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What is a Finishing School and What purpose does it serve?

A finishing school is an institution which offers training in cultural values and norms. Most finishing schools are designed for women only, and as the name implies, people attend finishing school after their basic education is completed, "finishing” their education with instruction in how to live in society. It completes the educational experience, with classes primarily on etiquette. Many finishing schools focus specifically on upper class values.

The length of a session at finishing school varies. Some programs last up to a year, while others offer much shorter, intensive terms. While at a finishing school, women are expected to conduct themselves in a well mannered way, and many schools have dress codes and other behaviour requirements which are designed to remind students of the basic rules of polite behaviour.

Switzerland is known for its private finishing schools, such as Institut Alpin Videmanette (now closed), where Diana, Princess of Wales studied, Mon Fertile, where Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was partly educated, and Institut Château Beau-Cedre, which closed in 2002. The finishing school that made Switzerland renowned for such institutions was the Château Mont-Choisi, founded in the 1870s, which closed in 1995 or 1996. The only traditional Swiss finishing school that remains open is Institut Villa Pierrefeu, in Glion-sur-Montreux. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Etiquette is a big part of finishing school, and etiquette courses include everything from being a well mannered hostess to meeting foreign dignitaries. In addition to etiquette, students also learn about a variety of activities. Many finishing schools offer instruction in the arts, such as painting and dance, and they also offer instruction in things like tennis, riding, skiing, and so forth, ensuring that their graduates will be able to enjoy themselves in a variety of situations. Language instruction has also classically been offered at finishing schools.

Much of the instruction at a finishing school historically focused on refinement of already existing skills. Upper class women should already have been well versed in etiquette, for example, and many had already developed skills in sports and the arts. However, finishing school would refine those skills, preparing women for a wide variety of social situations and showing them how to comport themselves as adults.

In modern times the focus and curricula of finishing schools seems to be widening with some schools particularly in places like India adding skill trainings. In such places finishing schools are seen as those which increase the stamina to secure a job. The specialists of these finishing schools say that the faults in the educational system are the only reason where degree is not sufficient for the corporate companies in getting a job. They even say that the teaching methodology and curriculum table are not properly designed and that is the main reason for this situation. The faults that took place in the educational system are responsible for the origin of the Finishing Schools. The main aim of these schools is to make them more capable to join in a job in a good company. The methodology of this school is that they prepare the curriculum according to the candidate’s skills and stamina and based on the type of job that he is to be placed. The duration courses that are offered by these schools will be for three days and also last for one year which offers qualitative education and training.

The curriculum of these schools is as follows:

• Foundation Course: it focuses on the soft skills which are very important in all the fields in present days.

• Concepts: special training on the particular topic in the domain and some schools concentrate on the training on the particular topic.

In recent times, finishing are not just for the fresh graduates and women alone. Top business executives, politicians, professionals, and people of all gender attend finishing schools. Most wives of political leaders, statesmen, presidents and governors attend finishing schools to be able to fit their roles.

Here are just some of the vital skills instilled at finishing schools:

Social Capital
Image Development
Customer Service
Voice & Communication Skills
Posture, Poise & Deportment
Self Esteem
Life skills
Haircare and Styling
Social Dance
Social skills, the Art of dining and Table Manners

Others courses taught include:

The Etiquette of Good Business
Presentation skills
Elocution and Public speaking
Style and sensibility
Scenario Planning

List of Selected Finishing Schools

1. The Finishing Academy www.finishingacademy.co.uk. Charles House, Princes Court, Beam Heath Way, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6PQ, UK Mobile No. 07976 250227 penny@pagetraining.com

2. Executive Edge Finishing School,
Gate 5, Unit 154 Ikota Shopping Mall, Ikota, Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria.
+234 807 126 5629,  +44 7949 087 567

3. Le Femme Finishing School, Piscataway, New Jersey Exit 5 off Route 287 or Rock Ave exit off Route 22 in Greenbrook, USA LadyEllen@lefemmefinishingschool.com

4. Park Royal Finishing School, 9 Fatai Durosinmi-Eti, Off Ligali Ayorinde , Victoria Island, Lagos 01 890 8885, 0805 388 8182 0808 280 1024

5. Poise Nigeria Plot 59C, Adekunle Fajuyi Way, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos State. Email. poise@poisenigeria.net. Website. www.poisenigeria.net

6. Pria Warrick Finishing School Pria Warrick Finishing School Ms. Pria Warrick Address : B- 495, New Friends Colony, New Delhi - 110 065 (India) Phone : +(91)-(11)-26847053 / 26846728 / 41627165 Fax : +(91)-(11)-41627166 E-Mail : priawarrick@gmail.com

7. GlamSchool 6, Willow Way, Motcombe, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 9QH Tel: 01747855882 www.glamschool.com

8. Intitut Villa Pierrefeu Mrs Viviane NERI, Principal Route de Caux 28 CH-1823 Glion/Montreux Tel : +41 21 963 73 11 Fax : +41 21 963 48 64 E-mail: info@ivpworld.com www.ivpworld.com

Most if not all first ladies (wifes of presidents and heads of government) attend finishing schools to be fit for the elegance of the their new roles.


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