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.


Courses on our campus in 2021:
Come to learn, apply theory in practice and get feedback from the experts! In our facilities tailored to what we teach!

We really miss our students and hope that this Summer the borders will open and the many restrictions be lifted!

Now that many schools have given their courses online for several months, teachers and students find that not all subjects are interesting when taught online. Class interaction between teachers and students, exchanging ideas with classmates from many different backgrounds and cultures, are indispensable when attending courses such as the ones we offer at IVP (Institut Villa Pierrefeu). And nothing can replace the hands-on practice and the constant feedback that makes for real progress!

We are happy to announce that the following intensive etiquette courses will be offered at our facilities.

June Seminar - from June 13th to 17th, 2021;
July Seminar - from July 26th to July 30th, 2021;
August Seminar - from August 2nd to 6th, 2021.
September Seminar - from September 27th to October 1st, 2021.
April Seminar - April 2022;
Summer Course - from mid June to end of July, 2022;

Because there are still restrictions on entering Switzerland when travelling from so many countries and no tourist visas being delivered, we deeply regret that we have had to cancel our unique 6-week Higher Certificate and Diploma in International Etiquette and Protocol courses for the second successive year. We very much hope that it will be possible to offer them again in June and July 2022.


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: June 13th, 2021, July 26th, 2021, August 2nd, 2021, September 27th, 2021 or April 2022 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"
    (June: 13.06 - 17.06.2021, July: 26.07 - 30.07.2021, August: 02.08 - 06.08.2021 or September: 27.09 - 01.10.2021)

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

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

  4. Understand formal table service, settings and styles

  5. Refining your knowledge of cutlery and tableware

  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 tea cultures

  12. 4 dining tutorials at lunch with feedback

  13. Week ECD - Exploring Cultural Differences
    (Dates to be announced)

    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

    Dos and don’ts in conversation

    Dos 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 an hotel or another place nearby and come as "day student".

    Special Covid application conditions for the one-week courses: Bearing in mind the present uncertainties of the pandemic, you can apply without any payment or financial obligations and we will contact you before May 15th for the June session, before July 1st for the July and August sessions and before September 1st for the September session, to see whether you can travel and wish to confirm your attendance. If you then confirm and pay the fees within one week you can still get the “Early bird” reduction.


  1. 2. Intensive International Etiquette & Protocol Courses (3 to 6 weeks). Shifted to: mid-June or July , 2022, for women over 18 years old.

Summer IEP: Business and social international etiquette

  1. Our exclusive six-week Summer Higher Certificate or Diploma course is scheduled from mid-June to end of July, but you can also apply just for the first or second three weeks and complete the program following year.

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

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

  4. 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, Key aspects of Leadership, Facing the Media, Practical Housekeeping, Home Management and several "one of a kind" sessions). Age: 18 to 40 (+).

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

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

  7. Special Covid application conditions for the Summer courses:

    You can apply now without payment or financial obligations. This puts you on the priority list and we will contact you by May 1st  2022 to see whether you can travel and wish to confirm your attendance. Only if you then confirm do the fees and deposit have to be paid.


  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 another 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