Because of its strongly international focus, PWS encourages all students to make their best efforts to become multilingual ambassadors of animals and their environments. Students are therefore required to become proficient in at least one foreign language in addition to their native language, i.e. mother tongue, and even encouraged to work on additional languages.
For all students whose native language is not English, the foreign language requirement is met by showing satisfactory progress in the English language over the course of the PWS program. For international students whose native language is English, the foreign language requirement must be fulfilled using another language of their choice.
Proficiency in English, as well as any other required foreign languages chosen by students, will be evaluated at the end of each academic year by PWS faculty and other language facilitators.
In addition to the required foreign language, students are also strongly recommended to become proficient in a second foreign language. For both required and recommended foreign languages, students should choose a language which will most strongly benefit their graduate work in the PWS program or related future work (e.g. English plus a local language spoken in the area in which students are conducting fieldwork).
Note that language training is to be fully initiated and maintained by students, following a self-study paradigm. However, PWS faculty can help by facilitating self-study, such as through connecting students with native speakers of their respective language choice(s) (language facilitators) and/or directly communicating with students about or in some cases even in their chosen language(s).
For students wishing to pursue further foreign languages, PWS faculty will do its best to encourage and facilitate such wishes. Our ultimate aim here is to motivate students to become active members of the international community, where having command of multiple languages is a clear primer for success.