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Global Student Experience

Language Preparation

Proof of Language Proficiency

An exchange for study purposes is not a language course. Without good skills in the language of instruction, a student will not be able to achieve academic results at the host university. Many universities therefore demand an appropriate language certificate at the application stage. It is essential that you contact your institute/department and the host university early on to learn all the details concerning the proof of language skills required, and that you schedule an appropriate language test.

In order to prepare for the tests, we recommend you take advantage of the courses offered by Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich. The Language Center offers advice on preparing for mobility periods as well as information on approved language diplomas.

Homepage Language Center UZH/ETH Zurich

Overview of Language Preparations for Academic Mobility

Self-Access Center

Tandem Offers


Language Certificates

The UZH and ETHZ Language Center offers not only a wide range of language courses but also awards language certificates in English, French, Spanish, and Italian.

English: Preparation courses TOEFL and IELTS

  • TOEFL: The TOEFL-iBT (Internet-based test) is held over 50 times a year at authorized test centers in Zurich. You can register for the test three to four months prior to the test date on the ETS TOEFL website. You should register as early as possible, as the tests are quickly booked out. TOEFL 
  • IELTS - British Council: The British Council Switzerland in Bern holds the IELTS test (International English Learning Testing System) three times a month. The dates are posted online. Results are sent 13 days after the test. British Council SwitzerlandIELTS

French: TEF – Test d`évaluation de français

  • The Language Center offers an internationally approved language test. 
  • You can access more information on courses in French at the Language Center here.

Spanish: Language diploma D.E.L.E. - Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera / Instituto Cervantes

  • You will find information on the D.E.L.E language diploma and other Spanish courses at the Language Center here.


  • You will find information on courses in Italian and various language certificates in Italian (CILS, CELI, PLIDA) and the applicable test centers here.