Are you planning an Erasmus or non-European exchange trip? As soon as you enter the university, you can prepare yourself properly to be in the best conditions.

Language aspects of your stay

Prove your language skills

Some universities may ask you to prove your language level in order to be accepted into their institution. In this case, you must respect their wishes and obtain a document proving your language level. Before you start any steps, always try to find out if a simple letter of recommendation from a ULB professor will be sufficient. Here are your options, in order:

  • Obtain a letter of recommendation from your language teacher at ULB. If another test is not required: obtain a certificate via the F9
  • Take the test requested by your host university (TOEFL, IELTS).
  • Go to the websites of these organisations to register and take the corresponding test. If you can, attach the result to your application, or proof that you have registered. If your score is not high enough, the host university may reject you, so prepare properly!

NB: Does not apply to students who will be studying in their mother tongue.

Get ready and get better!

Apart from the administrative obligations, we warmly invite you to consult the ULB Langues website which offers several types of preparation. There are conversation tables and Tandems very interesting for you.
Students participating in the Erasmus+ programme (courses or internships) will also be able to take advantage of the OLS platform free of charge to follow online courses adapted to their level, in more than 20 languages of the European Union. Access is available to selected students a few months before their departure.

Specific information for Erasmus+ stays

OLS – Online Linguistic Support

The OLS platform allows student to take the mandatory tests but also to follow adapted online courses.

Who needs to take the test ?

The OLS language tests (and courses) have been set up by the European Commission, to evaluate the progression of language skills amongst the Erasmus+ students. This means every student has to take this test before departure, and another test upon return, unless you are exempted because you leave to study in your mother tongue.

The OLS test is mandatory, but has no influence on your selection. Nothing will happen if you fail, but you’ll never receive the first part of your grant if you forget to take it before departure, or the last part of your grant if you forget to take the final test upon return. These are online tests, once you’ve received the invitation from the OLS platform (+ an email from me), and you’ll get a deadline with the invitation. Don’t miss it !

All students with a score below B2 will be automatically granted access to the online courses for that language, on the same platform. These courses are not mandatory, but they will help you to get better. If you obtain B2 or more, the access to courses is not automatic, you’ll have to make a special request for it. Students who score C2 on the first test will be exempted from the second test.

The elective online courses are in the same language as the test you have taken, and will be adapted to your level, according to your test results. It is not possible to take the test in Italian but follow English courses afterwards.

We can only grant 1 language test by student, the language you indicated in your online form as principal internship language abroad. The tool is available in Dutch, English, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Greec, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Bulgarian, Finnish, Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian and French.

Refund of the tests

For Europe, if - and only if - in your host university procedures it is compulsory to submit this certificate, please note that the SME reimburses the fee for this test (only one reimbursement per student, after verification that the test was compulsory).
You will need to apply to Ms Gloria Cavasin, providing by email ( proof that the test was compulsory, and proof of payment. The refund is not immediate but will be made before your departure.

Updated on March 15, 2024