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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, you must demonstrate a certain level of language competency before applying to the program.  Scroll down to read the course requirements for each language. 

French

Brown in France - Paris and Lyon University Studies: FREN 0600Students are required to have the equivalent of six semesters of college level French with a B or better. Students are required to take at least one course in French the year before departure.

Brown in France - Paris Engineering Program: 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. Students are required to have the equivalent of five semesters of college level German.

Brown in Germany Track 2: GRMN 0300Students are required to have the equivalent of three semesters of college level German.

Italian

Brown in Bologna: ITAL 0300Students are required to have the equivalent of three semesters of college level Italian (Intermediate Italian I).   

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 Japanese 0400 before attending the fall or full year program. Students are required to complete Japanese 0500 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 0400Students are required to have the equivalent of at least four semesters of college level Portuguese.

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

Spanish

Brown/CASA in Argentina: HISP 0600. All students (regardless of prior family, academic, travel or residence experience) must complete one HISP 0600 or higher course at Brown. 

Brown/CASA in Chile: HISP 600. All students (regardless of prior family, academic, travel or residence experience) must complete one HISP 0600 or higher course at Brown. 

Brown/CASA in Cuba: HISP 0600. All students (regardless of prior family, academic, travel, or residence experience) must complete one course at Brown (HISP 0500 or higher). 

Brown/CASA in Spain - Barcelona: HISP 0600. All students (regardless of prior family, academic, travel or residence experience) must complete one HISP 0600 or higher course at Brown. 

Brown in Spain - Cantabria Engineering:  Students with no previous Spanish language experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis (see your OIP advisor). Recommended: HISP 0200 (Basic Spanish II) or HISP 0110 (Intensive Basic Spanish).

Brown/CASA in Spain - Granada Intensive Language:  No minimum language requirement. Intensive language programs of study provided to students from beginning through intermediate levels of proficiency (see your OIP advisor).

Brown/CASA in Spain - Granada Hispanic Studies: HISP 0300-0500 recommended. Hispanic Studies program of study most appropriate for students at the intermediae-high to low-advanced level of proficiency (see your OIP advisor). 

Brown/CASA in Spain -  Granada University Studies and  Translation and Interpretation: HISP 0600 and advanced Spanish proficiency equivalent to level B2.2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CPFR). Interested students may be assessed by Brown's Hispanic Studies Department to determine language proficiency.  

Alternative ProgramsFor Spain programs, minimum requirement HISP 0600.  All students (regardless of prior family, academic, travel or residence experience) must complete one course at Brown (HISP 0600 or higher).

For Latin America and Caribbean destinations:  Minimum Requirement HISP 0500, but HISP 0600 is recommended.  All students (regardless of prior family, academic, travel, or residence experience) must complete one course at Brown (HISP 0500 or higher).

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