Language tests


Under bilateral agreements, especially for general and faculty agreements, some universities require mobility students to present a language test certifying their level. Indeed, when your host university is in a country where the national language is not your mother tongue, a language test is very often a prerequisite for admission. There exists different types of commercial tests, and the one you should take will vary depending on your host university. It is therefore your responsibility to find out beforehand whether a test is required and, if so, which one.


Institutes and deadlines

First of all, it is important to take into account that these commercial tests are only offered by a few accredited institutes and that demand is high during the period preceding the application deadlines for exchanges. Therefore, in order to secure a place, it is necessary to anticipate and start the application process early.

You will find on this page the different accredited institutes in Switzerland, the available exam dates as well as the deadlines for application.


Reimbursement of fees for language tests for university exchanges

A number of our international partners, principally those that teach in English, require our students to provide a commercial language test such as IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge.


As a result, in these situations, we have no other option than to require our students to take a test of this kind when submitting their application. These types of tests are particularly expensive, at a cost of around CHF 300.00.


As part of its commitment to supporting the possibility of university exchanges for its students, the UNIL Rectorate has decided to cover the costs of commercial language tests required in relation to applying for an exchange.


Accordingly, from academic year 2019-2020 onwards, students applying to a partner university that requires evidence of a commercial language test can be reimbursed for the costs of the test concerned, by completing the form below, attaching the documents requested and returning it by email to (SASME).


SASME can only reimburse costs incurred by the student; no test fees will be paid directly by SASME to the organisation offering the language test.

Conditions and deadlines for a refund

  • The student must provide proof that the partner university only accepts commercial tests (copy of the exchange agreement form if it mentions it, signature of the faculty's mobility advisor for faculty agreements / SEMP, document or extract from the website of the partner university, etc.).
  • Reimbursement is only due if the partner university does not accept a language certificate or the ISEP test from the Language Center instead of the test in question or any other document worth equivalence (secondary studies or bachelor's in English, maturity bilingual, etc.).
  • Students are refunded whether they are selected for an exchange or not. On the other hand, the student who afterthoughts waives his application for the destination concerned will be required to return the amount paid by UNIL.
  • The form must be submitted to SASME by email at following the submission of your application for an exchange by March 31 at the latest (of the year of application for an exchange). For faculty and SEMP agreements, proof of the application for an exchange is required (since the application file is submitted within the faculties).
  • Only one test can be reimbursed per student during their studies at UNIL.
  • The test in question must have been taken towards the application for a university exchange at UNIL. Any test passed more than 4 months before the application deadline concerned by the student's application cannot be taken into account.


Complementary information

In order to prepare as well as possible for your language test, the UNIL Language Centre offers preparation courses for the various exams aimed at making it easier for you to pass them. Whether it is for English, German, Spanish or other languages, you have the possibility, if you wish, to follow courses at the level you wish to acquire.

For more information on these preparation courses, please visit: Language Centre.


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Reimbursement form for language test fees

 Reimbursement form (119 Ko)