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GUIDES TO THE UNIVERSITY

2019-2020 A.Y.
Master of Science Programs in joint with Politecnico di Milano



3.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE

The information in this Guide refers only to activities and regulations in place at Bocconi University. For activities and regulations in place at Politecnico, please check the PoliMi widget available in the yoU@B Diary.

Last change 15/07/2019 18:34

3.1.
Entry requirements

In order to classify levels of language knowledge, Bocconi University follows the Common European Framework established by the European Council.

In order to be admitted to a MSc program taught in English the University requires, as minimum entry level (checked upon admission), a B2 general level in English.

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3.2.
Study plan: foreign languages and minimum exit level

“Cyber” study plan includes one EU language (4 cpu), more specifically:

  • Italian (mandatory) for non-Italian native speakers
    minimum exit level: B1 business
     
  • French or Spanish or German for Italian native speakers
    minimum exit level: B1 business
    Students choose their second language in January – 1st year.
    Students declare their native language during the admission process and can never change it during MSc studies.
    Students are allowed to change the second language included in their personal study plan both during 1st and 2nd year (for selection/change methods and periods, see Chapter 9).

A minimum entry level is advised for MSc foreign languages in order to be able to reach the minimum exit levels required, namely A2 general level is advised.

In order to foster active participation in curricular learning activities, preparatory courses are offered (see § 3.3).

For further detailed information, please see “course profiles” published on the website.

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3.3.
Educational offer

The educational offer includes:

  • Courses to prepare for the internal exam
    The course is organized in two parts:
    first part in the 2nd semester – 1st year (48 hours + 1st partial exam);
    second part in the 1st semester – 2nd year (24 hours + 2nd partial exam / general exam).
     
  • Preparatory Courses
    Course offered in the 1st semester 1st year to active participation in curricular courses starting in the 2nd semester – 1st year:
    Italian for non-Italian native speakers: 52 hours
    French, Spanish, German for Italian native speakers: 20 hours
     
  • Courses (free-of-charge) to prepare for international certifications (48 hours)
    For Italian, French, Spanish (2nd semester); namely:
    • French – DFP B1/B2 business (2nd semester); open to MSc students (any year);
    • Spanish – DELE B2 general (2nd semester); open to MSc students (any year) and 3-y and 5-y programs’ students as well;
    • Italian – CELI-CILS B2 general (2nd semester); open to MSc students (any year) and 3-y and 5-y programs’ students as well.

For further details about courses, please see “course profiles” published on the website and “course syllabi” available on BBoard via the yoU@B students’ Diary.

All students’ study plan includes the language “course code”; those who are interested can apply for courses to prepare for international certification (with different course codes) via the yoU@B Students’ Diary.

Therefore, students have the following options: to attend the internal exam course only, the certification course only or both of them.

Language certification courses:

  • are open only to students whose study plan includes the foreign language related to the certification course;
  • are for a limited number of students: students are admitted as long as places are available, on a first come, first served basis;
  • are activated only if a minimum number of students enroll.

In order to benefit from the course, the student must have a knowledge of the language equal to at least the level immediately lower than the level of the certificate course.

At the beginning of the course, the teacher evaluates the student’s preparation in order to suggest him/her whether to go on attending it or not.

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3.4.
Knowledge assessment and recording in the academic transcript

1) Bocconi exam: mark out of thirty;
2) International certification: to be recorded in the academic transcript with conversion of the score in a mark out of thirty (conversion tables are published on the website).

The mark is included in the calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA).
The final level of competence is mentioned in the exam report and in the student’s transcript.

Students holding an international certification (taken before or during MSc studies) whose level is equal to or higher than the minimum required for MSc studies can ask to have the result recorded in the academic transcript, provided that the certification is still valid (validation procedure).

Due to the fact that, for some languages, B1 business certifications do not exist, general language certifications are recognized as an alternative, provided that they are B2 general level (as a minimum).

Recording can take place as from 2nd semester – 1st year (soon after the choice of the second language to be included in the personal study plan).

If the certification is submitted in a year after the year of studies the language is positioned in, the student will appear to be a student who has not yet passed the exam (“in debito”) until the certification is recorded.

Students must contact the Language Center to have the certification recorded in the academic transcript and do not have to register for the internal exam.

Moreover, students who had taken a Bocconi BSc degree and had the internal Bocconi exam or an international certification recorded in their BSc academic transcript, may ask for a waiver, provided that the level of internal exam / certification was equal to or higher than the minimum required for graduate studies and:

  • the internal exam dates back 3 years as a maximum;
  • the certification is still valid.

Students must contact the Language Center to apply for the waiver (see deadlines in chapter 9).

Students can opt for sitting the internal exam only, the certification exam only or both of them; in the latter case:

  • once the result of the internal exam is recorded, the result of the certification cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum (it is an extra);
  • once the result of the certification is recorded, the result of the internal exam cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum.
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3.5.
Bocconi internal exam

The assessment method consists of an exam focused on reading, writing, listening and speaking competencies as with international certifications.

Students can sit the exam offered in “partial” mode (only in the first two exam sessions after the end of lessons) and/or in “general” mode.

The 1st partial exam is at the end of 1st year – 2nd semester; it is a written test; and, it is required to register via Punto Blu.

The 2nd partial exam is at the end of 2nd year – 1st semester. Two dates are scheduled for the 2nd partial (the first on the same date as the first general exam and the second on the same date of the second general exam) but the student can sit just one of them.

In order to be allowed to sit the 1st partial exam, a 75% attendance of the 1st part of the course (1st year – 2nd semester) is required.

Only those who sat the 1st partial exam (minimum result: 15 out of 30) are allowed to sit the 2nd partial exam, regardless of whether they attended the 2nd part of the course in the 2nd year or not.

The written test of the 2nd partial exam is the same for attending and non-attending students (2nd part of the course).

The 2nd partial exam / general exam consists of two linked parts: written (writing, reading, listening) and oral (speaking).

Please note that:

  • to sit for the 2nd partial exam / general exam, it is required to register via Punto Blu (one single registration, valid for both written and oral part);
  • written and oral part have to be taken in the same exam session as the oral part is the final step of a single exam;
  • final grade: result of the written part + result of the oral part.

 Further details in the course syllabus available on BBoard.

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3.6.
International certifications

Here below basic information about international certifications and tests (in short “certifications”).

Further detailed info,  please visit the website area Campus and services > Language Center.

International certifications can be recorded in the academic curriculum provided that they are:

  • officially recognized by Bocconi University and have been taken at an officially recognized test center in Italy or abroad;
  • submitted to the Administrative Office of the Language Center before the “expiry date” which is within 3 years after sitting the international certification exam (2 year for the international test TOEFL and – as of September 1st 2019 – for the IELTS test as well);
  • submitted by the owner of the international certification (who is required to show his/her personalized Bocconi ID card); only original certifications or statement of result (with stamp and signature of the certifying Body) are allowed for submission.

The level of the certification can be higher than the minimum required for graduate studies; it can date back to undergraduate studies (provided that it is still valid) or can be taken during graduate studies (self-preparation or attendance in a course offered by Bocconi, when offered; see § 3.3).

The level/typology (general, business) recorded in the academic curriculum is the level/typology stated by the Certifying Body on the international certification.

In order to support students who want to earn an international certification, the Language Center offers:

  • information and orientation service;
  • courses to prepare for some certifications;
  • materials for preparation and sample examinations at the Language Lab;
  • moreover, Bocconi is accredited test center for some “British Council / Cambridge Cambridge English Language Assessment” English certifications and for some “Chambre du Commerce de Paris” French certifications.The registration procedure and the entire process strictly follow the rules established by the Certifying Body.

Registration fees for certification exams are at the student’s expense.

 

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3.7.
Self-study

In addition to attending lectures, learning foreign languages requires a constant commitment to self-study, which includes a number of activities, based on specific assignments provided by the teaching staff in class and available on the course syllabus; different tools are offered to support  learning activities (e.g. exercise books or multimedia courses/assignments available on the BBoard platform).

In addition, at the Language Laboratory students can benefit from:

  • advisory and information services;
  • tutoring service provided by the language teaching staff to support individual learning; the service is available upon reservation;
  • various materials for preparing certifications and the Bocconi exam, available at the multimedia Library of the Laboratory and/or on the BBoard platform.

In general, students are advised to spend 3-5 hours per week on self-study.

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3.8.
Foreign languages as additional activities

Curricular languages are usually recorded as included in the standard 120 cpu of the study plan but they can also be recorded as additional activities (on top of standard 120 cpu – see chapter 9), either by passing a Bocconi exam or upon obtaining a certification (see chapter 9). In this latter case, the certification must be included in the list of certifications recognized by Bocconi university, must be still valid, and the level must be equal to or higher than the level required for that specific language in graduate studies.

Moreover, also “extra” languages can be recorded in the academic transcript but only as additional activities (on top of standard 120 cpu). “Extra” languages offered by the Language Center are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and as from 2019-20, Portuguese.

As no internal exams are organized for such languages, it is possible to register only the result of a certification (score converted in a mark out of thirty). The certification must be included in the list of certifications recognized by Bocconi university and must be still valid.

For further detailed info on international certifications and conversion tables, please visit the website area Campus and services > Current Students> Service> Language Center.

 

Last change 18/07/2019 12:41