Language Requirements

Students going to non speaking English countries live with families who may speak little or no English at all, and lessons in school will be undertaken in the official language of the host country, so having a basic grasp of the language enables students to maximise their exchange experience. There are no formal language requirements for most of our destinations however, even if not required formally by your host country, we strongly suggest that students enrol in a language course (online course, language school, private tutor lessons, etc) prior to departure as this will help them to adjust, settle in, learn, grow and participate fully in the exchange.

There are no formal language requirements for most of our destination countries. However,

  • Ideally, students applying for France will need to have completed 2 years of continuous language studies prior to departure but, there is flexibility with this requirement so, please talk to us.
  • Students accepted for Germany need to have a basic knowledge of the German language.  If a student has less than 2 years of German it is compulsory to attend an intensive two week language orientation (at additional cost) upon arrival.   
  • Whilst it is not a mandatory requirement, Italy strongly recommends that all students applying for a long program should have a minimum of 2 years Italian language experience or have completed a basic Italian language course before departure.  An additional 8 weeks Italian language course should be taken upon arrival. For short programs, Italy recommends that applicants complete a basic language course before departure, with the option to complete an 8 week Italian language course upon arrival.
  • Japan requires a minimum of one year’s prior study and applicants must provide a brief, hand-written letter in Japanese to the potential host family. Applicants must also provide a movie of self introduction in Japanese (max. 1 minute).
  • Students applying for French speaking Canada will need to have completed at least 2 years of continuous language studies and be fluent in French prior to departure.  Students will also need to undergo an interview in French, with our overseas partner.
  • Switzerland requires students to have studied German for minimum of 2 years or complete an intensive short course.  
  • There are no language requirements for all 2-3 month programs to Austria.  5-10 month programs require at least 1 year of German language and students will complete a questionnaire to gauge their language skills.

In all cases, your motivation to learn the language and experience the culture is key to a rewarding experience and, in many cases, is more important than your formal language studies. Feel free to call our friendly staff on 1300 135 331 (Australia) or 0800 440 079 (New Zealand) to discuss your particular circumstances.