ESA
Group Languages Courses

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What are the costs?

The language courses are available to all ESA employees and their spouses and are offered at a discounted rate as per the agreement between Berlitz and ESA. Depending on your position and situation within ESA, you may be entitled to a (partial) subsidy on the tuition costs. If you are unsure of which category you fall under, please inquire internally with ESA. Berlitz is unable to advise you on your classification within ESA.

Costs per group

For all participants, your only additional costs above tuition are for your necessary digital materials: €40,00 per participant for the entire course.

This means that the total costs are:

Contractors and their spouses : €487,50 tuition + €40,00 materials = €527,50

Staff Members, YGT's, Research Fellows, National Trainees and Spouses (all language courses): €243,75 tuition + €40,00 materials = €283,75

Newcomer Permanent Staff Members: €0.00 tuition + €40.00 materials = €40,00

Staff Members, YGT's, Research Fellows and National Trainees receive 50% tuition subsidy from ESA. If you are a Spouse of a Staff Member, YGT, Research Fellow or National Trainee, you can also benefit from 50% tuition subsidy. If this applies to you, you will receive an invoice from Berlitz for 50% tuition plus the material costs.

Newcomer Permanent Staff Members who have arrived at one of ESA locations within 1 year prior to the start date of the course can take advantage of fully-subsidized tuition for a course in the local language. This offer is to encourage integration in the country in which you are living. Please fill in your date of arrival below to take advantage of this offer. In this case you will receive an invoice from Berlitz only for the material costs. Should you want to study a language other than the local language in your host country, you will then only receive a 50% tuition subsidy.

Contractors and their spouses may also participate in the courses at the specially agreed price, however they will not receive any tuition subsidy from ESA.For all participants, your only additional costs above tuition are for your necessary digital materials: €40,00 per participant for the entire course.

FAQ

About the Language Course

Which languages can I study?

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There are courses available for the following languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish.

How long are the courses?

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All courses consist of 60 hours of online group lessons and run from October 10th 2022 to June 2023.

What are the course schedules?

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Each course consists of 1 lesson per week, the lessons are 2 hours long (in total 30 lessons). The day and time for your group will be made known before the lessons commence. Most of the lessons will take place in the morning (starting at 7:30 or 8:00) or the late afternoon (starting at 17:00 or 17:30).

Where do the lessons take place?

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All the lessons take place online using MS TEAMS. It is possible to join the lessons from any ESA location, or from any quiet location with a stable internet connection.

Which levels do you offer?

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We offer courses at 5 different proficiency levels, please see the level descriptions below:

Total Beginner
> This course is suitable for you if you can't yet speak any of the target language or only know a couple of words.
> Starting level: CEF A0.

Beginners Plus
> This course is suitable for you if you already have some basic knowledge of the target language (for example, you can introduce yourself and ask a few simple everyday questions), but you are not yet able to use the target language in the majority of daily life situations.
> Starting level: +/- mid CEF A1.

Pre-Intermediate
> This course is suitable for you if you already feel comfortable speaking the target language in a variety of simple situations in daily life. Maybe you can even already use some past tense (for example, briefly tell what you did last weekend or on your last holiday), but you don't yet feel comfortable having more complex conversations.
> Starting level: +/- mid CEF A2.

Intermediate
> This course is suitable for you if you already feel comfortable speaking the target language in most informal settings. You are able to explain in detail about your personal interests and some work topics, but still find it a challenge to express a lot of nuance.
> Starting level: +/- end CEF A2 / beginning CEF B1.

Upper-Intermediate / Advanced
> This course is suitable for you if you already are able to work in the target language and are looking to further professionalize your skills.
> Starting level: mid CEF B1 and higher.

How do I determine which level is right for me?

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During the registration process you can indicate if you have experience in the target language. If not, you will be enrolled in the Total Beginner level. If you have experience with the target language, you will be asked to complete an online self-test. The results of this self-test are sent to Berlitz where they are reviewed by a teacher. Berlitz will decide which course fits you best based on these results and inform you by email before the start of the course.

If you have already completed a Berlitz-ESA group course and wish to re-enroll in a course for the same language, you do not need to complete the online self-test. In that case, you can simply indicate in which group you previously participated, and tell us whether you would like to re-take a course at the same level or if you wish to proceed to the next level.

How are the lessons taught?

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We use the Berlitz method for all the courses on offer. Some important elements of the Berlitz Method to be aware of are:

  • Immersive – the entire course is taught in the target language, English will seldom if ever be used in the classroom (with the notable exception of the English courses!)
  • Interactive – active student participation is encouraged in the classroom, you will be asked to practice speaking the language with both the teacher and other students.
  • Intuitive Grammar – Grammar is mostly taught intuitively, learned through exposure and practice with real-world examples of the language. Explicit explanations of grammar rules are seldom used, but of course the teacher is always available to answer questions should they arise!

For a more in-depth explanation of the Berlitz Method, please view the following video: The Berlitz Method - YouTube

What Materials will I receive?

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All the courses are accompanied by digital materials. In most cases this is an e-book, however pdf documents are used for a few of the courses. In addition to the textbook, the courses will come with an interactive exercise book or online platform for self-study, homework and revision. All materials will be sent via email prior to your first lesson.

What if I can’t attend the lessons?

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While we encourage attendance both for your own progress in the target language and for the group dynamics, we also understand that you are busy and might not be able to attend all the lessons. There is no requirement to attend the lessons, and you will not be pressured or questioned on attendance by either Berlitz or ESA.

Will lessons take place on public holidays?

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The course will follow the holiday calendar applicable to the location where most participants work. For example, if the majority of participants in your group work at ESTEC in the Netherlands, your group will follow the holiday calendar for the Netherlands. Unfortunately, that means that in some cases lessons may be scheduled during an official holiday for some participants. The final and complete schedule for your course will be shared with you in the week of your first lesson.

Payment

How much do the courses cost?

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There is a standard tuition cost agreed between Berlitz and ESA, however many participants can make use of an additional (partial) subsidy from ESA. Please refer to our cost overview for more details and actual prices What are the Costs?

How do I determine which situation applies to me and which subsidies I am entitled to?

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If you are unsure about your status at ESA or which subsidy applies to your situation, you can send an email with the relevant details and questions to estec.Training@esa.int. Unfortunately Berlitz is unable to advise you on this point.

How do I pay for my course?

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Once your registration is complete and you have been placed in a group, you will receive an invoice from Berlitz via email. You are required to pay the invoice by bank transfer. The bank transfer can be made through most online banking tools or through external platforms such as PayPal. All of the details needed to make the bank transfer are listed on the invoice. If you are experiencing difficulty or have questions about the payment process, please feel free to reach out to us at esa@berlitz.nl

How long do I have to pay for my course?

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You are required to pay for the course within 14 days of receiving the invoice. If this is not possible, please let us know via email before the 14 day payment term has expired. You may reach out to us at esa@berlitz.nl

What if my situation changes and I wish to cancel the course?

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We will accept cancellations until the 7th of October at 17:00. If you have already paid for the course, you will be reimbursed in full. All courses will commence in the week of 10 October. Cancellation is not possible after 17:00 on the 7th of October, it will also not be possible to request reimbursements after this date.

What if there aren’t enough enrollments and my group doesn’t go through?

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In the unlikely event that your group course cannot proceed due to a lack of enrolments, you will be personally informed of this via email. We will first look for a suitable alternative together with you. If you have already paid for the course, and no suitable alternatives can be found or accepted, you will receive a full reimbursement.

Technical Requirements

My device is not yet running on Microsoft 365, will this affect my lesson experience?

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You will still be able to attend the lessons, you will be able to see your teacher and classmates, and you will be able to participate in all the activities during a lesson. There will be some functions of MS TEAMS which will either not work or will have technical problems. Examples include the chat function. Our teachers are aware of this issue, please let them know if this is the case and teachers will be able to offer you an alternative way to access the information.

Do I need a headset, second screen or other hardware besides my laptop/computer?

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No, a computer is all you need to attend the lessons. We do recommend a headset if you are unable to find a quiet spot to attend the lesson. A second screen is also helpful, but not required, when following the lessons – this allows you to have the digital materials open while also running MS TEAMS, and have both windows displayed in full-screen. 

Other Questions

I have questions not answered here, how can I contact you?

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We are happy to answer all your questions and invite you to send an email at any time! In order to assist you faster, please direct your questions to the appropriate inbox:

  • For questions about registration, payment, cancellation, course content or the agreement between ESA and Berlitz, please direct your questions to ESA@berlitz.nl
  • For questions about your course schedule, course material, online exercise platform, or link to your TEAMS meeting, please contact our planning department mentioning “ESA” in the email subject line. They can be reached at customerservice@berlitzbenelux.com
  • For questions about your employment at ESA, which category your function belongs to, or general questions concerning the internal process for language courses at ESA, please direct your email to estec.Training@esa.int
  • For questions about the target languages, grammar, vocabulary or other lesson contents, please write down your questions and ask them to the teacher during the lesson hours.
  • For other questions, please send an email with as many details as possible to esa@berlitz.nl

Terms and Conditions

Payment Terms

Payment for your tuition and material costs will be arranged directly with Berlitz. When you are entitled to a subsidy from ESA on the tuition costs, this will be automatically deducted from your payment to Berlitz, you will not need to pay this upfront. After registering, and once your group is confirmed, you will receive a request for payment from Berlitz in the form of an invoice sent by email. All participants are required to pay for both their tuition and their materials within two weeks (14 days) after receiving the payment request. If we have not received payment at least 1 work day prior to the start of the courses, you will not be able to attend the lessons. Once lessons have commenced, it will no longer be possible to withdraw your enrolment. If you stop attending the lessons there will be no reimbursement. Should your group not reach the minimum number of participants, and if Berlitz is unable to offer you a suitable alternative group, no fee will be charged to you. In the unlikely situation that you have already paid for the course but for internal reasons the course cannot be delivered, you will be reimbursed in full.

Copyright

The offered learning materials are exclusively intended for personal use. All the itemsprovided by Berlitz, such as books, practice tests, readers and software are exclusivelyintended for personal use and are protected by copyright vested in Berlitz or third parties.Without the express permission from Berlitz, these items may not be reproduced, disclosedand/or otherwise brought to the knowledge of third parties or provided to third parties,during the term of the course as well as thereafter, nor is it permitted to disclose thematerials in an altered form, or to use these in one's own name without permission in writingfrom Berlitz. The copyright/ownership rights to the course are fully vested in Berlitz.

Personal Data

Berlitz stores and processes your personal data for its own planning and preparation purposes. Your contact details and course placement details may also be shared with ESA upon request. Under no circumstances is your personal information shared with an external party. You may revoke permission to this use of your data at any time by sending an emailwith subject line “Data Protection" to info@berlitz.nl . Your data shall then be deleted.