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LSF acquires centre in “Venice of the Alps”

The LSF Montpellier French school has acquired the IFALPES French school, in a strategic move to meet demand for “crucial” Swiss, German, Italian, and French language learners.

Annecy, 'the Venice of the Alps', is at the gateway to three vital source markets, LSF Montpellier French school said. Photo: pxhere

The city's close proximity to Geneva International Airport is a "considerable asset" to attract students from all over the world

Based in the southeastern French city of Annecy, IFALPES had been owned by business school operator IPAC group since 2006.

“A lot of our partner agents are very interested in a centre for juniors in Annecy”

“This acquisition is a tremendous opportunity for LSF, which will be able to expand its reach more widely thanks to this strategic location,” said Marc Lavigne Delville, manager of LSF and president of IFALPES.

“Annecy is at the gateway of Switzerland, Germany and Italy, three crucial markets for LSF.”

The city’s close proximity to Geneva International Airport, with its many air links, is a “considerable asset” to attract students from all over the world to learn French, Lavigne Delville added.

A French Summer Junior Camp is planned in Annecy for 2019, based on lessons learned from the Montpellier school’s experience.

“We are creating a French Summer Junior Camp in Annecy in 2019, along similar lines to the successful one we have run in Montpellier for more than 20 years,” Lavigne Delville said.

“A lot of our partner agents have told us that they are very interested in a centre for juniors, aged 11-16, in Annecy, given its wonderful location, [its] lake and mountains. [It is] a very peaceful and safe town.”

Since 1996, LSF has been teaching French as a foreign language in Montpellier and hosts around 3,000 students every year, while IFALPES welcomes about 500 students a year from 50 different countries.

LSF boasted students from 85 countries in 2018, with Germans representing 11% and Swiss 10%.

“We always have a minimum 25 different nationalities in our adult centre throughout the year, even in December and January, our quietest months,” Lavigne Delville explained. “We also had 32 different nationalities in our junior summer camp, with a minimum 12 different nationalities each week.”

In the year up to August 31 2018, IFALPES had a turnover of €725,000, and Lavigne Delville expects to receive around 750 adult students and around 120 juniors in the first year.

Currently, most students are still placed in host families by the schools, but the hope is that the schools will use the Bedycasa platform, which LSF acquired in November 2017.

In June 2019, Bedycasa will launch its Bed & Learn program, which aims to help schools manage accommodation placements for their students.

“Naturally LSF Montpellier and IFALPES Annecy will be the first users of this new platform,” said Lavigne Delville.

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