Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Admission | Assessment | Attendance | Certificates | Complaints and Suggestions | Course Repetition | Credits | Equivalencies | Fees | Monographic Courses | Other Languages | People with Disabilities | Student Card | Student Representatives | Summer Courses | Taking Courses or Working Abroad |  Teacher Training Courses | Timetable | Translations | Working at the EOIBD


From what age can I start studying in an EOI?

The minimum age required to be admitted to an EOI is:

  • For any language: 16 years of age (or to turn 16 during the calendar year in which you enrol in the course).
  • For a language other than the first foreign language studied in Secondary School:14 years of age (or to turn 14 during the calendar year in which you enrol in the course).

What do I need to be admitted to an EOI?

You must have the minimum age stated above and enrol during the following periods:

  • For extensive courses: August and September (information available in July at the EOIs).
  • For intensive courses: August and September for the 1st term and January for the 2nd term (information available in July and December respectively).

If one year I do not enrol, do I lose my priority enrolment and my guaranteed admission as a former student?

Only students enrolled during the previous academic year have priority enrolment and guaranteed admission. If you have not been enrolled for one or more years, you will be required to apply for admission as a new candidate.

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How are students assessed?

Although a general framework for student assessment is in place, each teacher must be consulted to know exactly how each department carries out its assessments.

General Framework: “The assessment of EOI students’ learning will be through a continuous, systematic, global, integrated and personalised classroom learning so that the students’ progress can be measured and the goals set can be contrasted with their results” (Department of Education Resolution on the approval of the document containing instructions for the organization and operation of the EOI in Catalonia).

Aspects that are used to mark students during continuous assessment:

  • Participation in both oral and written classroom activities in small groups and with the whole class.
  • Homework (oral and written, using Moodle).
  • Formal testing (during the course and/or at the end of the course), which includes listening, reading, writing, speaking, grammar, vocabulary and exercises on readings. Each teacher will inform students about the specific assessment methods that will be used and how much they count towards the final mark.

It is important to remember that if the student does not attend 65 % of the classes, the assessment will be based on a final exam.

What should I do if I cannot sit an exam?

  • If it is an exam carried out during the course, the teacher must be contacted to determine how to retake it if the teacher sees fit. Students don’t have the right to retake the exams on a different day.
  • If it is a final exam, a request must be handed in to the Director of Studies and attach proof that the absence is due to unavoidable work-related matters, health-related matters or another official exam whose date cannot be changed. Once the request has been submitted, an answer will be issued. If granted, the exam can be taken on a special date which will be promptly set.

For how many years are my marks valid?

Passed courses do not have any expiration date.

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Is attendance mandatory?

For classroom learning, attendance is essential in order for students and teachers to communicate adequately. We wish to remind you that according to the Department of Education Resolution on the start of the academic year: “If absences exceed 35 % of the total course hours, students will not be assessed continuously; instead a final exam will have to be taken”. This also applies to the classroom side of combined classroom and distance learning courses. In any case, all students can sit the final exam to obtain a mark for the course.

What do I have to do if I cannot attend a class?

  • If you are over 16 years of age, it is advisable to inform the teacher beforehand (an absence note is not necessary).
  • If you are younger than 16, an absence note from your parents or legal guardian must be provided the day you return to class (the note can be found here).

What do I have to do if I have to stop attending classes due to an impediment once the course has begun?

It is convenient to resign from enrolment so that you can keep your examination session. You can only resign once from a course of the same language.

Can I audit a course without being enrolled?

No, the possibility of auditing classes is not available.

Are distance learning courses available?

The following distance learning courses are available:

  • English learning through the Institut Obert de Catalunya (IOC, Open Institute of Catalonia).
  • Enrol as a CRAL user. CRAL users can attend conversation groups, reading clubs and borrow books on any language from the Library-CRAL.

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What do I need to sit an exam for a certificate as a external candidate?

  • Proof of passing the second year of secondary school or an equivalent level.
  • Be of at least 15 years of age or to turn 15 during the during the calendar year in which you enrol.
  • Not be enrolled as an EOI student of the language for which you are applying. Students who apply as private candidates and are EOI students will be automatically unenrolled from the language course.

Does the EOIBD Advanced Level Certificate certify me to teach classes in the corresponding language?

The Advanced Level Certificate certifies a B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference (which has six levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2). The B2 level is not sufficient to teach a language.

Through the Generalitat de Catalunya’s website, information can be found on the requirements to access the job centre for teaching staff in state-funded and subsidised schools.

After finishing 5th year and obtaining the Advanced Level Certificate, how can I continue studying the language to obtain a higher level?

Currently, higher level courses are only available for German, English, Catalan and French.

Regarding Catalan, courses are arranged in six years: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, C1 and C2. Any level can be accessed by providing a certificate that proves having reached the previous level or by taking a placement test. Catalan exams cannot be taken without taking the course.

Courses at the C1 level are available for German, English and French. Only students who were enrolled in 5th year at the EOI in the previous academic year can access the C1 courses. Priority enrolment for C1 courses will be according to the mark earned in the Advanced Level Certificate.

For the rest of the languages, no level above B2 is provided, but complementary courses may be available (monographic courses, conversation groups, reading clubs, etc.).

Does the EOIBD prepare students for external exams such as DELF, First Certificate, Proficiency, etc.?

Students are not prepared specifically for these exams, although there are common aspects in their programmes and those for the EOI exams.

When can I request that my certificate be issued?

If you have completed the 2nd year after June 2008, you can request the Basic Level Certificate. Certificates will not be issued for students who completed the 2nd year in previous academic years.

If you are a 3rd or 3rd B (or external candidate) student who has passed the Intermediate Level Certificate tests after June 2008, you can request the Intermediate Level Certificate at the Department of Student Affairs after obtaining the mark. The certificate will be delivered approximately within a month.

If you are a 5th year student (or private candidate) and you pass the Advanced Level Certificate, you can obtain the certificate by following the procedure and paying the corresponding fees. It will be delivered approximately within two years, but you can request a receipt that is valid to apply for competitions, etc.

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Complaints and Suggestions

Where can I send in any complaints about classes or services offered by the EOIBD?

Suggestions or complaints can be submitted to the School Management Staff during visiting hours or directly through this website using the form addressed to the School Management Staff or the Student Representatives.

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Course Repetition

How many times can I repeat a course?

Within each level (basic, intermediate, advanced, C1 and C2) you can enrol as a regular student a maximum of twice the number of regulated courses available for the corresponding language level. If you have accessed 2nd, 3rd A or 5th year directly, you can only take the course twice.

An additional examination session can be requested. The session will only be granted for justified cases. Under no circumstances will a 4th enrolment to a course be accepted.

You can also enrol a 3rd time if you have resigned from enrolment to one of the two previous years. More information can be found here. You can only resign from enrolment once per year.

Can I repeat a course I have passed if my level has dropped?

Yes, but only if the course was passed more than 10 years ago and it was not a Certificate course. A request to resign a passed course has to be submitted to the EOI Secretariat. The school will approve the resignation if the Department of the language in question certifies that your level is lower than that of the course you should take.

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Do the EOIBD courses count as free-choice credits for universities?

Catalan universities can allocate elective language course credits for regular courses (130 hours), summer courses (80 hours) and monographic courses (variable length) offered by the EOIBD. You can refer to your faculty’s secretariat for information about the procedure and the number of credits awarded in each case.

How many credits are awarded for summer, monographic, teacher training and regular courses?

The number of credits awarded varies depending on the course and the university. Students should refer to their faculty’s secretariat to request that the credits be awarded. The certificate issued at the end of the course in question must be provided.

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What are the equivalencies between EOIBD courses and those of other institutions such as the French Institute, the Alliance Française, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Goethe Institut, the British Council, etc.?

There are no official equivalencies between EOI levels and those of other institutions, except for the Spanish Intermediate Level Certificate and the Advanced Level Certificate, as well as all Catalan levels. Equivalencies are provided with the Common European Framework of Reference.

Language certificates from certain institutions can allow for direct access to certain courses without taking the placement test.

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Are the courses subsidised?

The Official Language School in Barcelona Drassanes is a state-subsidised education centre and the fees are set by the Department of Education of the Generalitat de Catalunya. The courses have a much higher actual cost than what students pay, which is why it is very important to follow the course if you get a place in an EOI.

Are there any discounts?

Yes, large families, single parents, people with disabilities and victims of terrorism are entitled to a fee reduction. More information can be found here.

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Monographic Courses

If I took the placement test in September but I didn’t obtain a place in a course, can I use it to certify my level for monographic courses?


How many university credits are awarded for monographic courses?

The number of credits awarded varies depending on the universities and the type and length of the chosen course. Students should refer to their faculty’s secretariat to request that the credits be awarded. The certificate provided at the end of the course in question must be provided.

Can I enrol in a monographic course if I’m not a student at the EOIBD or at a different EOI?


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Other Languages

Can I study a language other than the 14 official ones offered? Will additional courses be offered?

Non-official Galician and Dutch courses are available during the year. Summer courses for other languages such as Danish, Polish, Romanian, Turkish or Urdu are also provided.

We often receive suggestions about offering courses in other languages (Hindi, Norwegian…). If you are interested in learning a particular language, send us a message through this website telling us about it. We take suggestions and other data into account when we are able to add new language departments or when we organise special courses for summers and winters.

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People with Disabilities

What should I do if I have a disability or disorder for which I require classes or exams to be especially adapted?

The EOI is not staffed by disability specialists, but teachers do adapt to the specific needs of students with the help and advice, if need be, of specific organisations such as ONCE. If the student needs a curriculum adjustment during the course, it is advisable to contact the EOI Secretariat immediately after enrolling so that teachers can be aware and make the necessary adjustments.

If an adaptation of the final exam is required, a request must be submitted to the Directors of Studies allowing sufficient time, providing proof of the type of disability or disorder and specifying what additional resources or adaptations are required. Once the request has been submitted, an answer will be issued specifying how the exam will be adapted.

Are there places reserved for people with disabilities?

No, the EOI do not have reserved places for people with disabilities.

Are there fee discounts for people with disabilities?

Yes, if you have at least 33 % disability you may seek a fee exemption. Even though students can enrol and not pay the fee, they do have to pay the supplementary fee, which is 30 euros (more information can be found here).

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Student Card

Are student cards provided?

Once students are enrolled, they can apply for the EOIBD Student Card at the Library-CRAL (1st floor) if they wish. The card is issued immediately and entitles the holder to make use of the library and attend conversation groups and reading clubs. The additional contribution is a requirement to obtain the card. Discounts for other cultural institutions can be obtained with the card, but you must refer to the institutions concerned to find out more details.

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Student Representatives

If I am a student at the EOIBD, how can I get in touch with the student representatives in the School Board?

If you have any suggestions, complaints or questions you want to send to your representatives or have the representatives send them to the highest governing body in the EOIBD, the School Board, you can do so here.

The student representatives have been chosen by the EOIBD students to represent them in the School Board. As members of the School Board, they can participate and carry out the functions according to current legislation. Any student enrolled at the EOIBD during the year in which elections are held can become a candidate.

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Summer Courses

Does a summer course entitle me to a place on a regular course?

No. Summer courses are not part of the formal education system. They belong to the special courses of continuing education and further training regime. Students wishing to continue their studies in the winter must enrol with the other candidates.

If I am an EOI student and I have obtained a place through the lottery system, do I need to go through another one to be admitted into a summer course?

Only in the case of English courses.

If I am an EOI student, do I need to pass the summer course placement test?

It is not necessary if you have been an EOI student during the same academic year.

How many university credits are awarded for summer courses?

The number of credits awarded varies. Students should refer to their faculty’s secretariat to request that the credits be awarded.

Does a summer course give me right to enrol as a student in the next level?

No. Summer courses are shorter than regular ones. However, if you passed a summer course, you are exempt from taking the placement test and you can pre-register for a regular course at the same level that you completed during the summer or in the following level if you took the B level of a particular course. Refer to the table of certificates that grant students level test exemption.

Can I take a summer course in September?


If I took the placement test in September but did not get a place, can I use the result to enrol in a summer course?

No. Each of the five summer course levels can contain sub-levels (basic, intermediate and advanced) to adapt the content to the students’ prior knowledge. A placement test is positive for students as they can be more accurately placed in a sub-level for the course.

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Taking Courses or Working Abroad

Does the EOIBD provide information about courses and jobs abroad?

The EOIBD has no official information about activities abroad, but the various departments often receive information of this kind. Being a state-funded school, the EOI cannot recommend any privately-funded schools.

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Teacher Training Courses

How many credits are awarded for teacher training courses?

Universities do not award credits for this type of course.

Does the Spanish as a Foreign Language training course certify me to teach Spanish abroad?

It is advisable to consult the institutions of the country where you wish to teach to find out what the requirements are.

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Why don’t all the languages have courses in each time slot?

The schedules are made according to demand, the teaching staff available at the EOIBD and the school’s capacity. Courses for every language in every time slot cannot be guaranteed. For some languages (Arabic, Chinese, etc.) morning courses are available at the lower levels but not for all levels due to lack of demand.

If I have been admitted at the EOI will I always have a place in the time slot I want?

All students enrolled in a course have a guaranteed place for the next academic year, but not for a specific time slot. Priority enrolment is offered to students who have obtained a pass and wish to continue in the same time slot or in a similar one. In general, there are more courses available at lower levels and less further on, so we cannot guarantee that all time slots will be available in higher levels.

What is the duration of each class?

Classes last for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

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Are translation services available at the EOIBD?

The EOIBD does not offer any translation services.

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Working at the EOIBD

How can I get a job at the EOIBD?

To work as an interim or substitute teacher in an EOI in Catalonia you have to register to offer your temporary services as part of the interim teaching staff. You have to register at the job centre that is provided by the Consorci d’Educació, which is located at Plaça Urquinaona, 6 (corner with Roger de Llúria) 08019 Barcelona (Telephone number +34 935 511 000).

To work as a teacher for special courses, send an email with your CV to the Special Courses email address.

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