Language of instruction
French is the main language of instruction at UCLouvain.
As an ERASMUS or international exchange student you will fully participate in the student life and should be able to follow lectures, participate in class discussions (seminars and tutorials), write essays, etc.
Therefore, a B2 level in French (written and oral) is recommended (even though – so far - an official international test is not mandatory).
Please note that, depending on the programmes, you will have access to a certain number of courses in English and in other foreign languages (Dutch, Spanish, Italian, etc.).
English- or French-friendly courses
English-friendly courses are taught in French (or in another language) but offer facilities in English for international students who have a passive knowledge of French.
Conversely, French-friendly courses are taught in English (or in another language) but offer facilities in French for international students who have a passive knowledge in (French/)English. They allow international students to attend lectures that might otherwise not have been accessible to them, while helping them improve their knowledge of French through the input received in the classroom.
English and French friendly courses offer at least the following four facilities in English or French :
- Reading: bibliographical references in English/French can be provided ;
- Questions: students can ask their questions in English/French ;
- Evaluation: students can do presentations, write essays and/or answer exam questions in English/French ;
- Dictionary: students are allowed to use a dictionary (monolingual French/English dictionary or bilingual dictionary, as specified by the teacher), including for exams.
Students who want to benefit from these facilities need to make sure that the course has the “friendly” label (as indicated in the Study programme) and they should inform the teacher of the facilities they want to benefit from at the very beginning of the course.
Note that English-friendly courses are not bilingual courses: classes are taught in French and teachers are likely to communicate with students in French/English. Such courses are therefore not accessible to students who have very limited or no knowledge of French or English.
ECTS and Workload
According to the “European Credit Transfer System”, the regular course workload for a semester is 30 ECTS.
One ECTS credit corresponds approximately to 30 hours of work (lectures, seminars, tutorials, independent study, etc.).
Exchange students may take a few courses outside FIAL, but they will need special permission (for more information, please contact the international exchange coordinator).
French language courses
Language courses are taught at the Institut des langues vivantes (ILV).
As an ERASMUS or international exchange student you can include in your study programme up to two French language courses per term (10/30 or 16/60 ECTS).
If you wish to attend an extra language course, you should request admission directly at the ILV and pay the appropriate fees.
Please note that French language course(s):
- must be included in your learning agreement;
- must be of the same level (if taken during the same term);
- if you choose to include only one course, you are not allowed to take a 3 ECTS course.
Further information about French language courses
You are strongly advised to attend the information session organized at the beginning of each term at the ILV.
All UCLouvain courses have codes composed of 3/5 letters and four digits.
The first letter refers to the campus
L= Louvain-la-Neuve campus
M= Mons campus
W= Woluwe campus
The other four letters refer to the main study programme, the Faculty or, for ILV courses, to the language:
HIST= i.e. study programme in History
FIAL= i.e. study programme of the Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Letters
FRAN = i.e. French language course
The first digit refers to the study cycle:
1 = undergraduate programmes
2 = graduate programmes
The other three digits identify individual courses
For the full description of a course (workload, contents, language of instruction, prerequisite, if any, teaching methods, timetable, etc.), type:
and replace “COURSECODE” with the exact code related to the course you want to attend, for instance www.uclouvain.be/en-cours-2022-LGERM2823.
A search engine is now available via the following link: https://uclouvain.be/en/uclpesearch
If you are looking for a specific course, you might also browse the study programmes offered by the Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Letters.