Students working in a lab

Foreign Language Skills

You will need foreign language skills for (almost) every stay abroad that you would like to organise with the help of the International Office. Without sufficient knowledge of the teaching or business language, it will not be possible for you to take exams, to have courses credited towards your studies at FHWS, or to communicate with your colleagues during your internship.

When selecting applicants for studying abroad and internships abroad, the contact professors in the faculties pay attention to whether you can communicate in the country you want to go to. Therefore, it is worth while taking a language course well in advance. In addition to private offerings, language courses are offered, for example, by the following institutions: FHWS Campus for Language Proficiency; University of Würzburg (JMU); Volkshochschule (VHS) Würzburg.

If you are planning an Erasmus+ funded stay abroad within Europe, there is a language support programme free of charge for you:

Online Linguistic Support (OLS) – online language training

The online language training (OLS) is part of the Erasmus+ programme to help students and interns learn and improve their foreign language skills. It is divided into two components:

  • One compulsory language test before the start and one after the Erasmus+ mobility,
  • And an optional language course.

The OLS Language Test

With the exception of native speakers, Erasmus+ students and interns must take two OLS language tests. The first test is to be taken before the mobility, the second one at the end of the mobility. These obligatory language tests before and after mobility serve to measure and document the development of language skills. Important for you to know: they are not a selection criterion for Erasmus+ funding. So you don’t have to worry if you don’t yet have very good language skills in one of the European national languages.

The OLS Language Course

The OLS language courses offer participants the opportunity to improve their foreign language skills during their stay abroad. After the first language test, participants who achieved a language level of A1 to B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference are automatically invited to complete a language course. Participants who scored a higher language level can optionally use a language course in the national language or in the tested main working language. 

The system works completely electronically, which means that students and interns receive access to language tests and language courses by e-mail, once allocated by the higher education institution sending them.