Preparing for your Study abroad adventure

All the practical information to prepare for your trip with ELS

Do I need a visa?

Depending on your nationality, the length of your stay and the program you choose to undertake, you may need a visa to visit the United States, Canada, Europe or Australia.

The information below is applicable to French, Belgian and Swiss passport holders. Every attempt has been made to ensure the information is as accurate as possible, however it is included for illustrative purposes only and we recommend that you contact the Embassy of your destination country for the most up-to-date information.

Staying in the United States

Visits of less than 90 days for programs with less than 18 class-hours per week do not require a visa. However, you must have a valid passport and fill out the ESTA form online before your trip.

For visits of more than 90 days or for programs with more than 18 class-hours per week, you must apply for a visa before departure. The necessary visa to attend ELS language classes is the F-1 Student Visa.

When you register with ELS, be sure to ask about your visa requirements so we can send you the I-20 documentation that you will need when making your application to the Embassy. You must call the Embassy in advance to make an appointment and will be required to submit several documents, including a copy of your valid passport.

For more information, visit the website of the Embassy of the United States on or contact your local ELS councilor.

Staying in Australia

For visits of less than three months, you do not need a visa. However, you will need to register for an electronic travel authorization, or an "eVisitor", that you can receive for free when booking your flight at a travel agency.

Visits of longer than three months require a Student Visa. This visa will allow you to undertake English courses and work for up to 20 hours a week.

French and Belgian passport holders are eligible for an Australian Working Holiday Visa that allows you to remain in Australia for up to a year, to work and to undertake up to 17 weeks of English courses.

Staying in Canada

For visits of less than six months, French, Belgian and Swiss passport holders do not require a visa. However, if you want to undertake work alongside your studies, you can apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa (French and Belgian passport holders only)

Staying in Europe

European Union passport holders will not require a visa to study in Europe, regardless of their length of study.

Students who do not hold a European Union passport are likely to need a visa for their stay. For visits of less than three months, a Schengen visa will be required. For visits of more than three months, a student visa will be required: in France, for example, this is known as a VLS-TS visa. For further information about visas to France, where ELS’s first European center is located, please go to or to

What type of insurance do I need?

All ELS students must have medical insurance during their stay abroad.

In Australia, Student Visa holders must also apply to the OSHC (Overseas Students Health Cover) for the duration of their stay.

If you are unable to provide proof of your insurance coverage (in English) for potential medical costs at the time of arrival, you can take out coverage on the ELS Student Health Plan. You will receive more information about this upon your arrival at an ELS center.

Can I make a last minute enrollment?

In the case of a late enrollment, ELS will send all documents via Express Mail Delivery, which is the fastest delivery option provided by DHL Express Courier. Documents sent this way usually arrive within 24 hours of postage.

  • Rate for international postage: 100 USD

  • Rate for domestic postage (within the USA): 60 USD

What date is the application deadline?

There is no deadline to register for an ELS course. However, the earlier your application is sent to us, the sooner our admissions offices can process your request. In this way, you will have time to receive your welcome package and make any necessary plans, such as visa applications, prior to departure.

Can I be picked up from the airport?

We can arrange a transfer for you from the airport. If you would like to use this service, inform us prior to your departure and include the details of your flight itinerary. The cost of airport transfers depends on the destination.