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 2021/2022:
Come to learn, apply theory in practice and get feedback from the experts! In our facilities tailored to what we teach!

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! Though we had to cancel our 2021 Summer Diploma Course because borders opened too late, it has been a joy to give our in-depth one week seminars to small groups of participants.

The following intensive etiquette courses are planned for the remainder of 2021 and for 2022. They will be offered at our facilities.

September Seminar - from September 27th to October 1st, 2021;
December Seminar - from December 13th to 17th, 2021;
January Seminar - from January 10th to 14th, 2022;
April Seminar - from April 4th to 8th, 2022;
June Seminar - from June 6th to 10th, 2022;
Summer Course - from June 19th to July 29th, 2022;
August Seminar - from August 4th to 8th, 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 on "European Art of Dining" (1 week) for men & women over 18 years old (no upper age limit).

    Starting: September 27th, 2021, December 13th, 2021, January 10th, 2022, April 4th, 2022, June 6th, 2022 or August 4th, 2022.

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.

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

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

  3. Understand formal table service, settings and styles

  4. Refining your knowledge of cutlery and tableware

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

  6. Pairing food with wine

  7. After dinner coffee variables

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

  9. Business meals and restaurant etiquette

  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 and practice with "tricky foods"

  13. 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 a month before the course you applied for is due to begin, 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) for women over 18 years old (no upper age limit)..

    6 weeks from: June 19th to July 29th, 2022 or, 3 weeks from June 19th to July 8th or July 10th to July 29th, 2022.

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 three weeks (June 19th to July 8th, 2022) or second three weeks (July 10th to July 29th, 2022) 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), Official and Diplomatic 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