Europe’s first football academy offering the largest spectrum of opportunities

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Europe’s first football academy offering the largest spectrum of opportunities

Europe’s first football academy offering the largest spectrum of opportunities

News - 07/30/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

The International Center of European Football is Europe’s first football academy offering the largest spectrum of opportunities.

Student-athletes enrolling at the International Center of European Football put the odds in their favor for a successful future, benefiting from many opportunities on the field as a player, as well as off the field in their professional endeavors in the sports industry.

The 10-month Pro Residency program was expertly developed as a career launching platform with international players in mind, providing custom, individualized and diverse paths that suit the needs of each student-athlete, offering only the best football and academic programs and opportunities to its future football professionals.

Talented football players at ICEF born between 1997 and 2009 reach their maximum potential academically and footballwise, while attending the 10-month Pro Residency Program, and are able to discover their path to future careers, with a wide range of opportunities available to them.

ICEF’s all-around professional preparation program, featuring partnerships with the most prestigious football organizations that have decades of experience in the football industry in Europe, offers players:

Unequalled opportunities to develop as a football player

  • Compete in the official French national league;
  • Get exposed to highly regarded D1 and D2 clubs in Europe;
  • A launching platform to kickstart professional player’s  careers.
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Collegiate preparation and exposure for the DI level in the U.S.

  • Creation of an outstanding football resume combined with impressive highlight videos;
  • Connections with recruiters from top Universities and Colleges in the U.S.;
  • Preparation for ID Camps and Showcases.

Fulfilling educational options to enter the sports industry

  • Complete an education with a Bachelor or Master’s degree;
  • Enrich curriculum by learning a foreign language and culture;
  • Receive advice and mentorship from professionals in the industry;
  • Launch a prosperous career in the sports industry.
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

To participate in this unique experience and attend ICEF’s elite football preparation and boarding school program, players must first try out and get selected. At this time, only 4 spots remain available. The season kicks off on August 24th, 2020.

Fulfilling opportunities in football for the Gen Z-ers.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Fulfilling opportunities in football for the Gen Z-ers.

Fulfilling opportunities in football for the Gen Z-ers.

News - 07/28/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Turning your passion for football into a prosperous career.

In the past decades, the global sports market has been one of the fastest growing industries around the globe, reaching an estimated value of $1.3 trillion. Football (soccer) represents approximately half the sports industry’s value, with over $600 billion of net worth, naturally finding its spot in first place, surpassing all sports worldwide like tennis, golf, car racing and basketball, to mention only a few. Growth is expected to continue, and to blossom into more opportunities for the Gen Z-ers and their future professions, both in the sports industry and in the football market, specifically in the U.S.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

This tendency may explain why this generation, different to others before them, dreams about becoming professional football players instead of dreaming about becoming doctors and lawyers. Although Gen Z-ers are still flocking to these illustrious jobs, a growing number are interested in forging career paths in industries like sports, which have also become notable careers. They share Millennials’ desire to work in jobs that they are passionate about, mixing personal fulfillment and financial security in organizations that align with their values and goals and have high revenue potential.

 

Many students, however, are still not even aware about the growing number and array of different opportunities and careers available in the sports and football industries. Elite players who join ICEF’s 10-month Pro Residency program will be able to fully acknowledge how their academic performance could lead to a prosperous career in a sports organization, in front office, coaching and technical positions.

The International Center of European Football is developing individualized paths to support all student-athletes in their football and academic endeavors, leading them to grow into top athletes and outstanding scholars, ready for careers related to their passion for football. ICEF’s 10-month Pro Residency program, developed by UEFA / FFF certified technical directors, makes connections between student-athlete’s studies and “passion industries,” empowering students to find a fulfilling career, like:

  • Professional football players
  • Administrators, Directors & Managers for different sports organizations
  • Certified football coaches
  • Certified football referees
  • Licensed physical therapists
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Prepare for academic excellence in Europe

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Prepare for academic excellence in Europe

Prepare for academic excellence in Europe

News - 07/23/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Football players do not have to compromise their education in order to pursue their passion for football anymore.
The International Center of European Football is committed to providing the most comprehensive education program through a myriad of accredited options to prepare student-athletes for higher education and broaden their career and life opportunities.

 

From Middle School and High School to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, ICEF partners with prestigious academic institutions such as University of Texas High School, Webster University Geneva and Geneva Business School, to welcome students coming from all over the world in an ideal setting for academic and personal development.

At ICEF we:

  • Offer 100% accredited academic programs and NCAA approved courses;
  • Prepare students for the rigor of collegiate academics;
  • Provide individualized attention, through small class sizes and a low student to teacher ratio, to better meet the needs of each student;
  • Guide and assist all students to ensure they maintain a high GPA and are ready for the college application process, providing additional academic support and tutoring on-site when needed;
  • Adapt school schedules, permitting student-athletes to fully benefit from both football and academic programs;
  • Cultivate exchanges between students from different cultures and nationalities.
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

ICEF’s individualized academic programs

Grades 8th – 12th:

Student-athletes enrolled at the International Center of European Football attend a private boarding school located near the center. Founded in 1948, Saintes Croix des Neiges is amongst the leaders in academic excellence in Europe, and offers an ideal setting for academic and personal development.

College Preparation:

  • SAT & ACT preparation
  • TOEFL & DELF preparation
  • College Advisors
  • French & English language classes
  • NCAA-approved courses (View NCAA-approved courses on the NCAA Eligibility Center website. Use the code 440344 to find UTHS courses.)

College & University: 
Student-athletes enrolled at the International Center of European Football may pursue their higher education in Europe with an outstanding curriculum, campus and student life. The proximity of the center to the Swiss border enables easy access to Webster University Geneva and Geneva Business School’s campus in Geneva, Switzerland. A local train commutes directly between Evian-les-bains and the stations adjacent to each campus in Geneva.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

University of Texas High School:

UT High School is one of the top-rated U.S. online high-schools delivering accredited and innovative academic programs since 1998.
Their NCAA approved program provides the flexibility for over 400 full-time student-athletes to earn their diploma in a way that meets their personal needs with more than 60 online courses and credit by exams, including English, social studies, mathematics, science, world languages, health, computer applications, physical education, economics, and electives. They also offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses in a variety of subject areas and proceed to open enrollment throughout the year allowing students to start courses at any time. All courses are designed by curriculum experts, aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), and are easily transferable for credit in other school districts.

UTHS Best Online High School rankings:
– #2 out of the top 25 in 2018 & 2019 (bestcollegereviews.org)
– #3 out of the top 15 (collegetransitions.com)
– #5 out of the top 50 (thebestschools.org)

Visit official website

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Webster University Geneva:

Established in 1978, Webster University Geneva has served students from around the world in search of a first-class higher education and holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of the main regional accreditors and is recognized by both CHEA and the United States Department of Education. This institutional accreditation has allowed Webster students to be accepted after their graduation into top graduate programs in Switzerland and further afield to places like Kings College London, LSE and NYU and many more across Europe, the U.S. and worldwide. Thanks to these accreditations, the degrees delivered by Webster University Geneva are recognized Internationally, including in the U.S.

Career advice, Alumni support, and Internship placement
Webster University in Geneva provides the tools and guidance to get the best possible start in life as an undergraduate or boost student’s networks and strengthen skills further through graduate programs. The University’s highly skilled internship and alumni department’s efforts have resulted in obtaining more internship offers than students available to fill the vast number of positions.

Programs
In Geneva since 1978, Webster University’s American-style campus is located in a park-like, secure and tranquil setting, a brief walk from Lake Leman, offering spectacular views of Mont Blanc. On campus, students will discover well-equipped classrooms, a library, computer labs, a cafeteria, and various staff offices (student affairs, academic advising, career services).

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs are available in various fields, including: Business Administration, Computer Science, Finance, Psychology, International Relations, Management, Media Studies, and Photography.

Webster University Geneva can also help families of admitted students to activate the traditional federal student aid programs and/or the use of family 529 (tuition investment) plans, since it is a fully-recognized American institution (with a main campus in St. Louis, USA, est. in 1915).

Visit official website

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Geneva Business School:

Geneva Business School is an international private educational institution. Its Geneva Campus is conveniently located nearby the International Center of European Football and offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, MBA programs and diverse education options taught 100% in English, using innovative learning methods and new technologies to fully prepare students for the tools and environment of the professional marketplace. The programs offer students a solid business foundation through the lens of their chosen sector specialization. Their educational mission is mostly driven by the objective of ensuring student success along with the European academic excellence.

ICEF student-athletes may combine their football passion with their academic objectives in the sports industry by pursuing a Bachelor of International Management with a Specialization in Sports Management.

Visit official website

6 Ways to Get Recruited By a Top Collegiate Soccer Program

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

6 Ways to Get Recruited By a Top Collegiate Soccer Program

6 Ways to Get Recruited By a Top Collegiate Soccer Program

News - 07/22/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

In order to get recruited to a top collegiate soccer program, student-athletes have to be amongst the top 400 players that season. They need to go beyond good and play smart, make the best decisions in all game situations and demonstrate that they bring talent and potential to the team and to the university.

The International Center of European Football has developed a college soccer preparatory program that fully supports student-athletes, maximizing their exposure to top collegiate programs by:

1- Reaching the next level through the excellence of the UEFA / FFF methodology. The training and preparation programs at the International Center of European Football were developed by UEFA/ FFF certified Technical Directors and Europe’s highest-ranked youth development experts. ICEF builds smart players, with impeccable work ethic, capable of excelling in all phases of the game, taking excellent and fast decisions at the highest level of soccer in the world.

2- Competing at the French national level: Competing in elite and high level competitions prepares you to stand out at college recruitment events like ID Camps and Showcases and allows you to demonstrate your talent amongst top athletes, through highlight videos. ICEF’s Technical Directors carefully build competition programs with highly regarded professional D1 and D2 partner clubs, allowing players to participate in at least 25 competitive games and 3 European soccer tournaments, for elite experiences and exposure opportunities. The most advanced players enrolled in the 10-month Pro Residency program are selected to join ICEF’s club, Thonon Evian Grand Geneve FC, competing at the French national level in official leagues established by the French Federation of Football.

Learn more about the competition at ICEF

3- Preparing for the rigor of collegiate academics: If you are aiming at playing for a D1 soccer program, you know the importance of maintaining a high GPA and receiving a score on the SAT and/or ACT tests that your college or university of choice deems deserving of admission. ICEF is committed to providing the most comprehensive accredited academic education, offering courses in English, in an ideal setting for academic and personal development with small class sizes, adapted schedules, tutoring programs and college advisors. High school courses and college preparation programs are delivered in partnership with University of Texas High School, one of the top-rated U.S. online high schools delivering accredited and innovative academic programs since 1998.

UT High School delivers an NCAA approved academic program offering flexibility to 11th and 12th grade student-athletes to earn their diploma in a way that meets their football needs with more than 60 online courses and credit by exams, including English, social studies, mathematics, science, world languages, health, computer applications, physical education, economics, and electives.

Learn more ICEF’s accredited academic programs

4- Connecting with college coaches: The whole purpose of training and playing in Europe is to build an outstanding soccer resume filled with unique and elite soccer experiences and competitions. At ICEF, you will also be able to create professional highlight videos to connect with college soccer coaches, multiplying your chances of getting recruited to a top collegiate soccer program.

5- Developing your mental and physical skills: ICEF’s physical and mental development programs delivered by youth development experts guarantee a holistic preparation to maximize your chances of performing at your highest potential during intensive competitions or recruitment events.

6- Enriching your curriculum and cultural experience: Living in a foreign country opens your mind to new perspectives and lifestyles in a unique way. Your values mature and you become more well-rounded and a better global citizen, which is highly appreciated by college coaches and a crucial part of living in today’s global society.

Participation in ICEF’s 10-month Pro Residency program in Europe is the most effective way to maximize your chances of standing out as a top soccer player in front of any opponent or scout. There is no preparation that equates to the excellence of a European training and competition program.

Meet Julien Bernard, Head Coach at the International Center of European Football

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Meet Julien Bernard, Head Coach at the International Center of European Football

Meet Julien Bernard, Head Coach at the International Center of European Football

News - 07/19/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

In preparation for the new season kicking-off on August 24th, Julien Bernard, Head Coach at the International Center of European Football, answered a few questions about last season, the programs and the overall performance of the residents at the center.

Learn more about ICEF’s Head Coach and General Technical Manager:

Early career

“I was a talented football player, preparing for a professional career. I played 2 years for the biggest professional French football academy, Olympique Lyonnais, and 3 years for Grenoble Foot 38 with famous players such as Olivier Giroud, Henri Bedimo, Michael Poté and Jeremy Berthod. However, I decided to put an end to my professional career as a player because my passion for coaching became stronger than my passion for playing. So at age 19, I started to study to become a UEFA A licensed coach to transmit the values conveyed by football and develop players.

Experience in Developing Players

“I initiated my coaching career at FC Lyon which is to this day, one of the best French clubs for non-professional players, and I have developed high potential players into professional players, among them:

  • Hamza Rafia – U23 Juventus FC and Tunisian national player
  • Marvin Tshibuabua – AS Saint-Etienne and U17 French national player
  • Adam Yousfi –  FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and U20 Tunisian national player
  • Kamal Bafounta – Borussia Dortmund Reserve player
  • Muamer Aljic – Clermont Foot player
  • Ayoub Meftai – Thonon Evian Grand Geneve FC player
  • Sabri Randjioui – LB Châteauroux player

They are my biggest pride and I work relentlessly to keep developing new players in the new generation of football requirements and play.”

Role at the International Center of European Football

“I am the Head Coach and General Technical Manager of the Pro Residency Program. My role is to organize and prepare all the football classes, training sessions and games. I supervise and manage the Technical Team and I am in charge of all technical aspects for the academy. I monitor and analyze players’ progress and performance and conduct follow-ups with them and their families.”

Training Methodology

“I believe in the excellence of the European methodology. Particularly the French methodology as I am a product of Olympique Lyonnais, where I learned the rigor, the dedication, and the work ethic beyond the tactical aspect of the game.
The football methodology that we implement in Europe, and specifically in France today, goes the extra mile. We are building very smart players who are acquiring a level of technicity, understanding and vision of the game higher than ever in the history of football. It is rarely a coincidence when a country wins the World Cup. It is a result of the player development system.”

Experience at the International Center of European Football

“I joined this wonderful venture in 2019, and I have felt only pride and pleasure working with the residents since then. I do believe that this football institution is special in the way that it prepares international players for the football of today, the way it nurtures its resident in a family atmosphere, the way it provides all the very best of the European experience but at the same time the way it challenges every individual to grow into elite and team-spirited players. I sincerely believe that there is a lot of talent throughout the world, however it is almost impossible for them to get selected in a professional football academy and play in the official leagues, the way that our international residents do. Our mission is to give players the opportunity to reach the highest level possible, for all who want to develop and play in Europe.”

About the 2019-2020 Residents

“It is hard to generalize the group, but I can say that in only a few months of intensive training, every single player made huge progress. They mastered the ball and demonstrated their impact on opponents. Each of our players stands out in his own way by his leadership, control of the ball, technique, communication skills, teamwork… I am proud of each and every single of them and of their potential. Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic stopped their competitive progress. However, we have been able to work hand in hand from a distance. Thanks to technology and video support, all players have continued to train and progress thanks to constant communication. I have been able to analyze their technical skills improvement and provide individualized feedback and advice to each player. I am looking forward to seeing them again on the field in August!”

What Coach Bernard Looks for in Players

“The International Center of European Football, and by extension I, am looking for players who are passionate. Regardless of their home country, regardless of their qualities and weaknesses, we are here to train them to overcome obstacles and grow into outstanding players. I work only with players who are eager to do what’s best for the team and mature enough to surpass their objectives. Without passion, dedication and humility, skills are not enough. We all know that the majority will not become professional players, but all of them will reach their objectives and prepare for higher opportunities in life.”

Covid-19 Safety Measures

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our biggest concern has been to implement progressive and effective measures for the safety of our residents and staff. Now in phase-3 of reopening, we have elevated our standards and feel confident that the measures in place provide a safe, yet welcoming environment for our residents for next season. On the field, I have been working on limiting the size of training groups to maintain social distancing between players. We are also very privileged to reside in the Greater Geneva area, one of Europe’s lowest-risk areas, in an healthy region close to the Alps.”

 

How can ICEF launch your professional football career?

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

How can ICEF launch your professional football career?

How can ICEF launch your professional football career?

News - 07/18/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Did you know that the average European football academy counts around 250 players and the reality is that less than 1% are foreigners? In total, there are only about 30 football academies in each major football country in Europe: France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany. Needless to say, space is extremely limited, and opportunities and chances for international players are even more limited. Most of the time, professional clubs in Europe search for talents on a regional or national level, which already provides them with sufficient talents to fill up their rosters. So, unless an international player’s entire family moves to Europe, they may never have the opportunity to be exposed to a D1 or D2 professional European club, even if they have the talent and potential.

This is why the International Center of European Football is a groundbreaking football academy, changing the entire professional landscape for international players, bringing them new and unique opportunities to be exposed and recruited.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

What is the role of football academies?

Joining a football academy is the ultimate goal for every football player in Europe, as they provide the highest level of training that players can receive to prepare them for professional careers. They are the guide to reaching peak performance and the path to becoming a professional player. Professional football academies are always associated with professional clubs, as their main objective is to feed the clubs’ first teams. To guarantee the highest quality of training to all players, the academies are under strict regulations established by the official football federations.

Each year, thousands of the best players in Europe try out to get selected, through an extremely exhaustive screening process where only a strict minority earn their spot. They all have a clear objective in mind: to become a professional player.

ICEF, the first football academy developed for international players

The International Center of European Football is a unique and brand new opportunity for international student-athletes born between 1997 and 2009. ICEF’s programs implement the best-in-class European methodology, designed and led by UEFA / FFF certified technical directors. The 10-month Pro Residency program is designed to foster and expertly develop high-potential football players with the same clearly defined goal as professional football academies: to kickstart professional football careers in Europe.

ICEF is the only academy in Europe where players:

  • 1. Compete at the highest level of youth competition in France;
  • 2. Maximize exposure to top professional D1 & D2 European clubs;
  • 3. Learn European football through the excellence of the European methodology;
  • 4. Receive best-in-class preparation by a UEFA/ FFF licensed technical staff;
  • 5. Pursue their education in Europe (Middle & High School, Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees);
  • 6. Live in a safe campus in the Greater Geneva area, in phase-3 of reopening.

ICEF’s technical directors carefully build competition programs with highly regarded professional D1 and D2 partner clubs, allowing players to participate  in at least 25 competitive games and 3 European football tournaments, that provide unique exposure opportunities for ICEF student-athletes.

The most advanced players enrolled in the 10-month Pro Residency program are selected to join ICEF’s club, Thonon Evian Grand Geneve FC, competing at the French national level in official leagues established by the French Federation of Football. Thonon Evian Grand Geneve FC is also the biggest soccer club in the Greater Geneva area, with partner clubs including Paris Saint-Germain FC, AS Monaco, FC Lyon, Servette Genève, Chateauroux, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Paris FC, OL Olympique Lyonnais, ASSE, Clermont Ferrand, Nîmes Olympique, Cagliari Calcio.

 
 
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

The Benefits of Studying Abroad, a Life-changing Experience.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

The Benefits of Studying Abroad, a Life-changing Experience.

The Benefits of Studying Abroad, a Life-changing Experience.

News - 07/17/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

4.5 million higher education students participate in a study abroad program every year. That number has been steadily increasing over the past few years and France has been amongst the top three countries welcoming students coming from all over the world.

Studying abroad at the International Center of European Football will kickstart your growth into a mature, confident and successful individual.

Here are the top reasons why ICEF is the ultimate life changing experience for football players:

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Safe campus and environment

More than ever, safety is a concern for all students and their families. At ICEF, student-athletes live, play, and study in a safe environment. France entered phase-3 of reopening in June and visa processing has resumed, enabling ICEF to welcome international students to its campus in Europe. The Greater Geneva area, where the center is located, benefits from being one of Europe’s low-risk areas, with a low population density. Switzerland and the Evian-les-Bains region are amongst the safest and healthiest in Europe. In addition, ICEF’s team has elevated and reinforced their standards to provide an even safer campus to all student-athletes for the peace of mind of their families.

Read more about ICEF’s Covid-19 safety measures.

Cultural and overall growth

Student-athletes expand their worldview, being exposed to new cultures, traditions, and languages. Living in a foreign country opens your mind to new perspectives and lifestyles in a unique way. Values mature and individuals become more well-rounded and better global citizens, which is a crucial part of living in today’s or tomorrow’s global society.

Sneak peek at life inside the center

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

The Excellence of UEFA / FFF certified staff and methodology

The programs at the International Center of European Football were developed by UEFA/ FFF technical directors and Europe’s highest-ranked youth development experts. ICEF’s programs implement the best-in-class UEFA methodologies to build smart players capable of excelling in all game situations at the highest level of football in the world.

Unique exposure to pro D1 and D2 European clubs

ICEF’s technical directors carefully build competition programs with highly regarded professional D1 and D2 partner clubs, allowing players to participate in at least 25 competitive games and 3 European football tournaments, with unique exposure opportunities for players. The most advanced players enrolled in the 10-month Pro Residency program are selected to join ICEF’s club, Thonon Evian Grand Geneve FC, competing at the French national level in official leagues established by the French Federation of Football.

Learn more about the competition at ICEF

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Authentic football culture

With over two hundred years of play and evolution leading to an expertise in player development, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) boasts the best methodology and the highest-ranked technical staff in the amateur and professional leagues. Yet, what truly makes the football education in Europe different is the passion and the culture of football that most professionals and amateurs have developed. In France, football is everywhere on TV, in the news. People watch it at home with their families or go to stadiums, and they develop an extraordinary analysis and understanding of the game, simply by watching a multitude of games and following numerous European leagues.

French language proficiency

In general, student-athletes in an international boarding program improve their communications skills to be able to get along with everyone and to live in a community. Even if English is the main language spoken amongst students, they live in a French environment and receive French classes at school. Immersion in this environment and the classes lead them to become proficient quickly, for most of them, to be able to communicate in French with the staff on-site and their friends at school. Learning another language is challenging, and very gratifying.This is an added value that will be beneficial to all students during their entire lives.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Comprehensive academic education in English

The International Center of European Football boasts of a very comprehensive academic program through our partners, University of Texas High-School and Webster University Geneva, with a myriad of options from Middle School through a Master’s degree.

Discover the Academic programs offered in the 10-month Pro Residency Program

Friendships for life

Going through an experience as impactful as studying abroad means that you grow very close to your fellow teammates who are developing and learning along with you. People tend to find that the friends they make while studying abroad remain some of their closest lifelong friends. The International Center of European Football organizes weekly events, team building events, and extracurricular activities such as field trips, excursions, and sightseeing, so that players can also spend quality time with new friends and create team spirit.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Meet Spencer, from Paris Saint-Germain Academy Florida to ICEF

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Meet Spencer, from Paris Saint-Germain Academy Florida to ICEF

Meet Spencer, from Paris Saint-Germain Academy Florida to ICEF

News - 07/16/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

As some states in the U.S. are very close to a second lockdown, the concern that parents and children feel about their academic and football (soccer) options for next season is rising. The International Center of European Football has extended its application period due to a peak in late inquiries, mostly coming from families in the U.S.
The nearly 25 million soccer players in the U.S. and their parents are continuing to feel the loss of opportunity they encountered since the early days of March 2020, when training, tournaments, and leagues were put on pause.

With so much continued uncertainty due to the serious and recent resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the U.S., families are considering options such as boarding schools that offer elite football programs or professional institutions in Europe, like the International Center of European Football.

We are glad to introduce Spencer (16 years old), who is preparing to join the center for his first season as part of ICEF’s 10-month Pro Residency program, kicking off on August 24th, 2020. Spencer and his parents have agreed to answer a few questions on their decision to enroll at ICEF, his background and plans for the future.

Can you tell us a little bit more about you, your football (soccer) and academic background?

Spencer: Sure, I am 16 years old and I have been playing for Paris Saint-Germain Academy Florida in West Palm Beach for the last two years as Center Midfielder. I am a high school student and will start my 11th grade at the International Center of European Football. It is so exciting!

How were you selected to the 10-month Pro Residency program? Did you participate in an online or on-site tryout session?

Spencer: I participated in a tryout session at the Paris Saint-Germain Academy USA Campus back in November 2019, before the Covid-19 health crisis.

Excellent. Congratulations on your selection. How was it?

Spencer: I was literally head to toes nervous. Because of the pressure, I didn’t give 100% of my potential so I was worried that I did not pass the selection which was very thorough. Now I know that we are all very anxious to go through this selection process… I can’t wait to work on my mental preparation to be more efficient in a high pressure environment.

Have you participated in any other kind of tryouts for a football residency Academy in Europe or in the U.S.?

Spencer: The only two tryouts I ever participated in were Paris Saint-Germain Academy and my High School team. I actually failed my first tryout to get into a Paris Saint-Germain Academy team so they gave me a second chance to re-apply and I was eventually selected. I am grateful.

So you were not originally looking for a soccer boarding school?

Spencer: No, I didn’t even know that it existed. I participated in a summer experience with my team last year at the center. And it grew on me, while I was there, I loved that everything was revolving around football. It was like a football sanctuary where we focus on our passion. It was new for me, and I was so excited to be part of it!

How do you believe being part of Paris Saint-Germain Academy Florida has prepared you to follow your dream in Europe?

Spencer: To be honest, I feel that I have it in my heart. Paris Saint-Germain Academy taught me how to listen to the coaches, adapt and play faster. It was an excellent introduction and perfect transition to go further, play in Europe and follow my dreams.

What are your objectives, or dreams for the future?

Spencer: Obviously, everyone’s dream is to become a professional player. At least everyone that I know. But the problem is that in the U.S., the level is so low compared to Europe. It makes it almost impossible to progress and receive exposure to professional clubs, especially European clubs. Chances are definitely higher in Europe with the methodology, the coaches, and the competition. Obviously, I know that it is not going to be easy, and the first steps are to get better as a player and as a person.

Why did you pick ICEF?

Spencer: Frankly coming from the Paris Saint-Germain Academy training, it was the obvious choice. I was guided by my coaches here in Florida and I had the opportunity to test the center before registering. But the main reason would probably be the level of expertise of the coaches in Europe.

Spencer’s Mother: It is a great experience. Even if he does not make it as a professional player, he will definitely grow and mature as a person. There are many other options offered than becoming a player, he can be a UEFA certified coach or prepare for a Bachelors in Sports Marketing or Sports Management.

We understand that next season is very peculiar due to Covid-19. Was it hard for you to make the decision to enroll him?

Spencer’s Mother: It is not hard actually, because I know how passionate he is and how happy he will be. Europe is doing a much better job than the U.S. right now. They are already in phase-3, so I am not scared. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I don’t want him to miss it for anything in the world. On the contrary, I am excited for him to have this experience and feel very confident. I am just a bit nervous about the visa, as it is taking more time than usual but we were approved so it is just a matter of days now to be cleared.
Don’t get me wrong, we will miss him a lot, but it is for his future and we will adapt and the whole family will come visit the Geneva area once flight traffic is back to normal.

What about you Spencer, how do you feel right now?

Spencer: I feel good, pretty excited but at the same time, I feel nervous for all the sacrifices that I am about to make.

What kind of sacrifices?

Spencer: Leaving my friends for instance, and my family. I am trying to maximize the time I spend with them before leaving. But anyhow, I know that I have to make these sacrifices for better opportunities in Europe. I am preparing. It is going to be an adjustment, but for the better.

Are you concerned about your academic education while at ICEF?

Spencer: Not at all. I take school very seriously and have been able to easily match my curriculum with the one offered at ICEF (partnering with University of Texas High School). My only concern was to lose a year, but the good thing is that the whole year will be accredited, and I will be able to pursue my academic path upon my return to the U.S.

Do you speak any French?

Spencer: Actually yes, in prevision of my year abroad, I have started to take French classes at my school, and I speak the fundamentals. Not much for now. I understand it better than I speak, but I feel confident in my ability to catch up fast once at the center. I am looking forward to actually improving in French.

Is there anything that you would like to inform anyone who is contemplating registering to a Pro Soccer Academy in Europe?

Spencer: My advice would be to not lose time and don’t wait to be too old to go there. I am happy with the training received at Paris Saint-Germain Academy Florida. However, I know it will take me faster to the next level to train in Europe.

Spencer’s Mother: I think if you have doubts, the best way is to try it out. Spencer spent a week at the center over the summer and everything was clear after that. You will know if your son likes it and it will give you the time to organize and the will to enroll him abroad.

 

We wish Spencer an excellent experience at the International Center of European Football. For the peace of mind of his family, a chaperone selected by ICEF will accompany him from Miami International Airport to the Center, as we understand that travels are currently very restricted for parents coming from the U.S.

If you are an elite soccer player born between 1997 and 2009, you can try out to join the International Center of European Football for the 2020 – 2021 season and enroll to the 10-month program kicking-off on August 24th.

 

The ICEF program restructured for your safety

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

The ICEF program restructured for your safety

The ICEF program restructured for your safety

News - 07/14/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

With the recent Covid-19 crisis, the International Center of European Football has adapted its program in order to ensure student-athlete and staff safety. France and the Greater Geneva area, where the center is located, has already entered phase-3 and is operating normally, with students going to school and players resuming training.

ICEF continues to offer student-athletes its professional residency program at 100%. Since February 2020, when the first wave of Covid-19 cases impacted Europe, the center worked proactively to ensure the health and safety of its students and staff members. The whole team at ICEF was quick to implement additional Covid-19 safety and health measures and maintained constant communication with families for a quick repatriation. Solutions were ultimately developed, to allow student-athletes to continue their schooling and training, through daily online classes and the creation of an online training platform with added communication with the coaches.

Now, upon the center’s reopening in June, the safety and health standards have yet again been reinforced, to provide an even safer campus to all student-athletes for the peace of mind of their families. Student-athletes enjoy a boarding life in a protected environment, in one of the safest regions in the world, at the crossroads of all major European teams. The Greater Geneva area benefits from being one of Europe’s low-risk areas, thanks to a low population density. Switzerland and the Evian-les-Bains region, where ICEF is located, are amongst the safest and healthiest in Europe.

Read more about Covid-19 safety measures at the center

ICEF student-athletes who take part in the 10-month Pro Residency program benefit from a major improvement in their soccer skills and performance, and are able to take control of their education hands-on (with on-site academic programs from Middle School and High School to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, tutoring sessions, college advising, SAT/ACT preparation, TOEFL/DELF preparation).

And the personal growth doesn’t stop there. Players also acquire important soft skills and develop impeccable work ethic on and off the field. They build unique profiles to stand out and be attractive to professional clubs around the world, as well as prestigious colleges and universities in the U.S., whether they choose to follow a career in professional soccer or choose the collegiate route.

This is why, despite the Covid-19 crisis, Spencer, a talented player from Paris Saint-Germain Academy Florida in the U.S. and his family, decided to maximize his next academic year and follow his football dream in Europe. When asked if it was hard to make the decision to enroll Spencer at ICEF, his mother answered: “It is not hard actually, because I know how passionate he is and how happy he will be. Europe is doing a much better job than the U.S. right now. They are already in phase-3, so I am not scared. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I don’t want him to miss it for anything in the world. On the contrary, I am excited for him to have this experience and feel very confident.”

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

As a matter of fact, ICEF has reported a peak in late applications and last-minute inquiries due to its professional soccer preparation and boarding options and its ideal location in Europe. A few spots remain available to join the program set to start on August 24th 2020, open to elite players born between 1997 and 2009.The tryout process is fully online: theicef.com/tryouts/

European Football competition is unlike any other

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

European Football competition is unlike any other

European Football competition is unlike any other

News - 07/09/2020
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

The game that would later be called “football” originated in the early 1800s, when coaches from a small number of British universities, including Cambridge University, adapted a medieval game originating in Ancient Greece.

While European football’s popularity has been on a steady rise in the United States, it has always been Europe’s #1 game, one that has eventually become a tradition in many European countries. Home to a multitude of professional football leagues and clubs, Europe fosters the best players from around the world, who compete for a coveted roster spot on its array of teams. Playing in Europe is the ultimate dream for all the football lovers around the world.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Europe is the home of player development

With two hundred years of play and evolution leading to expertise in player development, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) boasts the best methodology and the highest-ranked technical staff in the amateur and professional leagues. Yet, what truly makes the association unique today is the quality of its competition system, responsible for the smartest game approaches judging by the quality of the Champions League championship.

The way that the competition is organized guarantees the highest rate of player development in the world through a pyramid where every team and player have a chance to evolve through a fair system of promotion and relegation.

Best-in-class UEFA methodology

At the International Center of European Football, we implement the best-in-class UEFA methodologies to build smart players capable of performing in all game situations. ICEF is Europe’s official football institution providing international student-athletes the professional training and preparation required to play at the highest level of football in the world.
The International Center of European Football’s missions are to prepare, develop and expose high potential football players with impeccable work ethic and performance to the official leagues in Europe.

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Elite competition program

CEF carefully builds competition programs with highly regarded professional D1 and D2 partner clubs, providing players with participation in at least 25 competitive games and 3 European soccer tournaments.
ICEF is partnered with prestigious European clubs in order to provide a valuable competition program and unique exposure opportunities to its players. Partner clubs include AS Monaco, FC Lyon, Servette Genève, Chateauroux, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Paris FC, OL Olympique Lyonnais, ASSE, Clermont Ferrand.

Competing at the French national level

The most advanced players enrolled in the 10-month Pro Residency program are selected to join ICEF’s club Thonon Evian Grand Geneve FC, competing at the French national level in official leagues established by the French Federation of Football.
Thonon Evian Grand Geneve FC is also the biggest soccer club in the Greater Geneva area with 3 elite senior teams competing at the national level and 10 elite youth teams competing in the 1st division in official youth French leagues.

 

MEN’S TEAM NATIONAL RECORDS
2010 | Champion of National League
2011 | Champion of French Ligue 2
2011 | French Cup Finalist
2012-2015 | 4 seasons in the French Ligue 1

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe
ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

ICEF’s programs are designed to help elite players reach their highest potential in order to pursue a professional football career or build a competitive advantage and unique profile to stand out in the college application and recruitment processes through:

  • Individual focus and physical development
  • College and football advisors
  • Tactical setup & position-specific training
  • Technical skills exercises
  • Video analysis and tactical studies
  • Elite competition and scouting opportunities