General FAQs


Covid certificates for on-site courses

My course is published online as a face-to-face course; is the Language Center switching to online courses, given the current UZH and ETH COVID certificate requirements?

No. The information in the Language Center course descriptions remain valid, in accordance with UZH guidelines.

My course is published online as a face-to-face course; are language courses being offered as hybrid courses, given the current UZH and ETH COVID certificate requirements?

No. The information in the Language Center course descriptions remains valid, in accordance with UZH guidelines.

My course is published online as a face-to-face course; are language courses going to be recorded and made available electronically, given the current UZH and ETH COVID certificate requirements?

No. The Language Center does not record any of its courses.

My course is published online as a face-to-face course; are language courses going to be streamed, given the current UZH and ETH COVID certificate requirements?

No. The Language Center does not stream any of its courses.

Is it mandatory to wear a mask during a Language Center course?

Masks are not mandatory in UZH classrooms, but the UZH recommends wearing a mask. Masks continue to be mandatory in all indoor public spaces at UZH and ETH.

How is the UZH going to ensure compliance with the COVID certificate requirement?

The UZH will ensure compliance with the COVID certificate requirement through a mix of random checks, technical measures, and personal responsibility. Appropriate, regular spot checks will be carried out to ensure compliance with the certificate requirement. The pandemic management team is currently determining how these checks will be carried out. Teaching staff are not responsible for carrying out spot checks but can do so if they consider them necessary.

At ETH Zurich, external stewards will monitor compliance by performing random checks of certificates. ETH members will have to show their certificates and a valid personal ID or ETH card. Anyone without a valid certificate, proof of vaccination, or proof of a PCR test will be barred from attending teaching events in person.

Which vaccines are recognized?

UZH, recognizes Swiss COVID certificates and vaccination certificates from abroad if the foreign vaccine is approved in the EU or listed in the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing.

ETH Zürich recognizes Swiss COVID certificates and COVID certificates issued by EU member states, as well as proof of vaccinations with vaccines listed on the WHO FOPH website.

Is testing available?

UZH offers free tests at various locations (until the end of October) to students and staff subject to mandatory COVID certificates who do not have a COVID certificate.

ETH Zurich offers several on-site test options.


Enrollments / Withdrawals / Changing courses

Who can enroll in a course?

Members of UZH and ETH Zurich; members of our partner universities, which are Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich) and Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

Who CANNOT take a course?

The following groups are not entitled to enroll in our language courses: Members of universities that are not partners of the Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich; spouses and life partners of UZH and ETH members; and auditors and guests.

How much do the courses cost?

Our course fees vary according to your target group; fees are also dependent on the format of a course and on the maximum number of participants admitted to a course. When enrolling for one of our courses, select your target group first. Then select the title of your chosen course to access the course description. The course fee is listed at the top of the course description.

Where can I find information about course fees, course content, materials, and course location?

This information is provided in the detailed course description. When enrolling for one of our courses, select your target group first. Then select the title of your chosen course to access the course description.

When can I enroll for a course?

Enrollment dates are listed in the detailed course description and on the entry page of our website (right-hand side). They differ from the general module booking deadlines of UZH and ETH Zurich. For Language Center courses, the enrollment and withdrawal dates that are posted on our website are binding.

How do I enroll for a course?

On our entry page, click on the language of your choice. This will take you to a page with information about the courses and services offered in that language, as well as the comment: “Please choose your university and your target group.” Once you have selected these, you will be directed to a list of courses that you can enroll in during the enrollment period. Dates for enrollments are posted on the right-hand side of our entry page.

Once you have submitted the online form, you will immediately get a browser message and an automatically generated email to confirm that your enrollment request has been received. When we have processed your enrollment, you will receive another email informing you whether or not you have a place on the course. If you do not receive a confirmation email from the Language Center, your enrollment is invalid.

Can I still enroll in a course even if the course has already started?

You can no longer enroll in a course once the first two weeks of a course have passed.

You can, however, choose one of the following options

I am on a waiting list. Will I get a place on the course?

If a place becomes available, we will let you know immediately. If you do not receive any information from us by the enrollment deadline, this means that we are unable to offer you a place on the course. Unfortunately, we cannot provide information in the interim about your chances of getting a place.

If you do not get a place on a course, you can try again in a later semester, or you can study the language independently. Please contact the Self-Access Center for help with autonomous learning.

I have already taken a particular course before and would like to take the same course again in order to brush up my skills. Can I do this?

No. We cannot award ECTS points twice for the same course. You are only permitted to re-take a course if the first time around you failed to complete the course assessments or you failed the course entirely. If you have already passed a course and still wish to brush up your skills, please contact the Self-Access Center for help with autonomous learning.

How do I find out what my language level is?

You can do a self-assessment of your language level using the descriptors and checklists provided by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Click here for more information.

In addition, please read the entry requirements and course levels listed in our course descriptions carefully before enrolling.

The Language Center reserves the right to cancel enrollments after a course has started if a participant’s language skills differ significantly from those listed in the course description. ECTS points are issued only for progress made and assessed in connection with one of our courses.

What is the language of instruction?

At higher language levels, the language of instruction is the same as the target language. At beginner level, explanations are sometimes given in German. At beginner level, English is used to teach German as a foreign language courses.

As an ETH student who needs GESS (SiP) points, how do I enroll, and which courses can I enroll in?

If, as an ETH student, you wish to attend a course where you can gain Science in Perspective (SiP) points from the D-GESS, you need to enroll via the Language Center website. You cannot enroll via myStudies. Our GESS/SiP courses are also published in the electronic ETH Course Catalogue. You are only enrolled in one of our courses if you have received an official confirmation email from the Language Center.

What is the deadline for withdrawing from a fee-based course?

Up until the end of the enrollment period, you can withdraw free of charge from a course that you have enrolled in. Dates of the enrollment period are listed in the detailed course descriptions and on the entry page of our website (right-hand side).

If you withdraw after the deadline, or if you simply fail to appear, you will be charged the full course fee. Withdrawals must be made in writing by email to the Language Center Secretariat. Written and/or verbal withdrawals made to a lecturer do not count as proper withdrawals. Non-payment or partial payment of the course fees do not constitute a withdrawal from a course. For more information, please read our General terms and conditions.

How do I withdraw from a course?

Withdrawals must be made by email to the Language Center Secretariat. Written and/or verbal withdrawals made to a lecturer do not count as proper withdrawals. Non-payment or partial payment of the course fees do not constitute a withdrawal from a course. For more information, please read our General terms and conditions.

Up until the end of the enrollment period, you can withdraw free of charge from a course that you have enrolled in. Dates of the enrollment period are listed in the detailed course descriptions and on the entry page of our website (right-hand side). If you withdraw after the deadline, or if you simply fail to appear, you will be charged the full course fee.

When will I get my invoice?

Invoices are issued and sent out at the end of the enrollment period.

Can I change my course?

You can change courses during the enrollment period in consultation with the Secretariat and your lecturer, but only if the course you wish to change to still has available places.

How many courses can I take in any given semester?

In general – for all languages except for Ancient Greek, English, and Latin – UZH and ETH Bachelor’s and Master’s students can initially only enroll for one course. On Thursday before semester starts (9am), you can add other courses. You will get a browser message when you enroll if the one-course rule applies.

As an UZH or ETH PhD/doctoral student, staff member, or alumni and as a member of Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich) and Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), you can enroll for as many courses as you like.

How does the Language Center allocate course places?

UZH and ETH Zurich provide their Bachelor’s and Master’s students with a wide range of language learning options through the Language Center. When we plan our course program, we assess what the demand for our courses is likely to be. However, in many cases, the demand exceeds the number of course places we are able to provide. For this reason, we cannot guarantee that everyone will be able to take the course of their choice.
When we allocate course places, we take the following criteria into consideration:
 

  • Linguistic suitability

  • The Language Center doesn’t assess language levels of course participants before they enroll. You need to carefully assess your language level yourself, and we allocate places based on the information you give us. Reading the course description and the Course levels as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages carefully will ensure that you have the necessary skills for a particular course. If you need help assessing whether you meet the requirements of a particular course, please contact the Secretariat.
  •  
  • Motives for choosing a particular course

    Priority is given to those who need a course for study purposes.
  •  
  • Other criteria
    If both criteria above are met, we then consider the time and date of enrollment and how long a participant has been at university when they enroll at the Language Center.


OLAT and Moodle learning platforms

I don’t have an UZH or ETH account. How do I access OLAT?

If you are a member of PHZH or ZHdK, you can register on OLAT by selecting your university on the OLAT entry page.

If you are a UZH or ETH alumni, you can create a SWITCH edu-ID at the time of registration.

I don’t have an UZH or ETH account. How do I access Moodle?

If you are a member of PHZH or ZHdK, you can register on Moodle by selecting your university on the Moodle entry page.

If you are a UZH or ETH alumni, you can create a SWITCH edu-ID at the time of registration.


Certificates / ECTS points

Can I have ECTS points/credits accredited to my degree?

When you have completed a Language Center course and have passed the course assessments, we will issue a certificate of achievement. This lists the number of ECTS points awarded for successful completion of the course. The transmission of your course results to UZH and ETH Zurich occurs automatically at the end of the semester. The accreditation of ECTS points to your degree is not the Language Center’s responsibility. For more information about accreditation and recognition of course results, click here.

How are my learning outcomes (assessments) graded?

You will find our general assessment guidelines via the ECTS points link on our website. Your lecturer will give you more information about the assessment criteria for individual assignments and about how they calculate grades.

Which type of certificate will I receive?

If you successfully complete one of our language courses, you will receive a certificate of achievement from the Language Center. Your certificate will state the number of ECTS points you have gained and your grade. The assessment requirements are published in the course description.

Can I get a certificate confirming my attendance of a course?

If you don’t need the ECTS points from a course, or if you have not completed the assignments needed to pass a course, but you would still like a confirmation that you took the course, you must have attended at least two-thirds of all lessons. For courses of 26-28 lessons, you must have attended 18 lessons; for courses of 52-56 lessons, 36; and for courses of 14 lessons, 9.


Self-Access Center

How can the Self-Access Center help me?

The Self-Access Center offers a range of services and media (including ones that you can borrow) to help you study your chosen language independently, including the following:

  • You can get advice on how to brush up your language skills
  • • If you have been unable to attend a course at the Language Center and wish to take a course at a higher level a future semester, you can work on your language skills independently at the Self-Access Center in the interim
  • You might also be able to attend one of our learning activities (e.g., language meet-ups, writing workshops, games events, and film and book clubs) in the language you wish to learn


General information

Does the Language Center provide confirmation of language skills?

Informationen finden Sie unter folgenden Links:

German as a foreign language

English

French

Italian

Portuguese

Spanish

Which language schools does the Language Center recommend to interested external parties?

We don’t make recommendations for private language schools and/or for language courses run by universities abroad.