Every year, hundreds and thousands of students choose to study abroad due to the many advantages that they can gain as international students. However, there are a set of students who dream of studying abroad but are not confident to go ahead due to a lack of knowledge about the eligibility criteria and language requirements. Also, there are a set of students who think twice to go ahead due to English being their second language so they are concerned about not being able to cope with attaining fluency in English.
Are you someone who has been having these types of concerns? If so, here is some good news!
There are many language support institutes available in Srilanka to help students to improve and meet the minimum language skills required to study abroad. In addition, even after migrating, the students will have a chance to improve their language skills because most universities especially those with a large number of International Students have a well-developed support system in place which of course includes language support centres and programs to assist their international students.
Sounds good enough? Keep reading to find out more about the language requirements and the available language support programs that are available for International Students.
It is a known fact that the students will require a sufficient level of English to be able to successfully carry out their studies abroad. That is the reason why most universities have set minimum language skills required to assess the eligibility of the students.
For example, an international student who wants to migrate to the UK will be required to meet the English Language Requirements as outlined by the selected university to obtain their student Visas. The students would have to demonstrate their language level by taking an approved English Language test and sending it to that particular University.
There are many English Language tests available. Among them, IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic and Cambridge English Advanced are the most commonly demanded English tests.
Note: the minimum requirements that are mentioned below for each of the English Language tests are mentioned for General purpose only. If you need to know the exact minimum requirements specifically for your selected university then refer to their website in which they usually state which test they prefer, the minimum overall grade they expect, and the grades they require in writing, speaking, listening, and reading. However, the levels of English required can also differ according to the different courses.
IELTS – International English Language Test System
Foundation courses – minimum of IELTS band 5.5, with no component below 5.5.
Undergraduate courses – minimum of IELTS band 6.0, with no component below 5.5. Some courses, especially those with a high level of discussion and writing, require higher scores.
Postgraduate course – minimum of IELTS band 6.5–7.0, with no component below 6.0. Some courses and PhDs require higher scores.
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
Foundation courses – If you’re interested in a Foundation or pathway course you need a score of 72 with a minimum of:
Undergraduate courses – For most Bachelor’s degrees, you need a score of 79 with a minimum of:
Postgraduate courses – For most Master’s degrees, you need a score of 91 with a minimum of:
PTE – Pearson Test of English
Foundation courses – at least 51 points, with a minimum of 51 in each component.
Undergraduate courses – at least 54 points, with a minimum of 51 in each component.
Postgraduate courses – at least 61 points, with a minimum of 54 in each component.
C1 Advanced – Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
If you’re interested in a Foundation course you need a score of 47 or above, with a minimum of Borderline in each skill on the pre-2015 test. If you took the test after 2015, you need an overall score of 162 with no component score less than 162.
For most Bachelor’s degrees, you need a score of 52 or above, with a minimum of Borderline in each skill on the pre-2015 test. If you took the test after 2015, you need an overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
For most Master’s degrees, you need a score of 58 or above, with a minimum of Borderline in each skill on the pre-2015 test. If you took the test after 2015, you need an overall score of 176 with no component score less than 169.
If you think you won’t be able to meet the minimum language requirements, many language centres provide general English courses and other preparation courses to help you prepare for those English language tests and enter the University of your Dream.
In Srilanka, one of the well-known and recognized language support institutes would be the “British Council Srilanka”. The centre works in partnership with a large number of public, private, non-profit and non-governmental organizations to deliver a wide range of language support programs which include English language test preparation classes and many more English-related courses which are conducted both online and in-class.
As mentioned previously, most universities would have well-developed language support programs and language centres to help international students improve their English.
Pre-sessional English Programme – most universities provide these pre-sessional English programmes that would help the students to learn and improve their language skills before their main academic semester begins. Hence, it is a good opportunity for students to fulfil the gaps they have in their language and improve their fluency before beginning their main courses.
University language centres – these types of centres established by the universities aim to provide international students whose native language is not English. These centres will run several different types of activities to improve the student’s written and spoken English. Some universities would also provide free English Language tutors for International students.
By now it would have been clear what types of language support you as an international student would receive. That is why you should not give up your dream of studying abroad just because English is not your first language.