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University of Burgundy

Language and cultural preparation

Improve your language level before you leave, and be prepared for culture shock.

For a successful international experience, you can:

  • improve your language level. Expand your knowledge of the language of instruction at the partner university or the working language at your internship organisation. If your host country's language is different than the language you will be working or studying in, it's also a good idea to learn the basics of that language;
  • get acquainted with the host country's culture and familiarise yourself with the environment in which you will live.

There are several resources available for improving your language level while also learning more about the culture of your host country.

The University of Burgundy's Language centre offers public courses in multiple languages of different levels, TOEIC certificates, and self-education programmes specifically designed for language learning, as well as a chance to interact with native speakers who can introduce you to their own country's culture.

Students of the English-taught Intercultural Management master's programme offer workshops for learning more about other cultures. These workshops are conducted in English, so they are also a great opportunity to improve your English skills.

Discussion topics include:

  • sensitivity to cultural differences;
  • cultural differences in a working environment;
  • how to overcome culture shock while abroad;
  • different concepts in other cultures: values, humour, stereotypes, table etiquette, food, etc.
  • group discussions about cultural experiences;
  • ...

Workshop structure

  • Option of participating in workshops the first or second semester of the academic year.
  • Weekly hour-long meetings generally occurring during the midday break on the Dijon campus or online via Teams or Zoom.
  • Free and open to all uB students.
  • Registration via an online form sent by e-mail to your inbox. 
  • Students registered for the workshops will receive a statement from the Faculty of Languages and Communication confirming their participation.

More information

  • Watch the video Culture Shock Workshops directed by uB students.
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The transversal course units give you the option to enhance your skills and gain new experiences in addition to obtaining extra ECTS credits.

Interculturalité transversal course is particularly useful if you want to improve a foreign language and/or learn more about other cultures: it allows you to follow foreign language courses at the University Language Centre for free and to obtain experience working as a native speaker tutor in an international context.

There are a number of websites which offer language tandems: someone who can help you to learn or improve a foreign language in exchange for you helping them to learn your own native language. These conversations can take place online or face to face.

Examples of tandem language websites:

Participate in conversation groups organised by different associations. Practice a foreign language over drinks in a Dijon bar.

Some examples of associations:

Find a buddy with the student society ESN InsiDijon! You can talk and improve your foreign language with an international student who is currently registered at uB and also discover their culture before you go abroad!

Find out more:

Co-funded by the European Union

Take a look at the International office's Facebook page to find publications of the summer and winter schools that we regularly receive from our partner universities. We also publish offers from other establishments from all across the world.

These schools offer foreign language courses or courses in different study areas either in English or in the language of the host country. These schools often take place during several weeks of the winter or summer holidays. The courses also give you the opportunity to discover the country in a multicultural context with other foreign students, by offering trips and excursions.

The costs of the schools are paid by the student.

Reading other students' experiences and reactions can help you better understand cultural differences and familiarise yourself with the country in which you will be studying or working.

Take a look at the many pages online featuring student testimonies who went abroad:

  • uB student testimonies (French and international) who went abroad on an exchange programme or as an intern: interviews and photo slideshows with comments;
  • testimonies of international students who came to study or intern at the University of Burgundy;
  • Regional platform for international mobility website: experiences of young people who went abroad outside of France, as well as those who came to Burgundy via the regional international mobility programme;
  • E-Ambassador Blogs written by international students in France who share their experiences and touch on multiple topics as told from their own perspective: studying, housing, the French language, traveling, entertainment, finances.

Other ways to improve your language skills

If you go abroad on an exchange or internship under the Erasmus+ programme, you will have the opportunity to follow free and unlimited online courses funded by the European Union. You will be able to train whenever you want for the duration of your mobility abroad.


How to access this learning facility?

Create your account on the EU Academy platform then choose the online courses you are interested in according to your language level in one or more languages from all over Europe.

The scheme gives you the opportunity to:

  • improve your existing knowledge of the main language used in your course/internship ;
  • learn the basics of a new language: either the language of your host country or that of another country you would like to discover.

Language support is available in the following languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.


Level tests

You will also be able to take level tests, at any time and as many times as you like, to measure your progress. These tests will assess your language skills - listening, reading and writing - according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). At the end of each level test, you will be offered a course programme adapted to the result obtained, as well as a certification in the form of a diploma. You can use this official diploma of your language skills for future study, work or volunteering abroad.


What happens to the test results?

Only you have access to the test results, which will not be shared with the host organisation abroad or with the University of Burgundy. The results will not influence your departure abroad or the payment of your Erasmus+ grant. You will not be penalised for a bad result. The aim of these tests is to help you assess your level and give you the opportunity to progress.

The EU Academy platform also offers hundreds of courses and podcasts on different topics: culture, education, environment, food, health, foreign rights and policies... also available for free.

Co-funded by the European Union

Free online resources are available to improve your language level. Browse our list of useful sites for learning German, English, and Spanish, and don't hesitate to search the Internet for similar programmes for other languages.

These resources are equally useful for practice if you're pursuing a language certificate (TOEIC, TOEFL, CLES, TestDAF, ZD, ZDfB, DEFE, ELYTE...).


  • Think about reading in foreign languages, even if you don't understand everything. The aim is to successfully understand the text as a whole and to improve little by little. There are many editors who publish simplified works with simple phrases and a more limited vocabulary so that you can start.
  • Download radio applications on your phone and listen to programmes and songs on foreign radio channels.
  • When you watch TV and online content, try doing so in a foreign language.

Try and find varied methods and don't become discouraged!

uB International office contacts.

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English version