English proficiency is required for all positions in Mercy Ships, and fluency is required for some positions. French is beneficial, but not required unless stated on the job description.

For English proficiency, while Mercy Ships does not currently require proof of examination, we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) as a reference for English proficiency. All volunteers must be at level B1 on the CEFR scale (Independent User – Threshold or Intermediate) or higher in order to join on board.

Level B1 summary:

  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Can deal with situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  • Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

You may refer to the full summary of each level here.