Study Abroad Prerequisites & Policies


Competency in the target language is commonly required for study in non-English speaking countries and regions. All students are expected to enroll in a course in the target language the semester prior to studying abroad. We also strongly urge students to take at least one more course in the target language after returning to Wesleyan.


France and Spain: students are expected to have completed the equivalent of 5 semesters of university-level instruction (the equivalent of French 215 or Spanish 221) with a grade of B or better. Highly qualified students with only 4 semesters (French 112, Spanish 112) may be considered at the recommendation of the instructor.

Italy: students are expected to complete Italian 102 for fall or full year, 111 for spring.


In terms of language preparation, Wesleyan’s own prerequisites take precedent when they are more stringent than prerequisites set by the program itself. In countries where a language other than English is the primary language, students are required enroll in at least one course per semester in the language of their host country or region while abroad, even if the program’s language of instruction is English.

In countries or regions whose languages is taught regularly at Wesleyan:

  • In French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Russian, students will be required to pursue their studies abroad through the medium of the target language. They will therefore need to reach the required level in their language instruction prior to going abroad. In other languages taught at Wesleyan, students must meet Wesleyan's language prerequisite for the program and are encouraged to take all courses in the target language as their language level and program permit.
  • Students who have not progressed beyond the intermediate level before going abroad will be required to take the placement test upon returning to campus. This will allow us to determine the appropriate level for the continuation of their language studies at Wesleyan, and also help us assess the quality of language instruction in approved programs abroad.

In countries or regions whose language is not regularly taught at Wesleyan:

  • Students with adequate prior knowledge will pursue their studies through the medium of the target language.

Exceptions to this policy are made only for certain thematic programs, as noted on the OIS web site. In such cases, students are strongly encouraged to study the relevant language for as long as possible before attending the program.


All students abroad are expected to take full advantage of direct enrollment options in regular university courses to the extent that their linguistic capabilities permit. This policy is designed in the interest of our students’ cultural assimilation and academic immersion. Students with native or fluent competence in a foreign language are expected to take all of their courses through the direct enrollment option.


Students needing to study in an English-speaking country should choose a program that places its students in universities. They are expected to avoid programs that create courses for American students only or that place students in courses outside of the university context.


Some majors require, expect or encourage their students to study abroad. It is important to note that Wesleyan students are not automatically granted permission to study abroad or acceptance to a program merely on the basis of departmental requirements. Advanced planning, beginning during the Freshman year, is crucial in order for these students to meet the language requirements that will qualify them for admission into the program of their choice.