Languages of Catalonia
The official languages in Catalonia are Catalan, Spanish (Castilian) and Occitan (Aranese). Catalan is also spoken in Valencia (Valencian), the Balearic Islands, the eastern areas of Aragon, the Principality of Andorra, the Department of Pyrénées Orientales in France and the Sardinian city of Alghero. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and Occitan is spoken in the Aran Valley as well as in southern France. All three belong to the Romance languages family.
Catalan is widely used in public life, the mass media, trade and business. It is one of the group of western neo-Latin languages, together with Spanish, Portuguese and French and should not present much difficulty to anyone who speaks either of those languages, or any other Romance language for that matter. Bear in mind also that the Catalan-speaking population is bilingual and understands and speaks Spanish. In general, someone who can speak Spanish will also be able to understand Catalan within a short time. So a student who spends several months in Lleida can improve Spanish and at the same time, learn some Catalan.
Languages at the University of Lleida
Catalan, Spanish and English are the three working languages at the University of Lleida. The language that is most commonly used at the University of Lleida is Catalan. Lectures may be taught in Catalan or Spanish, depending on the teacher who must not change the language once the course has already begun. The language of the instruction for each course is specified in the "Syllabus and course guides section" of each degree. Nevertheless, if students and professors share the knowledge of a not scheduled language, they can agree to use it in their academic relation outside the classroom (mentorships, assignments, exams, etc.). The University of Lleida helps students with their linguistic integration into the university community.
Linguistic requirements for mobility students
General requirements according to Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR):
- English B2: mandatory for courses taught in English
- Spanish B1: highly recommended
- Catalan A1: optional (recommended for courses taught in Catalan)
- Faculty of Arts
- Catalan B1 required (for courses of the Catalan Philology bachelor’s degree)
- Occitan B1 required (for courses of Occitan Studies bachelor’s degree)
- Spanish B2 required (for courses of Hispanic Philology bachelor’s degree)
- English B2 required (for courses of English Studies bachelor’s degree)
- Faculty of Medicine
- Spanish B2 highly recommended for clinical internships
Courses in English
The School of Agrifood and Forestry Science and Engineering, the Polytechnic School and the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Social Work offer some courses taught in English. Better and further information is available at this website.
Catalan and Spanish courses for mobility students
There are more than 150 universities in the world who teach Catalan. Students from one of these Universities can prepare their stay at the UdL by taking a language course at their own university. In addition, some Catalan communities abroad offer also Catalan courses. You can find information about catalan courses abroad on this link
Before their arrival, exchange students can also get used to Catalan by looking at Intercat website, the resources online prepared for Catalan universities for mobility students. There are plenty of other interesting on-line resources, like the multilingual University Phrase Book available on this website.
The UdL encourages all the incoming mobility students to take adavantage of their stay in Lleida to learn the local languages. Two weeks before lectures begin, the Language Institute organises an elementary course in Catalan, as well as other orientation activities. Spanish and Catalan courses for exchange students are also organised during the academic year to complement their studies. Complete information about Spanish and Catalan language courses as well as other resources to improve these languages are available at the web site of the Language Institute.