group of U of M Students in front of a windmill in Spain

Learning Abroad in Music

    “Study abroad allows a student to be immersed in another culture, to hear its language, eat its food, see its art and architecture, and to imagine its music as an integral part of a culture other than our own. For a musician, to see the world is to hear with new ears.”
    —Michael Cherlin, Professor, School of Music

    Study Abroad Process

    This is the basic process you'll complete in order to study abroad. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

    Academic Planning

    Review the following suggestions from the School of Music before beginning your study abroad research.

    Seek cultural immersion

    • Look for programs that offer significant cultural integration. Deep involvement in the host culture leads to personal growth and instills cross-cultural skills.
    • You are encouraged to consider programs that get you into classes with host-country students at a host university and programs that get you out of the classroom and into the community.
    • Seek a program that houses you with a family or host-country roommate, or look for systematic experiences outside the classroom such as internships, community engagement or research opportunities, or the option to take some courses in a host-country university.
    • Be realistic; not all students are ready for the same amount of cultural immersion.

    Look for a program that provides insights into another society

    • Seek to study in a society that contrasts with yours. The department encourages students to consider study at non-Western sites. Countries which are former British colonies provide exceptional opportunities for students to experience cultures out of which some very current literature and films are created, works which address issues germane to the challenges and conflicts and benefits of globalization (e.g., African and South Asian countries).
    • Learn about other traditions and perspectives in music. See how scholars in another country view their discipline; choose a program where your professors are from their host country.
    • Look for opportunities to study educational systems differing from what you have previously experienced, especially if your professional goal is teaching.

    Develop or improve second language skills

    • Beginning or intermediate level students: consider a program where you can study a language and be surrounded by it.
    • Students with advanced language skills: consider a program taught in the language.
    • Plan your language course sequence carefully or you may find yourself out of sequence upon return to UMTC. French, German, Italian, and Spanish are the only languages at UMTC which offer each of the first four courses both Fall and Spring Semester. For all others, only the first and third courses are offered Fall Semester and only the second and fourth in the spring.

    Work on your Music major or minor

    • The Assistant Director will screen overseas coursework and help you fit appropriate courses into your major requirements.
    • Look for junior- and senior- level courses.
    • Many programs offer music history courses, private lessons, and ensembles. Strongly consider courses in literature, culture, and language of the host country.
    • Use an Academic Planning Form for Study Abroad to structure and document your consultation with your major adviser. List any courses in which you are interested on the form. A particular course or schedule may not be available on-site, and it will be useful to have prior feedback on additional courses from the Assistant Director. If your course choices change, notify the Assistant Director; you should obtain prior approval for any courses you wish to apply to your music major.
    • For pre-approval of a music course taken abroad, provide a syllabus to the Assistant Director at least a month before departure. All music courses must be approved by School of Music faculty in the specific division, and the Assistant Director will meet with those faculty to obtain approval on your behalf.
    • During your meeting with the Assistant Director, you will determine the best semester and year for you to study abroad. In most cases, this is first semester of the junior year. You will also discuss the impact study abroad will have on your graduation semester and year.

    Fulfill Liberal Education requirements

    • Plan early to apply study abroad credits to the University’s Liberal Education requirements. Decide early which requirements you want to satisfy through courses taken abroad so you don’t fulfill them on campus.
    • Consult the Learning Abroad Center’s U Credit Abroad Search of classes that have been approved for Liberal Education or submit courses for review.

    College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students



    Africa and the Middle East


    University Study in Israel: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall, Spring or Summer semester, and academic year
    • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is a multidisciplinary institution of higher learning and research, and a scientific center of international repute. About 2,000 international students from around the world enroll at the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University every year.
    • Jerusalem Sounds is a new and unique initiative of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rothberg International School. Studies include a full music program consisting of individual instruction, performance in small and large ensembles and classes in Jewish and Israeli music.



    Universidad de Chile (available through IFSA Chile)

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
    • The oldest and largest public university in Chile, the Universidad de Chile is home to around 25,000 students and is distinctly recognized for both its political and artistic culture.
    • An abundance of courses are available in musical theory and composition, performance, and theatre.
    • In addition to the university course work, students must take the Advanced Spanish program course. All coursework is in Spanish.

    Asia and Oceania


    Griffith University (available through IFSA Australia and Arcadia Australia)

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer Term, and Academic Year
    • Griffith University offers the option of taking a diverse range of courses through the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, one of the nation’s leading music schools
    • The campus educates nearly 700 students a year, with students from both Australia and over 20 other countries.
    • Sample courses include Practical Musicianship; Music in Society; Music in Contemporary Contexts; and Improvisation and Movement, among many others.

    University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
    • Melbourne University prides itself on excellence in academics, distinguished teachers and researchers, and a high quality-learning environment. Among its many fields, it offers classes in music performance and education, as well as a music therapy concentration.
    • You can audition to play in ensembles or take classes including but not limited to Baroque and Classical Music, Group Music Skills, Conducting, Instrumental Teaching, and many others.

    New Zealand

    University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer Term, and Academic Year
    • The largest Polynesian city in the world, Auckland has a multicultural population of over one million people. In the center of that is the historic University of Auckland, founded in 1883.
    • The University of Auckland’s School of Music is widely recognized as New Zealand’s premiere music training institute, offering courses in performance training, history, theory and education.
    • Students may also audition to enroll in various ensembles, ranging from chamber choirs and orchestras to different jazz groups.

    University Study in New Zealand: University of Otago

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
    • The University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest university and one of the most prestigious in regards to teaching and research.
    • Music students at Otago can study music of many cultures; classes are offered in performance, composition, or musical scholarship. You could explore song-writing or ethnomusicology.

    University Study in New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
    • Wellington is the political and cultural capital of New Zealand and offers a multitude of cafés, galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas, sporting events, and festivals.
    • Victoria University of Wellington offers music programs through the New Zealand School of Music. The NZSM takes a holistic approach to music, placing equal value on composition, musicology, and performance. Its strengths in jazz and classical performance contribute to its creative environment.



    IES Austria—Music

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer Term, and Academic Year
    • The IES Center in Vienna is located in Palais Corbelli, an 18th-Century palace in the heart of the city.
    • IES Vienna offers a Music program specially designed for Music Performance majors and other talented instrumentalists and vocalists. The program consists of a selection of offerings in Music History, Music Theory, and Performance Studies, as well access to the IES Area Studies and Language courses in English and German (for those qualified).
    • The Music History and Music Theory courses are open to all students (usually Music majors) with the appropriate prerequisites.
    • The Music Performance Workshop is designed to offer instrumentalists and vocalists the opportunity to expand their repertoire and enhance their performance skills. Students admitted to the Music Performance Workshop are also eligible to receive private instruction if your home school authorizes it and your major requires it.
    • You are also encouraged to audition for orchestral and choral groups in Vienna.
    • The IES Center offers five practice rooms at the Palais Corbelli plus its own off-campus practice facilities, which consist of six practice rooms – each equipped with a piano, bench, chair, mirror, and stand as well as a separate lounge.


    Study Abroad in Denmark—Danish Institute for Study Abroad 

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • DIS offers innovative programs, taught entirely in English, in which students may study music composition, voice, and performance.
    • Courses are offered in cooperation with the Royal Danish Academy of Music.


    IES France—Paris

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic Year
    • Music students who wish to benefit from high quality, demanding instruction may audition for the prestigious Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris/Alfred Cortot. This music school, founded in 1919 by the renowned pianist Alfred Cortot, is the private-school equivalent to the National Conservatory.
    • The Ecole is located in a stately mansion (designated a historical monument) in the heart of Paris and has its own private concert hall. During the spring semester, IES sponsors a concert at the Ecole in the Salle Cortot featuring IES students. 
    • Fall semester and academic year students may enroll in the Ecole’s full curriculum, taking four courses at the Ecole and one language course at IES per semester, or they may take just one course at the Ecole and all remaining courses at IES per semester.
    • You must submit an audition tape or CD after being accepted to the IES Paris French Studies program in order to be considered for admittance to the Ecole de Musique.
    • Once on-site in Paris, you will audition in order to be placed at the appropriate level. Instrumentalists select from courses in teaching and performance while vocalists focus on performance.


    IES Germany—Freiburg

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer Term, and Academic Year
    • Students participate in IES Abroad German-taught area studies courses, and have the option of taking integrated courses at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität as well as Music and education courses at other local institutions.
    • For those interested in taking music courses, the Jazz at Rock Schule at the Allgemeine Schule, founded in 1984, is a strong option. Nearly 650 local residents have taken advantage of the school’s offerings; the school is made up of three different institutes: the International Music College of Freiburg, the Center for Music Education Freiburg, and the General School. An on-site audition may apply.
    • You may also register and audition in Freiburg to participate in various vocal and instrumental ensembles.
    • Students must have 4 semesters of college level German Language to participate.


    Study Abroad in Dublin--University College Dublin

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center & University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester and Academic Year
    • At University College Dublin (UCD), you can take a variety of classes with Irish students. Located in the Republic’s capital, UCD is the largest of the colleges which forms the National University of Ireland. 
    • The college offers a wide breadth of music courses—from music performance to ethnomusicology, music history to opera. Students also have the opportunity to join various ensembles.

    University College Cork (available through Arcadia Ireland)

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester and Academic Year
    • University College Cork, established in 1845 in Cork, the Republic of Ireland’s second largest city, has a thriving arts scene. It provided a wide array of excellent academic opportunities and exposure to Irish culture.
    • Unique courses in traditional, folk, and popular Irish music are available to students as well as courses in jazz, performance, history and theory.

    University Study in Ireland: University of Limerick

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester, and academic year
    • The University of Limerick is an independent, internationally focused university with over 11,600 students and 1,300 staff. It is a young, energetic and enterprising university with a proud record of innovation in education and excellence in research and scholarship. The University of Limerick is just five kilometers from Limerick city and is located on an extensive, green, modern campus that spans both sides of the River Shannon. UL offers outstanding student facilities including five student residential villages, the Glucksman Library, the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Courses are offered in performance, voice and other related areas.


    IES Italy—Milan

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester and Academic Year
    • The IES Milan music program provides a full range of music opportunities for instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, and music performance majors. In addition to offering a music history course and music performance workshop each semester, IES works closely with the Accademia Internazionale della Musica (the largest private music school in Italy), which includes schools in jazz, choral, classical, contemporary, and early music, to facilitate music enrollment options and ensemble work.
    • Using a highly customized approach, the IES Milan Director, an accomplished musicologist and active composer, works closely with students to tailor a program that meets their musical needs and interests.
    • You may choose to take instruction and performance at the Accademia (instruments, voice, theory, composition, orchestra, ensembles), which provides a more integrated experience since you study alongside Italian and international students, or you may request private instruction.
    • Students with no prior Italian may enroll in technique and performance classes whereas an advanced level of Italian is required for theory and history classes at the Accademia. Private non-performance music classes may be arranged in Italian or English.
    • Music students typically take from one to three music courses each term, combining private lessons with theory courses at the Accademia and IES. Limited practice space is available at the IES Center, and housing is arranged so that piano and voice students can practice at home, as is common for Italian music students.


    IES Netherlands—Amsterdam

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester and Academic Year
    • Part of the Amsterdam School of the Arts, the Amsterdam School of Music was originally established as the Sweelinck Conservatory in 1884. It is located in the beautiful museum district with direct access to the world-famous concert building of the Concertgebouw, and is minutes away from Vondelpark.
    • Most instruction is held at the former Sweelinck Conservatory, a vibrant institution with nearly 1,000 students. Because more than 50% of the students studying at the Amsterdam School of Music (ASM) are international, the vast majority of the courses are taught in English. 
    • It is the school’s mission to educate the students to become versatile musicians, teaching, performing, and creating music at the highest levels. In close consultation with advisers, you establish a highly individualized course of study within the concentration of Jazz or Classical music. Each combines practical and theoretical aspects of music study. 
    • Each program (Classical and Jazz) offers electives, including additional performance and theory options, the 2 credit course Dutch language, and the opportunity to take courses from the ASM’s partner art schools or a 5 credit course in music history or musicology at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.


    HECUA The New Norway: Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging

    • Program type: Field Study
    • Based in Oslo, the program uses a carefully integrated field study, classroom study, and volunteer placement to explore the program themes.
    • The New Norway includes comparative field study elsewhere—in selected regions of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark
    • Instruction is in English; no prior Norwegian is required. Fall semester

    United Kingdom

    University of East Anglia (available through IFSA United Kingdom)

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester and Academic Year
    • UEA is located in the historic city of Norwich, less than two hours from London.
    • It has a breadth of music choices that will appeal to music performance majors. You can take courses in critical studies, creative and performance studies, or in historical or contextual classes such as New York and Los Angeles: Pop Culture in the 1960s, Beethoven as Hero, or Analytical Approaches to Music.

    University Study in the UK: Lancaster University

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester and Academic Year
    • The University of Lancaster is one of the United Kingdom’s most highly ranked and well-respected universities, known for its innovative curricula and esteemed faculty.
    • Music courses are taken through the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA); students may choose from the university’s wide variety of courses in almost every discipline, allowing you to create a broad and diverse curriculum, or further study in music, including performance, theory, music history, composition, and more.

    Royal Holloway (available through Arcadia United Kingdom)

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer Term, and Academic Year
    • Royal Holloway is a small campus university, with just over 5,900 students, located in Surrey, just 19 miles from the center of London.
    • Music students have a wide selection of course options, ranging from history, composition, conducting, performance, and theory. Introductory courses are also available.

    School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (available through Arcadia England)

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer Term, and Academic Year
    • Founded in 1916, the School of Oriental and African Studies is a part of the University of London and compromised of about 3,000 students from more than 100 countries.
    • SOAS is the leading institution in the world dedicated to the study of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
    • The school’s department of music has a wide array for fascinating and unique courses, including classes in ethnomusicology and world music theory.
    • Sample courses include: Music of the Middle East and North Africa; Music, Shamanism and Healing; Introduction to Music Analysis; and many others.

    University Study in the UK: University of Glasgow

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester, and academic year
    • Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the United Kingdom, and consistently ranks as one of the UK's most highly-rated schools. The university is host to more than 20,000 students from over 100 countries and offers an exceptional breadth of academic choice across the physical and life sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The University of Glasgow offers numerous courses in the music of Scotland, performance, and music education.

    Additional Options to Consider

    Global Seminars

    • 3-week, 3-credit programs at the 3000-level led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff over Winter Break or May Session.
    • Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.

    Freshman Seminars

    • Freshman Seminars Abroad combine on-campus instruction during spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break.
    • Seminars are 3 credits at the 19xx level and most fulfill a liberal education requirement.
    • Seminars are designed specifically for first year students as an introduction to study abroad.

    Non-Credit Opportunities

    • Non-credit opportunities can be a great option for students who do not need academic credit but want to gain skills and experience abroad related to their field of study.


    Student Experiences

    Visit the Learning Abroad Center's Student Experiences web page for details on other students' experiences studying abroad.