Pandemic Message

COVID-19 Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


During the fall semester, students will complete four weeks of intensive language classes (CILE) after which they will enroll in five classes of the Spanish Language and Culture Course (CLCE). Due to the structure of the spring semester, students will go directly into five Spanish Language and Culture classes.

Upon arrival, all students will take a language placement test administered by the Center for Modern Languages (CLM) and will be placed in the appropriate level of instruction.

 CLM Levels Common European Framework

1 Beginner A1
2 Elementary A2
3 Lower Intermediate A2+
4 Intermediate B1.1
5 Upper Intermediate B1.2
6 Advanced B2.1 (level required for university study)
7 Upper Advanced B2.2
8 Superior C1
9 Proficiency C2 (highest professional level - translation and interpretation)

CILE: Curso Intensivo de Lengua Española (September only)

The intensive language classes in September consist of 20 hours of instruction per week. Classes are small (maximum of 12-15 students) and are taught by highly qualified Spanish language instructors. CILE classes are four hours in length, generally two hours with one professor followed by two hours with another professor, with a short break in between.

CLCE: Curso de Lengua y Cultura Española

To enter into the Spanish Language and Culture classes, students must have surpassed level B1.1 (CLM 4 – Intermediate). Students are required to take Speaking and Writing Skills and Spanish Grammar as part of their CLCE course load. Three additional courses will be chosen from the following topic areas: Language, Literature, Geography, History, History of Art, Sociology, Politics, Economics, Culture and Modern Languages (Arabic, French, German, etc.).

View the complete list of classes and course descriptions.

Students are responsible for obtaining approval from their home institutions for their CLCE classes to count toward general credit and/or concentration credit. Some home schools will not approve the internship classes offered by the CLM for credit. Students should have several classes pre-approved for credit including a few back-ups in light of possible schedule conflicts and space limitations.

Your academic experience abroad is going to be very different from home. Working under the policies and processes of the local institution, you may find a lot less structure, or a lot more.

Courses and Credit Approval

  • To find information on specific courses, go to the program’s website using the link in the “Snapshot” section of the Overview page.
  • To discuss program fit, such as program type, expectations, level of structure/independence, or to compare options, get advice from Global Learning advisors and returned students. 
  • For assistance in selecting courses, see your faculty or college advisor. (Note: You may earn elective, distributional, minor or major credit depending on your major and college.)
  • Complete the Proposed Course of Study form that is part of the Global Learning application for a record of how your courses will count for credit at Cornell.

Academic Policies

  • Study the language of the host country (or take a course in that language) when studying in a non-English speaking country for a semester or year
  • Take the equivalent of 15 Cornell credits for a full semester, even if it is possible to take fewer and still graduate on time
  • Complete all the academic work and stay until the end of the program, defined as the last officially-sanctioned exam for any course you take abroad

Registration and Grades

  • You will be registered at Cornell and will earn credit for approved coursework for your semester/year study abroad
  • Decisions on the final allocation of credit are made upon successful completion of the course (equivalent of a “C” or higher—all courses for a letter grade)
  • Grades will appear on the Cornell transcript in the same format as they are recorded on the original transcript generated by the study abroad program or university. Grades are not factored into the Cornell GPA