Demystifying the Language Policy

Diversity is a word that you’ll hear everywhere at INSEAD. With over 90 different nationalities and almost the same number of languages spoken on Campus, no other business school offers such a multicultural experience. It’s not surprising to see that international motivation is one of the four Admissions Criteria at INSEAD.

We would like to understand how open-minded you are, if you feel comfortable in a multicultural environment and if you are as passionate as we are about diversity. And there are many ways to demonstrate that if you have either worked or studied outside your home country, but if you have not had such international experiences, you can demonstrate that in other tangible ways (working for a multinational company, learning foreign languages, travelling, etc.). Let me share with you some insights about our Language Policy:

  • Scenario #1: If English is your native language, we do not require proof to certify your level of English, but you will need to provide acceptable means of certification of your second “Entry Language” (B1 level) upon admission. You can still apply for the Programme and send us the certification after receiving the final decision.
  • Scenario #2: If English is NOT your native language, then official English certification must be sent with your application (the list of acceptable means of certification is available in our Language Policy). If your university degree was taught exclusively in English, there is no need to take an English test. The combination of your native language along with proof of English proficiency is sufficient means to satisfy the Entry Language requirement.
  • And all students must validate at least an A2 “Basic” level in a officially useful language as their “Exit Language” in order to graduate. You’ll basically need to prove your ability to communicate in a simple and direct exchange of information on routine matters (Reading/Writing, Speaking/Understanding).

I usually get many questions about the Language Policy and now I want to take this time to share some tips with you:

  • French is not mandatory! In INSEAD’s early days, students had to be proficient in three languages: English, French and German, as classes were taught in these three languages – You can consider yourself lucky to be an INSEAD MBA candidate in 2017!
  • Clear your Exit Language before the beginning of classes. In order to make the most of your INSEAD experience, both academically and socially, we strongly encourage you to validate your Exit Language before the start of the Programme if possible. Tests will be offered during the first week of the programme (13 different languages can be tested).
  • If you wish to improve/validate your declared INSEAD Exit Language before the MBA Programme starts, you can take one of the Pre-INSEAD Intensive Language Courses.
  • If for any reason you cannot clear your Exit Language before the beginning of the classes, language courses are offered in 10 languages on campus … and there is no extra fee to pay!
  • Last but not least, please carefully read our Language Policy for complete details.

Good Luck! Bonne chance! Suerte!