The Brillantmont summer course has been running for more than thirty years. It is extremely popular and many students return year after year. For some, it is their first time away from home ; for others, it is a way of getting to know Brillantmont before commencing the school year in September. During the summer course many of excursions and activities include all the students together and this is a very important part of the Brillantmont experience, making friends from all over the world and feeling at home.
The summer course is for boys and girls aged 10-17 and students come from around 30 different countries. They study French or English in the mornings and take sports classes in the afternoons. There are many evening activities and a busy excursion programme at weekends.
Students choose to stay between two to six weeks. The programme is not a fixed block. This means that if a student stays for six weeks, he/she will study something new each week and will join new activities and excursions. All departures and arrivals take place on Saturdays.
We want the summer course students to make progress in their chosen language but we also want them to enjoy themselves and have memorable experiences. The programme is great value for money because there are no hidden extras in the price – everything is included. Only a small amount of pocket money needs to be provided.
Many summer school staff also work at Brillantmont during the school year. The Direction of the summer course is the same as during the school year.
Students choose to study French or English. Parents sometimes worry that their child is a total beginner, but we have classes at all levels, from total beginner right up to advanced. On arrival, students are tested in their chosen language and put into the appropriate class. The average class size is 12 students, so there is a lot of teacher contact.
The language classes take place in the mornings from 09h00 to 12h15, with a 15 minute break in the middle. In the first period, the student focuses on grammar and language structure, whereas, in the second period, with a different teacher, the focus is more on communication and oral fluency.
The classes often go out around Lausanne to put their language skills to good use – at the local market, the cathedral, the city centre or an exhibition.
Wednesday afternoons are given over to a class field trip to visit a place of cultural interest, such as the Cailler chocolate factory, the Chillon castle, the Olympic Museum. Normally, a guide leads the students or they join an interactive workshop. They prepare the field trip beforehand in class.
On Fridays, a small test checks the student’s weekly progress. On departure, all students receive a certificate with a grade and a teacher comment and take a full file of work home to show their parents.
Every afternoon, students take sports classes with others of the same age. We try to vary the sports so everyone gets the chance to try lots of different activities and maybe some new ones. Sports may include tennis, basketball, trampolining, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, zumba, running circuits, unihockey Some classes take place on campus; others take place in the surrounding area and by the lake, where if the conditions are suitable, students can enjoy the banana boat, stand-up paddle or windsurfing.
Usually twice a week, the students have a study period in which to do homework. Depending on the programme, this might be before or after dinner. Several evenings per week, an activity is organised, such as a quiz night, basketball tournament, games evening, cinema evening or out of school enjoying ice-skating, bowling or a lakeside walk. Every Friday there is a school barbecue followed by a disco.
Saturdays is the day when students arrive and leave. For those who are staying, we organise an excursion in the Lausanne area or maybe further afield to visit Berne or Geneva. On Sundays, a whole school excursion takes place. In recent years, this has been to glacier walking and rock climbing in Arolla; a moutain tree climbing circuit; caves in Vallorbe; underground salt mines in Bex; Aquaparc water park; a walking adventure hunt, mountain karting in Morgins, a hike to the Moiry dam.
*Please note that the sports, excursions and activities listed above are examples and the programme offered may vary.
Q : Does the programme repeat itself ?
A: No. Students arrive and leave on Saturdays and stay for between two and six weeks. The content of the programme changes so that if you stay for six weeks, you will not be repeating the same things you have already learnt. The excursions and activities also change to give as much variety as possible.
Q : What is the weather like in Switzerland ?
A : The summers are usually warm, with temperatures around 25 degrees. However, since we live in an Alpine climate, the temperature can change quickly. Sometimes the temperatures rise to around 30 and sometimes they may drop and be quite cool.
Q : What clothes do I need to bring ?
A : Please refer to this clothing list.
Q : How can I wash my clothes ?
A : The school has a laundry room with washers and dryers. Brillantmont provides washing powder and the teachers show the students how to use the machines.
Q : How much money do I need to bring ?
A : Everything is included in the summer course fees but you should have a small amount of pocket money, so you can buy postcards, drinks, small gifts. Pocket money is handed over to the school on arrival and kept in the school safe. You can collect pocket money at break every day.
Q : Are towels provided ?
A : Yes.
Q : Shall I bring a hairdryer ?
A : No. Hairdryers are available in each bathroom. Students are not allowed to have hairdryers in their bedrooms, for safety reasons.
Q : What sort of sports clothes do I need ?
A : You need shorts and t-shirts and trainers. However, for cooler days you may wish to bring jogging pants and a long-sleeved top.
Q : How do I know which language class I will go into ?
A : You will take a placement test when you arrive, to check your level. We have classes at all levels.
Q : Are sports in the afternoon compulsory ?
A : Yes. The sports are very varied and you will get to try many different sports whilst you are here and maybe some new ones.
Q : Can I take French and English ?
A : You have to choose between French or English; you cannot take both.
Q : Can I use the Internet ?
A : When you have free time, you may have access to the Internet in the computer areas.
Q : Can I bring my laptop computer ?
A : Yes, but it is not required. All the buildings have a wireless connection.
Q : What about people who need to eat special food ?
A : If a student has an allergy or has a special dietary requirements, for either medical or religious reasons, the school needs to be informed before his/her arrival. Special meals will be provided in such cases.
Any other question?
You can find lots more information about Summer Course life and our expectations in the rules.