Office of Study Abroad

Foreign Language Requirement

Minnie Norgaisse in Shanghai

Minnie Norgaisse '19 completed an intensive language program in China

Brandeis requires that all students demonstrate a basic knowledge of French, Hebrew, Italian or Spanish as evidenced by having successfully completed levels 10 & 20 or the equivalent proficiency before going abroad to countries where that language is spoken. Many programs will require higher levels of proficiency.

  • All Non-English Speaking Countries: Students must take a course for credit in the language of the country during each semester they are abroad. This may be a course in learning the language of the country or one conducted in the language of the country.
  • Foreign Language Majors: Please consult your departmental advisor for specific requirements about receiving major or minor credit.

Statement of Philosophy

Because language and culture are intrinsically linked, your experience abroad will be greatly enhanced if you have proficiency with the language of the country where you will be studying. The Brandeis University World Language Requirement for study abroad is designed to help deepen your knowledge of the country and culture in which you will be studying. The requirement as stated above encourages you to pursue language study prior to study abroad when the language is part of the Brandeis University curriculum. Where Brandeis University does not offer language study, you are given the opportunity to begin such studies abroad.

Please note that many programs on our Approved Program List require at least one year of college-level language study and many require a minimum of two years of college-level language proficiency or the equivalent. Even though Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese and Russian are not included in the Brandeis University requirements above, please note that previous and ongoing study in these languages is strongly encouraged.

The Hub of Language Learning at Brandeis

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World Languages and Culture Website

Make the most out of your language-learning experience at Brandeis.

The new World Languages and Cultures website serves as a hub of information, whether you seek to fulfill a Brandeis Core requirement, study a language for your personal interest, find opportunities to engage in language advocacy work or simply meet Brandeisians who study and speak two or more languages.