Eurocentres - 60 years of competence and innovation

Pioneer period 1946 – 1960

  • 1948 An idea turns into a school. Erhard Waespi founds his first language school "on the spot" in Bournemouth, on England's south coast. His goal: learning  a language should be a fun, enriching and personal experience, and at the same time, increase awareness and understanding between cultures.
  • 1959 His schools (at that time in Bournemouth and Lausanne) come to the attention of Gottlieb Duttweiler, founder of Migros. He is fascinated by the idea of creating meeting points for adults from all over the world, and thus making possible a dialogue which exceeds all limits set by nationality, race, religion, social position and education. The Federation of Migros Co-operatives takes over the two schools and new centres are opened in Florence, Barcelona and Cologne.
  • 1960 An independent Foundation, under the name Eurocentres - European Language and Educational Centres - is set up by Gottlieb Duttweiler and like-minded people. The number of students per year rises to 4.300.

Initial expansion period 1960 – 1975

In this period the collaboration with schools in France, Spain and the USA begins.

  • 1968 The Council of Europe bestows on Eurocentres (as the only non-governmental organisation) the "Status Consultatif de la Catégorie 1" - advisory status in the field of language teaching and learning.
  • 1969 Eurocentres establishes its Research & Development department in Bournemouth - where the world-famous "Kernel Lessons" take shape.
  • 1975 The number of students exceeds 20 000 per year.

Implementation of new pedagogic concepts 1975 – 1985

The testing and evaluation of "Threshold Level" of the Council of Europe begins in Bournemouth.

  • 1977 London Lee Green is built as the first school in Britain purposely designed for language learning - implementing at the same time pioneer work on new classroom design, the concept of self-access learning in multi-media learning centres and "CALL" (Computer Assisted Language Learning).
  • 1984 Eurocentres Cambridge, the second purpose-built model school for teaching English to adults follows.

Second expansion period 1986 – 1998

  • 1986 The first purpose-built school for teaching German opens in Cologne.
  • 1988 A new school teaching American English is opened in Washington DC-Alexandria.
    A new centre for teaching Japanese is opened in Kanazawa.
  • 1991 Completion of a new purpose-built school in La Rochelle. There are now 3 year-round schools in France – Paris, Amboise and La Rochelle.
  • 1993 The "Eurocentres Scale of Language Proficiency" as a basis for new course certification is put into practice. It is followed by the development of a computerised language testing system called Item banker which enables teachers to generate reliable tests according to their individual needs.
  • 1995 Formulation of a new strategy with the possibility for Eurocentres to offer consultancy for teaching languages in the home country. As a result, the first consultancy agreements in Switzerland, Spain and Brazil take shape.
  • 1999 Formation of partnerships to offer courses in Canada and Malta

Third expansion period 2001 – 2008

  • 2002 There are two Eurocentres schools in Canada, and further partnerships develop through the collaboration with partner schools in Malta, Australia and Spain.
  • 2005 By now there are three Eurocentres schools in Australia: Perth, Brisbane and Cairns, plus Auckland in New Zealand.
  • 2006 New school in the fabulous environment of Cape Town, South Africa. Closure at the end of year of the school in Cologne.
  • 2007 New school for teaching German opens in Berlin.
  • 2008 The Eurocentres school network in Australia is completed with the opening of Eurocentres Sydney.


Eurocentres, with a worldwide network of Eurocentres enrolment offices and agents, welcomes ca. 13 000 students every year to its schools in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. We remain committed to our original goal of teaching languages supremely well and providing high standards of services to our clients.

Dedicated to quality

The Swiss Eurocentres Foundation has been a consultant to the Council of Europe for language learning since 1968 and has played a crucial role in the development of the Common European Framework of Reference for language teaching and learning. As a Foundation Eurocentres has provided top quality language teaching and aims to contribute towards a better understanding among people everywhere by helping to bridge national, cultural and social barriers.


"EAQUALS is an international association of providers of language courses and services which aims to promote high quality within the language education field. In order to become an Accredited Member of EAQUALS, each school must undergo a rigorous external inspection to ensure that the school is able to meet the strict criteria laid down in the EAQUALS Charters. The inspection is repeated every three years. For further information about EAQUALS, visit www.eaquals.org"

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University Placement

University Placement by Eurocentres Berlin
You want to study at a German university? Eurocentres Berlin can help you with the long bureaucratic procedure of enrolment. Read more