Study and Work Away Service

Learn a language

Why not take advantage of the language learning opportunities at the University?

Knowledge of the local language can enhance any international experience even if language skills are not necessarily required for study.

Taking a language as an extra subject in your first and/or second years at Edinburgh is recommended as a means of ensuring that you are equipped, linguistically, for a year or semester abroad. 

Besides taking a language as an outside course during your 1st and/or 2nd year of study, there are other opportunities for improving your language skills whilst at the University of Edinburgh:

Open Languages

Open Languages courses are one semester language courses available to all students within the university. Open Languages courses may be taken either as part of your degree, or for extra credit - you should check with your School to see what's possible for your degree programme.

Open Languages

Languages for All

Languages for All is run by the University's Centre for Open Learning, and offers a range of short not-for-credit courses in an amazing variety of different languages. These courses are open to everyone.

Languages for All

Tandem language programme

Tandem is EUSA’s popular language exchange programme. It is designed to help you meet people and learn languages in a fun, relaxed, social environment without tutors, exams or lectures.

Tandem language programme

If you already have some knowledge of the language you want to improve, why not go along to one of EUSA's popular Tandem language exchange cafes? Learn more on the group's Facebook page.

Student societies

At the University of Edinburgh, our diverse student population has encouraged the growth of a whole host of international and multicultural societies. Why not join one of these societies and see if there are any opportunities to learn more about the culture of your host country and practise your language skills? 

Find a student group

Other ideas 

There are several meet-up groups in Edinburgh for people looking to practice a foreign language. The Yakety Yak language cafe offers in-person conversation groups across the city for a small fee.

If you enjoy games, language learning apps can help those with a competitive streak challenge themselves and learn at the same time. Try:

You can also arrange a virtual language exchange through services like italki.

If you like to listen to podcasts, seek out one that supports language learning. Similarly, research popular blogs, vlogs, TV shows or films in your target language. 

Make sure learning a language is a pleasure, not a chore!