Frequently Asked Questions:

Please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you continue to have questions not answered by our website, please contact CAS Advising, or 617-353-2400.

If you are continuing study in ChineseGermanHebrew, or Japanese, please see instructions for the on-line placement tests here:

If you are continuing study in FrenchItalianPortuguese, or Spanish, please seen instructions for the online placement tests here:

These are not the only languages we offer!  The above languages have online placement exams, but all other languages will have placement exams during the first week of classes in September.  In addition to the languages listed above, Boston University also offers: Arabic, American Sign Language, Amharic, Greek (both ancient & modern), Hindi-Urdu, Hausa, Igbo, Korean, Latin, Persian, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, Wolof, Zhosa, and Zulu.

Please check with the World Languages and Literatures, the Department of Romance Studies, the Department of Classical Studies, or the African Studies Department for placement exam times and locations.

For bilingual students only :

If you prefer to fulfill the language requirement by demonstrating proficiency in your native language, please submit the Request for Foreign Language Proficiency Evaluation form to CAS Language Advising no later than second semester of sophomore year.

If you are interested in studying abroad, please talk to your professors and visit the Study Abroad website.

1) Equivalences for language courses offered through a non-BU External Study Abroad program

If you would like to consult on BU equivalences for language courses offered through a non-BU External Study Abroad program, Emily Whalen, Program Manager for External Programs, must also be involved in this process. For more information, please read the instructions at the following website:

2) Equivalences for language courses offered through BU Study Abroad program

In order to have BU study abroad courses counted for your major or minor : you should work with your RS/WLL advisors: the advisor should notify our office of an approved substitution indicating the requirements that have been fulfilled by the study abroad courses for which you have already received BU credit.

Try a language class with a lower enrollment such as Arabic, Hindi-Urdu, or one of the African languages.   These classes frequently offer an opportunity to engage with students and faculty in a smaller, less-intimidating setting.

If you are interested in the linguistic and cultural challenge of a new language, give it a try!  Research suggests that each foreign language that you add is a bit easier to learn.   You will start a new adventure that will only enhance your global perspective!

By taking more advanced courses you will become increasingly comfortable interacting in the language and its culture.  These communication and cultural skills will serve you well as you pursue study abroad, internship, and professional opportunities.

For students wishing to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them to practice or get help with a specific foreign language:

– you can join small, informal conversation groups led by native and accomplished speakers (in 12 different languages) at the Educational Resource Center (language link)
– you can set up appointments with peer tutors at the ERC as well (peer tutoring) (to seek tutoring with a professor, contact
– you can use learning tools at the Howard Thurman Center (HTC)
– you can take free, fun, non-credit classes in a number of different languages with the “Globally Speaking” Program

If you would like to live at a Specialty house, visit the Specialty Community residence webpage.

Scholarship opportunities targeting foreign language study and internships are available for many different languages.  Consult the links below and consider applying for one of these programs!  Please contact your language professor or CAS Language Advising if you have any questions.

Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS)

These scholarships are available to students who are currently or will be at the intermediate or advanced level of study of an African language.  The undergraduate fellowship is equal to a $10,000 tuition waiver and a $5,000 living stipend for the award year.  Summer fellowships are also available to study African languages at domestic or overseas programs.

The Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS)

This program offers summer language institutes for U.S. university students and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.  The focus is on mastering critical foreign languages including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian and Turkish.

National Security Agency Summer Language Program

The NSA Summer Language Program is an intensive 12-week intern program primarily intended for students studying Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Russian and Urdu.

Boren Scholarships

These scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program and provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/ German Academic Exchange Service

This program offers scholarships for study or internships in Germany.

Huayu Mandarin Language Enrichment Scholarship

These scholarships are funded by the Chinese Ministry of Education in Taiwan and provide a monthly stipend for American students to study Mandarin at a college or university in Taiwan.

Qalam wa Lawh Center for Arabic Studies

IBn Battuta Merit Scholarships for Peace and Diplomacy are available for semester or summer study of Arabic at the Qalam wa Lawh Center in Rabat, Morocco.

Korean University Scholarships

Korean universities offer numerous scholarships for students interested in studying Korean language and culture.

MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship

For students who have higher proficiency than third year Japanese, the MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship provides one year of study in Japan, generally focused on advanced language and Japanese studies. It provides both free tuition and over $1100/month living stipend, often with reduced housing. Students should apply through the nearest Japanese Consulate.

Study Abroad in Japan Bridging Scholarships

The Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs in Japan.