Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Bringing membership to life: From management consultancy to language training Part 1




John Barry Haywood MCIL

English / French

Business owner of study abroad programmes



I founded the Eurolingua Institute in 1993 but the inspiration and skills were born out of my teenage interest in French, my early career in export marketing, and my twenty years as an International Management Consultant.

At an early stage, I realised that a professional qualification in French would help my career, so I studied for the Institute of Linguists examinations and became an Associate (AIL) in 1977. Working at the time as a consultant in Paris, I remember that I had to fly back to the UK to take the Associate examination in Liverpool. Some years later, I was upgraded to Full Member (MCIL)

Working and living abroad on assignments in mainly French-speaking countries such as Algeria, France, Belgium, Tunisia, Morocco and the Côte d’Ivoire, soon turned my somewhat ‘academic’ French into real-life spoken French.

However, by the early 1990s, I had already travelled extensively in the USA, Europe and the Middle East as a consultant and I needed a change. I turned for advice to my mentor, friend and erstwhile French coach, a graduate of Oxford University. He suggested I find a way to combine my organisational ability, marketing and management skills with my interest in languages, and the Eurolingua Institute was born in July 1993.

Using my linguistic and organisational skills, combined with extensive travel experience, I decided to set up various language study abroad programmes, initially in the UK and France, the goal being total linguistic and cultural immersion for the client/student over a period of one to four weeks, living as a guest in the tutor’s family home. We call it 'One-to-One Language Homestay Immersion'.

From experience, it was obvious to me that the best way to learn a language in any meaningful way is to spend time in a country where the target language is spoken nationally.

I struck on the idea of placing students of any age from 16 to 75 years in the family home of a qualified and experienced native speaking tutor. Total immersion in the language, culture and local activities 24/7 for one to four weeks works extremely well. I started from a UK base but quickly moved to Montpellier, South of France, where I lived for over fifteen years.

2019 is the Eurolingua Institute’s 26th year of operation. We now offer our One-to-One Language Homestay Immersion programmes in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, at any time of year and always in a country where the target language is spoken nationally. 

The Eurolingua Institute welcomes hearing from international language students, qualified homestay language tutors and language agents. You can see our current international destinations, tutor profiles and photos on

Read part 2 here.

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