Foreign Language Experience

A major goal of the International Affairs major is for students to achieve a higher level of appreciation and awareness of cultures beyond their everyday experience.

Students must demonstrate their linguistic skills and understanding of another culture through an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) (conducted by phone) or an Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer (OPIc) administered by Language Testing International.  An evaluation of Intermediate (Low, Mid or High) or higher will satisfy the Foreign Language Experience requirement; no student whose rating is Novice High or below will be considered to have completed the Foreign Language Experience requirement.

Satisfying the Foreign Language Experience requirement generally entails the study of a language at UMaine, which students often reinforce and enrich through study abroad.  In the case of French and Spanish, study at UMaine may be sufficient to reach Intermediate proficiency.  For German, Hebrew, and the Critical Languages (Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, etc.), students should plan to do an immersion program abroad or participate in a domestic immersion program such as the Language Flagships. Detailed information about UMaine’s language programs is available on the Department of Modern Languages and Classics’ web page.

A student may not satisfy the Foreign Language Experience requirement in their first or native language. International students whose first language is not English may elect to meet the Foreign Language Experience requirement with their TOEFL score.

For a description of all proficiency levels, including Intermediate, as set forth by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), follow this link.

To register for the OPI or OPIc, or to see a complete listing of languages for which they are available, follow this link to the Language Testing International web page. When registering, click on Search for your institution or school program and register as a University of Maine student.

FMI, contact the chairperson of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics:  Prof. Carlos Villacorta (, 207.581.2075).