weeks: CHF 1’650.- / w
5 to 8 weeks:CHF 1’500.- / w
> 8-weeks: ask for quote
Brochure and fees 2020


Our teaching approach 

At Chantemerle, language courses are efficient, practical and fun. They are based on a communicative approach in all the 4 competences (written and oral comprehension, written and oral production) detailed in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students work in small groups to build confidence in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.  Oral communication is carried out through fun and practical projects and activities relating to Swiss traditions and culture. Our long term students have the opportunity to prepare for the DELF exams (A1 to B2 levels).

Long-term immersion: learn French and experience a new culture

Studying abroad for a full academic year may be one of the most life changing experience for any teenager, and it comes with great opportunities:

  • Learn a new language and prepare for the official certifications
  • Experience the boarding school, a new culture and education system in a personalized family environment
  • Validate a school year abroad without interrupting the study program at home
  • Have fun and make new friends from all over the world while discovering Switzerland

Long-term permission is usually granted from the student’s main school, as time abroad and additional foreign languages are highly esteemed by universities, and add value to a student’s future college applications. We recommend parents however, to check first with their child’s school at home how they will validate Chantemerle’s curriculum.

Short-term stays

Students choose a minimum stay of 1 week up to one trimester. The objective is to learn or improve his/her level in French, while experiencing immersion at the boarding school, and discovering western Switzerland. 

Boarding life at Chantemerle

French and English are the main languages of use at Chantemerle. Surrounded by French-speaking students and staff, in the midst of the French-speaking part of Switzerland, students are fully immersed in the French langage and the local culture. English language is also very present in the class and outside, most of our students are fluent in both languages and all our educators are bilingual. 

With a maximum capacity of 65 boarding students, Chantemerle offers a stimulating and safe environment where one learns to live in community, developing its sense of responsibilities while studying and having fun. At Chantemerle, we take the time to reinforce the learning of essential, simple and useful routine: punctuality and politeness, saying ‘good morning‘, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, making your bed and tidying your room, returning your homework on time. After school, a rich and targeted choice of sports, cultural and artistic activities is offered to students. More about our program of activities

Chantemerle promotes the reasonable and controlled use of personal electronic devices and video games. A minimum of 15 minutes per day of reading time is encouraged for everyone as well as weekly nature walks and promenades

Similarly, the intelligent and rigorous application of simple community rules contributes to the smooth running of the establishment and its harmony. In the event of a problem, a dialogue is initiated with the child, the educators and the parents to quickly find a solution. A school nurse is permanently present at the school and can thus follow the children in relation to their health.

Healthy meals are prepared onsite daily from ingredients sourced from local producers. Our school follows the Fourchette Verte quality label.

All our students are accommodated in the boarding school under permanent supervision by experienced and dedicated educators. They are accommodated in warm and cosy “chalet-style” bedrooms of 2 or 3 with lake view where they can be mixed with other students from our school.

This is how a typical day as an immersion student at Chantemerle looks like:

  • 0700-0750 Good morning and breakfast
  • 0800-1200 French classes
  • 1200-1330 Lunch break
  • 1330-1830 project-base program, art and cultural excursions, sports, ski in Winter
  • 1830 Dinner
  • 1930 Supervised home work and study time
  • 2100 Good night and bedtime

A wide program of sports, excursions and fun activities

Chantemerle proposes a rich program of sports, artistic and cultural activities after the class and during the weekends. 

All students are invited to choose between 2 or 3 activities in Chantemerle or outdoors. Many sports, creative workshops and games are offered in the afternoons, evenings and weekends. During the ski season, between January and March, Chantemerle proposes a full Ski Package with teachers from the Swiss Ski Schools and clothes and material rentals.