Language study is a keystone of GLS, understanding global history and issues necessitates extended study of a language besides English. All GLS students engage in advanced language study, regardless of their initial level of proficiency.
They must attain proficiency through at least the intermediate level before graduation and take at least one course in the language of their junior year site during each semester at the site. Students may take a placement test and either:
- continue language study at the site at a higher level (for example, in an advanced grammar class and one conversation class), or
- take one higher level language instruction class and one class taught in the language of the host country.
Students who already have advanced proficiency will take two classes during the junior year taught in the local language. Fluency is established by testing out of the intermediate level (normally, level IV) in the language department's placement test.
Unless they are already proficient in the local language, students prepare for the junior year abroad as sophomores, by taking at least one semester of intensive work in the language spoken at the site. As an example, a student with little or no prior education in French who was to spend junior year in Paris would take Intensive Elementary French in the sophomore year. During the junior year at one of NYU’s international campuses, students enroll in one class each semester in the target language, usually a second semester of intensive language (to continue the example above, Intensive Intermediate French) followed by a semester of more advanced study of the language. If a student can demonstrate appropriate proficiency, however, he or she instead takes courses taught in the language itself. At some sites, this will include coursework at our local partner universities. Students may, in consultation with their advisors, decide to continue their language study in order to complete a minor in the language.