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Furthering your language learning for academic purposes

Might you need to read material in your field that is written in another language? Do you need to access an archive or conduct fieldwork in another country? Is there a research team overseas with whom you would like to collaborate? Or are you a non-native speaker of English studying or researching at Cambridge? Many students and staff members in Cambridge pursue language learning for these reasons, often via the routes below.

Plan ahead and consider our CULP taught course options early as these may meet at least some of your needs. CULP includes some courses specifically aimed at developing reading skills and new courses are developed in response to demand. Most are delivered in three formats across the year: a standard course for two terms, an eight week course for more intensive study during Easter term, and a three-week daily summer course at the start of the long vacation. Course level descriptors will help you with your Language Passport (see below).

If you need a quick chat about the options available to you generally, drop in to the Language Centre reception area and talk to a member of our Advising team.

If you are a non-native speaker looking for further support with your English for Academic Purposes, explore our one-year EAP in-sessional programme available to you as a University member. Your department can tell you if funding is available for accessing this support as part of your academic or doctoral training and development.

If you are considering self-study, explore the John Trim Centre resources and book an appointment to discuss what you might do and how you might shape your studies to meet your academic needs. There are over 160 languages to choose from. We can help keep you going with advice and support, such as looking for a native speaker of your target language with our Conversation Exchange scheme.

Consider taking a language course abroad. Our Language Adviser collects information and reviews on short intensive courses. Some course providers on our lists include work experience opportunities as part of their package. Arrange an appointment to find out more.

Explore the different channels of financial support open to you: through College, your Department, international bursaries etc. The Student Registry information on further funding opportunities in the University will help.
If you are a scientist, remember the Language Centre's Pressland Bursary scheme for intensive language study abroad over the long vacation.

To be able to properly demonstrate your level of attainment and describe to future colleagues your proficiency to date, compile your Languages Passport to accompany your academic CV. Any courses or self-study you undertake need to go into this document.