Language skills needed for EU universities

Do you want to study at a university in the European Union? Then read the article below. Whether you are an EU or a non-EU citizen, you need to know these language requirements if you are considering studying in a European country. Before I show you the language requirements for Bachelor, I need to clarify one thing. Although most European universities only offer courses in their mother tongue, there are some that offer courses taught in English. Two examples of countries that have more Bachelor programs taught in English than those taught in their mother tongue are Denmark and the Netherlands. These two countries have turned their university system into a thriving business. Even if in Denmark the tuition fees are 0, and in the Netherlands they are below 1000 euros per semester, the cities have a lot to gain from the students who live there. The result was that the ranking of Dutch and Danish universities fell, as did their requirements.

For courses taught in English or for universities in the UK, language requirements may differ, but they are generally as follows: TOEFL iBT with an overall score of at least 90 and a minimum of 20 points in each of the 4 sections, a score of at least 6.5 if you have an IELTS certificate or at least 176 for a Certificate of Advanced English (CAE). If you have CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English), you must get at least 180 points. These are usually the only certifications that are allowed.

For German universities, there are several recognized certificates. DSH -2 and -3 is recognized, as is DSD II (DSD meaning “The German language diploma of the Permanent Conference of Ministers for Education and Cultural Affairs”). Also recognized are the telc certificates for level C1, TestDaF (with a grade of at least 4 in all 4 sections) and Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (although some universities also accept Goethe B2 or C1).

Universities in Austria accept almost all the certificates they accept and those in Germany, plus a certificate called ÖSD, or Österreichische Sprachdiplom. It is their national language exam, which is not very different from the Goethe test.

To study in Spain you must have DELE B2, although some universities require you to pass their own language skills exam. SIELE (Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española), although intensely promoted by the Instituto Cervantes (which also organizes DELE), is not accepted by most of them. Be careful at the Universities of Catalonia (ie Valencia, Barcelona, etc.), some may only teach in Catalan, not in Spanish.

To apply to universities with teaching in Italian, you need CILS (Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language) or CELI (Certificate of Knowledge of the Italian Language) at a minimum level B2.

If you want to study in France (and you do not live in another country with French as your native language, in which case your language skills can be recognized), you need a DELF B2 (Diplôme d’études en langue française) or any of the the two DALFs (Diplôme approfondi de langue française). However, some universities also accept B1. I suggest you look carefully at the website of the university you want to apply to, because it depends a lot on the university and the subject you want to study.

If you want to live well, but you don’t have too much of an allowance from your parents, you can opt for English teaching courses in Romania. Although Romanian is a very difficult language, we have enough places for foreigners at the Polytechnic of Bucharest or the University of Cluj. Living in Romania is cheap and the students are friendly.

Take a good look at the website of the university you want to apply to. Some requirements may vary from university to university.

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