Language requirements

No language skills?

You do not need to speak a language to participate in voluntary study abroad. Sussex has links in English-speaking countries, such as N. America and Australia, but also many of our Asian links teach in English (Singapore, Hong Kong), and many of our links in Europe offer a wide array of courses in English.

However, we encourage students to learn some basic communication in the host language before or whilst they are away. Students can do this by attending language courses abroad and at Sussex, and by using the Language Learning Centre in the Sussex Centre for Language Studies:

  • Erasmus Intensive Language Courses (EILC). These are an initiative supported by the European Commission to enable Erasmus students to receive some tuition in languages that are not widely spoken or taught abroad. They take place in the host country twice during the academic year, prior to the start of each semester. Participating students do not have to pay any kind of fee for the EILCs, and will receive a normal Erasmus grant for the duration of the course if it precedes their term or year away.
  • Open Courses at the Language Learning Centre.

Students can also receive credit for language courses of the country they are studying in, this can be up to a quarter of their study programme, or a third for students attending universities in Japan.

Language speakers

If students speak another language apart from English, they may have the opportunity of studying abroad on the links maintained for our language degree students in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico and French-speaking Canada. Students will need to have a level in the language which enables them to follow classes and take assessment and their language level will need to be tested before a place can be assigned to them. Currently, to assess their level before they go abroad, we usually require them to pass the 2nd year French/German/Italian/Spanish language exam. Copies of past exam papers can be downloaded from the Past exam papers site.

For some of our links which have courses taught in English, such as International Christian University, Japan, and some links in Mexico, students are required to have some knowledge of the language before they go.