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Course levels as defined by the Common European Framework

Our language courses are based on internationally recognized proficiency scales. For European languages, we use the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), levels A1-C2.

At level A1 (Breakthrough): Very basic, simple communication is possible

At level A2 (Waystage): You can deal with short daily social exchanges

At level B1 (Threshold): You are able to understand the main points of work-related and professional texts; give a very simplified overview of a specialist topic that you know well; and cope linguistically and interculturally with daily life on campus and/or in your internship

At level B2 (Vantage): You can cope with your studies abroad, particularly in terms of your receptive skills. You often still require help with oral communication and writing

At level C1 (Effectiveness): You are able to study in the target language without major problems

At C2 level (Mastery): You master almost all situations linguistically and interculturally. You are able to write your thesis or an essay/a paper in the target language.

The level of each of our courses is given in the course description.

In some cases, course levels are divided into two sub-levels, e.g. A2.1 and A2.2 within the A2 band. This helps us to indicate the amount of time that is required to complete a given level (i.e. at least 2 semesters) and the sequence in which the courses should be taken. You will find more information about the language level expected at the beginning and end of a course in the course description.
You can determine your own level of proficiency in a given language by working through the descriptors for each of the CEFR language levels. Links to the self-assessment grids are given below; the grids are available in several languages. Choose the grid that is in your native language, if available; alternatively, select a grid that is in a language you know very well.

Self-assessment grids:: Self-assessment checklists:
German German
English English
French French
Italian Italian


For self-assessment grids in other languages and information on the European Language Portfolio go to this website.