Online Linguistic Support
The Online Linguistic Support (OLS) is designed to assist Erasmus+ participants in improving their knowledge of the language in which they will work, study or volunteer abroad so that they can make the most out of this experience.
As the lack of language skills remains one of the main barriers to the participation in European education, training and youth mobility opportunities, OLS makes linguistic support accessible in a flexible and easy way. It also contributes to a specific objective of the Erasmus+ programme, which is to promote language learning and linguistic diversity.
More than 350,000 Erasmus+ participants test their language skills with OLS every year and have the opportunity to improve their level with OLS language courses. On average, participants who follow courses actively improve their proficiency by at least one CEFR level (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
Who can benefit from it?
The OLS is currently available for:
- Programme country higher education students studying abroad for 3-12 months or carrying out a traineeship for 2-12 months in another programme country
- Vocational education and training learners studying or training abroad for at least 19 days
- Young people volunteering with the European Voluntary Service for 2-12 months
OLS is available for Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak and Swedish, which are the main languages for more than 90% of all Erasmus+ experiences.
How does it work?
By taking the OLS language assessment before going abroad, Erasmus+ participants are able to determine their proficiency in the language they will use to study, work or volunteer. Taking this assessment before departure is a pre-requisite for higher education students, to make sure that they meet the recommended level at their receiving organisation (except for native speakers or in duly justified cases). The results of the language assessment do not prevent participants from taking part in Erasmus+.
Participants who wish to improve their language proficiency have the opportunity to follow an online language course before and during their time abroad. Access to the language course includes a great variety of Live Coaching activities, amongst which tutoring sessions and interactive MOOCs. Participants who are already sufficiently proficient in the main language used abroad (at least a B2 level) can follow a language course in the language of the country instead, provided that such language is available in OLS.
In cases where the main language is not covered by OLS, linguistic support is provided through other means by the sending or the receiving organisation. Upon their return, participants take the final assessment, which allows them to measure the progress made during their stay abroad.
How to participate?
If you have already been selected to go abroad with Erasmus+ and you meet the above criteria, your institution or organisation will send you a login and a password to access the OLS assessment and language course, if applicable.
What Erasmus+ participants think
Read interviews with Erasmus+ participants who learnt a language or improved their language skills with OLS:
- Anouk, an Erasmus+ student, who mastered Dutch with the help of OLS
- Mariusz, a Polish Erasmus+ participant, who progressed from A2 to C2 level in German in just three months
- Marco who made great progress in Spanish thanks to OLS
Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support for Refugees
Following the recent migration crisis, the European Commission has opened up OLS to 100,000 refugees over a 3-year period, accessible on a voluntary basis and free of charge, mobilising a €4 million budget. The aim is to support the efforts of EU countries to integrate refugees into Europe's education and training systems and ensure their skills development. Since the launch of this initiative, access to more than 53,000 language courses has been provided to refugees in participating countries.
Watch the video and discover how Mohammad, a mechanic from Afghanistan who recently arrived in Belgium, made impressive progress in French thanks to OLS.
More information on Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support for Refugees.