Speaking the language

If your placement is in a non-English speaking country, there are a number of ways in which you can support yourself to develop language skills.

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Most partner universities teach in English. Some partners also offer pre-sessional language courses which students may be able to take as part of their study placement.

Students looking to work abroad must arrange their internships in an organisation that is suitable for their language competency.

Undertake a language course prior to leaving

Although Goldsmiths does not have a language department, many other London universities do offer evening classes which could be a good way to get started.

Download a language learning app

Apps such as Duolingo allow you to learn at your own pace and in your own free time.


If you are going to study in China the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute can offer support with Mandarin lessons.

Online Linguistic Support (OLS) 

OLS is intended to help students with social and day-to-day activities in their host country.

This is provided to students on Erasmus study placements and traineeships in countries using the following languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Spanish, and Swedish.

Students are required to complete an OLS assessment before departing on their placement. You'll have access to an online language course for the duration of your mobility, and then you will be required to take a final assessment when you return.

Funding is dependent on completion of these assessments.

Language learning whilst abroad

Many of our partner universities offer language courses for incoming students. You may also be able to find local courses that you can take part in. Another option is to set up a language exchange with a local student or colleague. These are also a good way to build connections.

Funding for language learning

In order to help students integrate into their study or work abroad experience we offering additional funding of up to 350 euros to support with the costs of language learning associated with placement overseas in the academic year 2019/20. This can be for a course in the UK or a course overseas before or during your time abroad.

Funding will be reviewed annually and is dependent on the number of students who apply so we cannot guarantee to cover all costs of a course but hope that we will be able to make a significant contribution.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must have been accepted onto a study abroad placement at a partner university for at least a term or an international work placement of two months of more
  • The language course must be delivered by a registered organisation
  • You must have confirmation that you have secured a place or if a fee is required, have confirmation a place is available
  • The course must take place before or during your study or work abroad experience
  • If the organisation you are working or studying at offers a free language course then you will not be eligible to apply for the funding. However, if you are on an Erasmus funded placement, you will be entitled to an increased Erasmus subsistence grant for any extra days you are away before an Erasmus trip as a result of the language course

Upon completion of the language course a certificate of completion must be submitted. If you do not complete the course or are unable to provide a certificate of participation, we will have to reclaim the funding awarded.

For more information contact goabroad (@gold.ac.uk).