FAQ: Foreign Languages

What happens if a student has incorrectly self-evaluated?

If, at the beginning of a semester, a teacher believes a student to have incorrectly self-evaluated and to be studying in a class at the wrong level, the teacher will request a change of level for the student. The teacher is required to communicate this request to the Language Service within the first two weeks of the semester.

This only concerns students who have self-evaluated.

How is language learning evaluated and validated?

Language learning is evaluated through continuous assessment, according to the different procedures specified in the charters and by teacher assessment at the beginning of the semester.

What is Level C2?

Level C2 is exclusively aimed at students who have mastered all the written and oral communication skills and all the language structures specified in the charter for level C1. Level C2 is therefore only accessible to a limited number of students and at the teacher's decision.

Are attendance and punctuality obligatory for language classes?

In accordance with the Academic rules and regulations (PDF, 136 KB), language classes are subject to the same requirements as all other disciplines.

Can I attend a language class as an external observer?

No. As with all teaching at Sciences Po (with the exception of lecture courses), only students officially enrolled in a class may attend.

Teachers are not authorised to accept students not enrolled on their student register.

Is French obligatory for non French-speaking students?

No, but all non French-speaking students are strongly encouraged to register for a French language class which will provide them with the tools for success in their other disciplines and facilitate their smooth integration into life at Sciences Po and during their stay in France.

What help is available if I'm experiencing difficulties with the language I'm studying?

Tutorials for several languages take place in the language lab (information about which is provided to students at the beginning of the semester). These non-compulsory tutorials are designed to offer students more time to work on their language skills and to do so on an individual basis with a teacher. They provide linguistic one-to-one support in every aspect, for example revising grammatical structures studied in class or improving pronunciation. Training for the IELTS English test is provided by the English language tutors.

Can I go abroad in the third year to follow a study programme whose language I studied at an elementary level at Sciences Po?

For some programmes, yes, on the condition that the programme concerned has a large component of language study. Examples would be Arabic or some programmes in Germany. However, the large majority of programmes offered by Sciences Po's partner universities require a high or very high level of proficiency in the language of study.

Do third year students on their year abroad have to continue studying the languages studied at Sciences Po?

Yes, either by taking specific languages classes or by taking classes in other subjects taught in the language concerned. The study of any language requires a long-term commitment in order to achieve the level of overall proficiency required in a professional context.

Contact the Language Department


199, boulevard Saint-Germain - 75007 Paris

Student Reception (Entrance via the glass door)

1st floor, reception office 603, 604 and 604 bis

Office hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9.30am - 12.45pm and 2.15pm - 4.45pm
  • Wednesday and Friday, 9.30am - 12.45pm


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