Language Offerings and Requirements

NYU is committed to enhancing students’ immersion into local cultures as they study across the Global Network University. This commitment is reflected in the mandatory language instruction at seven GNU locations: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, Madrid, Paris, Shanghai, and Tel Aviv. At these sites, students are required to take either a language course or a content course taught in the language of the host country.1 Language instruction is also offered, but not required, at four additional locations: Abu Dhabi, Accra, New York, and Prague.2 (NYU Sydney and NYU Washington, DC do not currently offer language courses.)


Where possible, you are encouraged to begin studying the language of your intended destination in advance of your semester(s) abroad. Having a background in the language of the host country will enable you to have a more immersive experience, since you will be able to connect with the local community from the moment you arrive. In addition, it will open up opportunities for internships at the sites, as well as the possibility of enrolling directly in courses at the local universities with which NYU has agreements. You are encouraged to consult with the Language Program Directors and the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in the CAS language departments about how best to begin (or to continue) study of a particular language in preparation for studying away.

Introductory Language Courses

Having no knowledge of a foreign language is not, however, an obstacle to studying away in the Global Network University, since elementary-level courses are offered at all non-Anglophone sites. Working with instructors, tutors, and language partners from the local community, you can immerse yourself in the language and culture of the host country and build a strong foundation for future study of the language.

Intensive Courses

Intensive courses at the elementary and intermediate levels are offered at five sites where language study is required (Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, Madrid, and Paris). If you plan to study at one of these sites but have no (or limited) background in the language of the host community, you are encouraged to take an intensive course (within your 18-point credit limit), to maximize your exposure to the language and to the culture. [This might be a preferred option for students whose schools do not have language requirements or who, because of the demands of their curriculum, are unable to continue studying the language upon their return.]

1 At NYU Tel Aviv, students have the option of taking the course The Languages of Tel Aviv or a course in either Hebrew or Arabic to fulfill the language requirement.
NYU Abu Dhabi offers courses in Arabic and Chinese; NYU Accra offers Twi; and NYU Prague offers not only Czech but also German, Polish, and Russian. Instruction is offered in several languages in New York.