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Office of International Programs

Language Requirements

Where possible, Brown requires students to pursue their studies entirely in the language spoken in the host country. For this reason, students must demonstrate competency in the host country's local language before studying abroad. 

If the language of the host country in which you want to study is French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, or Spanish, in most cases you must demonstrate a certain level of language competency before applying to the program and take your coursework in the local language (there are a few exceptions to this rule - see below). See the course requirements for each language using the chart below. 

English Language Programs
Students may enroll in English language study abroad programs at institutions where the local language is not normally offered at Brown. In such cases, students are required to study the local language as part of their academic program. Programs in English-speaking locations (such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand) are also available.  

French

Brown in France - Paris University Studies: FREN 0600/Writing and Speaking French II (sixth-semester college level French), or the equivalent, with a grade of B or better. Students are required to take at least one course in French the year before departure.

Brown in France - Engineering Program and STEM Studies at Ecole Polytechnique: Students with no previous French language experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Recommended: FREN 0100/Basic French I or FREN 0200/Basic French II. 

Non-Brown Programs: FREN 0600. This prerequisite applies to approved and petition programs in France or Francophone Countries (i.e. Francophone Africa, Switzerland, etc.)

German

Brown in Germany Track 1: GRMN 0500/Twentieth Century German Culture (fifth-semester college level German) or the equivalent.

Brown in Germany Track 2: GRMN 0300/Intermediate German I (third-semester college level German) or the equivalent.

Italian

Brown in Bologna: ITAL 0300/Intermediate Italian I (third-semester college level Italian) or the equivalent.   

Exception: Concentrators in Art/Semiotics, Classics, History of Art and Architecture, Urban Studies, or Visual Arts do not need to have studied Italian previously and may choose from the list of Approved Alternative Programs or petition other programs specifically designed for those concentrations.

Japanese

Minimum Requirement: Students must pass JAPN 0400/Intermediate Japanese before attending the fall or full year program. Students are required to complete Japanese 0500/Advanced Japanese I in order to study abroad during the Spring semester.

Note: For students applying to a Brown in Japan program, all students attending KCJS will be required to take Japanese language along with two English language electives. At Keio, students fluent in Japanese may take courses at the regular University. Otherwise, they will take courses taught in English at the university's International Division.

Portuguese

Minimum Requirement: POBS 0400/Writing and Speaking Portuguese (fourth-semester college level Portuguese) or the equivalent.

Note: Students planning to study in Brazil are expected to have taken at least one course focusing entirely on Brazil in Literature, History or the Social Sciences.

Spanish

CASA Argentina: HISP 0600/Advanced Spanish II, or the equivalent, with a grade of B or higher  

CASA Chile: HISP 0600/Advanced Spanish II, or the equivalent, with a grade of B or higher 

CASA Cuba: HISP 0600/Advanced Spanish II, or the equivalent, with a grade of B or higher

CASA Spain - Barcelona: HISP 0600/Advanced Spanish II, or the equivalent, with a grade of B or higher  

CASA Spain - Granada:  

  • Intensive Language (CILE) track: No previous Spanish language study required. Intensive Basic Spanish/HISP 0110 or Basic Spanish/HISP 0200 (second semester college-level Spanish) or the equivalent is recommended.

  • Hispanic Studies (CEH) track: HISP 0300/Intermediate Spanish I – HISP 0500/Advanced Spanish I, or the equivalent.

  • University Studies (UGR) direct enrollment track at the University of Granada – HISP 0600/Advanced Spanish II, or the equivalent, with a grade of B or higher.

  • Translation and Interpretation (TRAD) track at the University of Granada – At least one course beyond HISP 0600/Advanced Spanish II, with a grade of B or higher.

University of Cantabria STEM Studies:  No previous Spanish language study is required. Intensive Basic Spanish/HISP 0110 or Basic Spanish/HISP 0200 (second semester college-level Spanish) or the equivalent is recommended.

Petition ProgramsFor Spain, Latin America, and Caribbean programs: minimum requirement HISP 0600/Advanced Spanish II, except for the approved CIEE and SFS environmental programs in Costa Rica.

For questions on language placement and programs, please contact your OIP advisor.

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