Many, but by no means all, programs require 2 years of college-level language study OR THE EQUIVALENT, which can be determined by taking a placement exam. This is typically true of the languages taught at Williams and commonly available in high schools (e.g., French, Spanish, German). IF a student places into Spanish 105 (or beyond), for example, or is a native speaker, he/she has met the requirements of two years of college-level work or the equivalent. Italian programs typically do not require two years or the equivalent of college-level work.
Language courses taught at Williams are hyphenated; i.e., the work of two semesters constitutes an integral, indivisible course. The hyphen rule applies to French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Italian language studied abroad as well. This means that if you are studying abroad for only one semester you are advised to take one semester of language at Williams in the fall before you go and complete the second semester while abroad. An alternative option is to complete the equivalent of the first semester of language during the summer and complete the second semester while abroad. If you decide to study the first half of one of the languages regularly taught at Williams while abroad, you must complete the second half when you return. This may be difficult to accomplish and is not recommended.
If the courses in your study away program are taught in English, but English is not the native language, you are required to study the language of the country the entire time you are there.