Universidad Isabel I is a modern higher education institution aiming at fulfilling education needs in the 21st century, and fully adapted to the EHEA. It offers an attractive, flexible and dynamic environment to qualify professionals who can contribute to knowledge-building and enter a labour market beyond borders. Hence our strong commitment to internationalisation and promoting international mobility among the university community, especially within the EHEA, fully in line with the EU 2020 strategy pertaining higher education and the Youth on the move flagship initiative.
At Universidad Isabel I we are aware that to make the most of mobility programmes and international knowledge-building, we must be able to communicate internationally. It is therefore of paramount importance to foster language and intercultural competence among the university community (students, faculty and administrative staff). Those are the principles underpinning our language policy.
Universidad Isabel I language policy aims at promoting intercultural awareness and multilingualism within the university. To that end, our language policy revolves around the following areas:
- Language competence in official studies
All our official programmes develop language skills through specific language training in English, as the most demanded language internationally. Language training does not solely rely on developing language competence; it is designed to help students enhance communication skills in English (drafting CVs, cover letters, oral presentations, etc.). Students are also introduced into academic and scientific communication.
- Intercultural and language support to foreign students
Foreign students whose main language is not Spanish must show language competence in Spanish at B2 level as an entry requirement to enrol on our official programmes as Universidad Isabel I students. Students not holding a third-party valid qualification (DELE; Degree in Spanish studies, or similar certificate) can take our own language proficiency test. In addition, students can develop B2 language skills through our online Spanish courses. After taking a placement test, students can enrol on our courses with enough time to attain the required level before registering as a student in our official programmes.
Incoming students through international exchange and mobility programmes are required to have B1 level in Spanish. For students at lower levels of proficiency in Spanish, our School of Languages will offer advice and guidance. Students can take our online courses to attain the required level, so that all students wishing to spend some time at our university will have the necessary language skills to take full advantage of their stay.
As for Spanish-speaking foreign students (be they Isabel I students or coming through mobility programmes), they can enjoy guidance and advice on practicalities (weather, accommodation, paperwork, etc.) before and during their stay.
Our support services include face-to-face Spanish lessons upon arrival in our city in order to strengthen and refine language skills, and to foster relations among foreign and local students alike.
Finally, a cultural programme will be available to immerse students in the local community.
- Language and intercultural support to students, faculty and administrative staff
Promoting language and intercultural skills among students, faculty and administrative staff is key to foster international mobility opportunities. University students and staff can enjoy the following support services:
- Language support and advice, and language proficiency tests (School of Languages): online and face-to-face language tests (at our brick-and-mortar School of Languages in Burgos) are available. Tailor-made advice will be given on the basis of test results and individual needs and circumstances (mobility period, working hours, routines, etc.) in order to find the best way to improve language skills.
- Staff can enjoy concessionary rates on our courses at both the university School of Languages in Burgos (English, Spanish as a foreign language, A1 – C2) and our online School of Languages (English, Spanish as a foreign language, German and Portuguese A1 – B2). Our courses underscore cultural knowledge of countries in which the relevant language is spoken as a core element, along with language knowledge, to enable intercultural communication.
- Cultural programme: cultural activities and events, scheduled in Burgos or online for a deeper knowledge of different cultures and countries (films in original version, reading clubs, discussions and round tables on current affairs, virtual tours of cities, museums, pub quizzes, etc.).
- External resources: for applicants to mobility programmes whose main language is one of the six included in OLS services, language support can be provided through this platform. Students will be granted a license to take a compulsory online language proficiency test (before and after the mobility period). Host institutions and students will be informed of the test results. If deemed necessary by both parties, Universidad Isabel I will give students access to an OLS online course. For students whose main mobility programme language is not included in the OLS, Universidad Isabel I will facilitate other kind of language support to the best of its abilities.
- Translation of educational content and material into languages other than Spanish
Given our internationalisation strategy, we are currently translating educational content and material into other languages, namely English, and Portuguese. Along with Spanish, English and Portuguese languages are considered strategic for different reasons: our potential to tie links with Spanish-speaking Latin American countries; the prominent role of English within the EHEA and worldwide; our special relationship with Portuguese-speaking countries since our foundation.