ESL Education

Company Timeline

  • 2019

    ESL Education is acquired by Kaplan International, one of the largest English language trainers in the world. 

    ESL continues to operate under its long-established brand and as an independent agency, offering a wide portfolio including all the Kaplan schools.

  • 2018

    ESL organises the 5th edition of its International Workshop in Sitges with the intention of establishing the yearly event in this beautiful seaside town, south of Barcelona.

  • 2017

    ESL opens a grand total of 9 new offices in Europe: Bordeaux and Toulouse in France, Leipzig and Stuttgart in Germany, Monza and Florence in Italy and Neuchâtel, Sion and Chiasso in Switzerland.
    In July of 2017, Anke Menkhorst was promoted from COO to CEO of the company, with Patrick Siegenthaler moving into the position of Chairman of the Board.

  • 2016

    ESL Education celebrates its 20th anniversary.

    Opening of new drop-in offices in Nantes (France), Chur (Switzerland), Medellín and Santiago de Cali (Colombia)

    ESL wins “Western Europe's Star Agency” ST Star Award for the fifth time, thus obtaining the exclusive “Lifetime Award”. 

  • 2015

    For the fourth time, ESL – Language studies abroad was voted "Europe’s Star Agency" at the Study Travel Awards 2015.

    ESL ­– Education keeps on expanding its network of drop-in offices in 2015 with the opening of new offices in Bari (Italy), Sevilla (Spain), Fribourg (Switzerland) and Lille (France).

  • 2014

    ESL wins “Western Europe's Star Agency” STM award for the third time.

    Opening of new drop-in offices in Aarau, Torino, Bilbao and Frankfurt.

    ESL organises its first international workshop in Montreux bringing together leaders of the education industry from all over the world.

    Shared Service Center opening in Barcelona.

    Launching of new website and refreshed brand identity

  • 2013

    Opening of a new ESL drop-in office in Freiburg.

  • 2012

    Opening of new drop-in offices in Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, Antwerp, Verona, Valencia, Winterthur and Nouméa.

    ESL launches its CSR self-assessment tool and assists language schools with developing their own sustainable development action plans.

  • 2011

    Opening of new agency drop-in offices in Barcelona, Berlin and Bogota.

    Swedish office moves from Göteborg to Stockholm.

    ESL launches its Family product line.

    ESL launches its Teacher Training product line.

    For the second time ESL is elected "Western Europe's Star Agency" of the year by the Language Travel Magazine, highest honour in the language studies abroad industry.

  • 2010

    New agency drop-in agency offices in Madrid, Vienna, Lyon, Bologna, Brussels, Luxemburg, Strasbourg and Cologne.

    Swedish office moves from Helsingborg to Göteborg.

    ESL offers the largest selection of programmes for juniors, adults, professionals or 50 plus as well as the widest selection of languages including Dutch, Thai and Turkish, totalling 14 foreign languages in full immersion.

    ESL is the first agency to offer English programmes in more than 13 countries including India and the Philippines.

    ESL is elected "Western Europe's Star Agency" of the year by the Language Travel Magazine, highest honour in the language studies abroad industry.

  • 2009

    Opening of new agency drop-in offices in Bellinzona, Lausanne, Lucerne, Nice, Munich and Rome.

    Another “Best Agency” nomination at the LTM awards.

    ESL advertising campaign wins the prize “Grand Prix Romand de la Création”

  • 2008

    A policy of Sustainable Development is written into the company code of ethics.

    Opening of new agency drop-in offices in Basel, Bern, Locarno, St Gallen and Paris.

    A new head office at 50 Grand Rue, Montreux, looking out over Lake Geneva.

    Another “Best Agency” nomination at the LTM awards.

  • 2007

    Opening of a new agency drop-in office in Geneva.

    ESL is nominated by language schools as one of the five leading language travel agencies in Europe at the annual LTM Awards.

  • 2006

    Opening of new agency drop-in offices in Milan, Zurich, Widnau, Lugano, Prague and Panama.

  • 2004

    ESL agency launches its Gap Year product line, specialized in internship placements abroad or job placements as part of the language study experience.

  • 2003

    ESL offers its services internationally. Again, everything is managed to the same exacting standards as in Switzerland.

  • 2002

    ESL’s first overseas office opens, in Helsingborg, Sweden. We work exceptionally hard to ensure that the same standards are maintained in other markets as at home in Switzerland.

  • 1998

    ESL is the first language travel agency to offer a portfolio of 11 languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Arab and Greek.

  • 1996

    Alain Vadi and Patrick Siegenthaler start ESL Ecole Suisse de Langues, offering language summer camps for juniors in two small mountain stations; Les Paccots and Diablerets in French-speaking Switzerland.

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