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for Study Abroad Students

Foreign Language Study

Study abroad is a great time to begin learning a new language or become even more proficient in one you are already studying.  Alternatively, students can mainly take courses in English with the option of an additional foreign language course.  

Learn (or Intensive) language programs

These language programs are available for students who wish to primarily focus on language acquisition and gaining cultural familiarity. Students can earn 12 or more units of language while studying abroad, which can greatly contribute towards a minor or major in that language.  Some of these “learn language” programs are open to students at a beginning level, whereas others may require 1, 2, or more semesters of language study prior to participation.

Subject courses taught in a foreign language

Students with at least 2 years (4 to 6 college-level semesters) of prior foreign language study may be eligible to take subject courses taught in that language. This will require a language proficiency recommendation by a language instructor to confirm a high-intermediate to advanced skill level in the language. Many study abroad programs will also require a language proficiency exam upon arrival.

Courses taught in English

Many students who do not speak a foreign language assume that they can only study abroad in an English-speaking country. However, more and more universities abroad offer courses taught in English in a variety of academic fields, even if English is not the primary language of that country. Some students choose to primarily take courses taught in English while possibly taking a foreign language course. Many programs are available in the English-speaking countries, but other countries also have increasing numbers of courses taught in English.  Many universities also offer intensive language programs with courses in English about the culture.  Be sure to search by the appropriate language of instruction in Aztecs Abroad.

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Do I have to speak a foreign language to study abroad?

Not usually. Over half of our programs allow you to take courses in English, either in English-speaking countries or in other countries with univeristies that offer many courses taught in English. However, SDSU does also offer many programs for students who wish to learn a foriegn language or more advanced take some regular courses taught in that language.

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