Institut Villa Pierrefeu

Learning the importance of local knowledge in 20 countries across 5 continents

Institut Villa Pierrefeu :: The Original Swiss Finishing School has developped over 50 years a know-how in International Business and Social Etiquette second to none.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and seeing how it has developed worldwide, with each country at a different level of impact, with borders closing, visas put on hold, airlines grounding, etc. we now see that it will not be possible to hold the following courses:

June Seminar - from June 14th to 18th, 2020;
Summer Course - from June 21st to July 31st, 2020;
August Seminar - from August 3rd to 7th, 2020.

We hope to resume our courses by this Autumn with:

October Seminars - from September 28th to October 2nd, 2020;
April Seminar - from April 12th and 19th, 2021;
June Seminar - from June 13th to 17th, 2021;
Summer Course - from June 20th to July 30th, 2021.

In the over 65-year history of IVP this is the first time we have had to cancel a Summer course, but events leave us with no alternative.

We hope that you and your families, those of the prospective students as well as those of our many alumni, will remain safe and healthy. We look forward to being able to provide you with our unique courses once this pandemic has subsided.


Why Institut Villa Pierrefeu

With over 65 years of experience, Institut Villa Pierrefeu is a traditional Finishing School of the type the world expects from Switzerland. Elegant, exclusive and charming, it will prepare you for a role in the business world and society, aiming to help you become more effective in multicultural environments and dealings.

IVP was described in a recently published German book by famous author Wolfgang KOYDL as one of the 33 things one should have done or seen while in Switzerland.

We offer several Finishing programs:

  1. 1. Intensive Etiquette Seminar (1 to 2 weeks). Starting: April 12th, 2021  or June 13th, 2021 or August 2nd, 2021) for men & women over 21 years old.

Winter intensive: International dining manners

  1. The Intensive Etiquette Seminars are two very useful 5 day courses for anyone wanting to understand multi-cultural diversity and avoid making costly social or business mistakes. Attend both or only the one of your choice.

  2. Week EAD - European "Art of Dining"
    (April 12.04 - 16.04.2021, June: 13.06 - 17.06.2021 or August: 02.08 - 06.08.2021)

    The traditions, evolution and present usage in the European “Art of dining”, with some practice.

  3. European Table manners (French, European & English style)

  4. •  Understand formal table service, settings and styles

  5. Refining your knowledge of cutlery

  6. Menu planning and structures, European menu sequences. Food and drink taboos

  7. Pairing food with wine

  8. After dinner coffee variables

  9. Precedence and conversation at the table as well as small talk

  10. Types and styles of invitations, Dress codes for formal and informal occasions

  11. Traditions and history of English tea and three other European cultures

  12. 4 dining tutorials at lunch with feedback

  13. Week ECD - Exploring Cultural Differences
    (April: 19.04 - 23.04.2021)

    To give you a detailed overview of international customs and etiquette.
    Very useful for anyone wanting to understand multicultural diversity.

  14. International communications: comparing cultures

  15. European, Asian, American (North and Latin) and Middle Eastern customs including:

    Greetings, introductions and forms of address

    Do’s and don’ts in conversation

    Do’s and don’ts in giving gifts and flowers

    Dress codes

  16. 3 master classes on International dining skills (non-European as European dining skills are covered in detail in week EAD)

  17. Students can reside on campus ("residents") or stay at a hotel or an other place nearby and come as "day student".

  1. 2. Intensive International Etiquette & Protocol Courses (3 to 6 weeks). Starting: June 20th or July 11th, 2021) for women over 18 years old.

Summer IEP: Business and social international etiquette

  1. IVP Diploma (36 weekly hours of class) in IEP (International Etiquette & Protocol) courses.

  2. Higher Certificate (28 weekly hours of class) in IEP (International Etiquette & Protocol) courses.

  3. These are intensive programs of International Etiquette (covering 20 countries), Protocol, “Savoir-Vivre”, Business Etiquette, Table Service, Hostessing, Floral Art & Table Decoration. (Extra courses: Effective Communication, Personal Presentation, Home Management and several "one of a kind" sessions). Age: 18 to 40 (+).

  4. The full course is planned over 6 weeks but it is also possible to do 3 weeks in June or 3 weeks in July.

  5. Students can reside on campus ("residents") or stay at a hotel or an other place nearby and come as "day student".

  1. 3. Bespoke course and special training on request. (A fee of CHF 1'250.- is charged for the proposal. It will be deducted from the final cost).

Seminar: Teaching professional from around the world

  1. Examples of tailor-made programs given on our own campus

  2. Introduction to European manners and lifestyle to participants from other cultures.

  3. Intensive course in the customs and mores of European, American, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures.

  4. Diplomatic usage and Protocol, International customs, European etiquette variations for VIP Ladies from an other culture.

  5. Examples of tailor-made seminars we have given in other countries

  6. In Japan: International customs one should know when traveling and when receiving foreign guests.

  7. In the Middle East: Diplomatic Protocol, Precedence, European table manners and reception styles, Dress definitions for formal invitations.

  8. Special private two to ten day courses, in their own residence, program chosen from our list of subjects, adapted to the client’s culture and lifestyle.

  9. One week course in an exclusive private school for girls, for the graduating students.

  10. To protect the privacy of our “students” we do not give their names.

  11. In all these programs you will learn to apply theory in practice and develop your personal creativity whilst improving organizational skills.

  12. 4.IVP in the Media.

  13. The New Yorker, October 2018

    THE NEW YORKER (US) - LESSONS FROM THE LAST SWISS FINISHING SCHOOL. By Alice Gregory / Montreux, October 2018. (To Article).

    Time Magazine 2011

    Time Magazine (US) - Switzerland's Last Finishing School. By William LEE ADAMS / Montreux, November 2011. (To Article).

    Time Magazine (Europe) - Mind Your Manners: The Secrets of Switzerland's Last Traditional Finishing School. By William LEE ADAMS / Montreux, November 2011. (To Article).

    Diva Dubai November 2011

    Diva Dubaï - Etiquette and Education: A look inside Switzerland's leading Finishing School. By Mirna FARES / Dubaï, November 2011.(Download Article) - (To Website).

    Bespoke International Issue 32 May 2012

    The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - Manners Reborn: Why it's all change in the last Swiss finishing-school. By Sophie Wilson/ London, December 2012. (Download Article) - (To Website).

    Bespoke International Issue 32 May 2012

    Bespoke International Issue 32 (available in shops) - Finishing Schools: Fit and Finish. By Nadine Khalil / Beyrouth, May 2012. (Download Article) - (To Website).

International Etiquette and protocole

Mrs Viviane NERI Principal
Mr Philippe NERI Director
Route de Caux 28
CH-1823 Glion/Montreux

T: +41 58 750 0 750
F: +41 58 750 0 755




“The past months at Pierrefeu have truly been an incredible experience. I am highly content that I have had the opportunity to study not only in a place where you learn theory and practice, but also where you can mature, learn about life and feel in a family surrounding. (SPAIN)”

“The Summer Course at Pierrefeu was one of the greatest experiences I have ever made. You have a wonderful school with warmhearted, amiable, kind but also resolute teachers / people who could teach me a lot for life! The girls were all great and we spent an amazing time together. I will never forget this breathtaking view of "Lac Léman". (GERMANY)”

Alumni referal

“I graduated from Institut Villa Pierrefeu over 25 years ago. It still stands out in my life as one of the best years of my life.  I have used the skills and knowledge innumerable times, both personally and professionally. It has stood me in excellent stead. I hope for the same for my daughter.” (USA)

Alumni referal