Music Education Abroad Guide
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Music Education Abroad Guide

Education Abroad Quick Facts

Students performing in Florence, Italy

CU Boulder Education Abroad offers over 400 programs in over 70 countries! You can go abroad for a semester, year or summer (the latter ranges from 2-12 weeks). In addition to taking classes abroad, you can choose an internship or volunteer program (or combine classes with internship or volunteer options)! Please visit the following web pages for more information and to get started.

Planning and When to Go


  • Talk to your academic advisor and start planning for education abroad!
  • If you hope to study a language abroad, begin researching pre-requisites and take any necessary language courses.
  • Try to save a few non-Music electives or non-Music core classes for education abroad.

Sophomore and Junior

  • Schedule education abroad during these years!
  • Consider short-term programs, which may work best for your schedule.
  • Avoid going abroad during a semester when you will complete a sophomore proficiency or junior/senior recitals.


  • Education abroad during your senior year is possible during fall only; education abroad during your very last term is not possible for Music students.
  • Work closely with your advisor to ensure that you can complete all requirements. If you go abroad during your senior year, be sure that you know when the credits may be transcripted, as this can delay your official graduation date.

General Advice for Music Students Going Abroad

Bachelor of Arts students can take the following types of courses abroad:

  • Non-music electives and Core/Gen Ed*
  • Foreign language requirements
  • Non-Western music
  • UD Music History or Theory
  • Additional courses are likely eligible, but vary widely by instrument/specialization

Bachelor of Music Education Students can take:

  • Non-music Core/Gen Ed* requirements
  • Non-Western music
  • UD Music History and Theory
  • Applied instruction** and ensemble
  • BME students must schedule a term abroad that does not conflict with junior-level practicums or senior internships
  • Options for BME students are more limited - it is strongly suggested to save some of the first three categories above!

*The following non-Music Core/Gen Ed requirements are most easily fulfilled abroad: Literature & the Arts, Contemporary Societies, and Historical Context. The following Core/Gen Ed requirements can sometimes be fulfilled abroad: Human Diversity and U.S. Context. Remaining requirements are rarely fulfilled abroad.

Bachelor of Music Students:

  • Non-music electives and free electives
  • Foreign language requirements
  • Non-Western music
  • UD Music History and Theory
  • Applied instruction**, ensemble, and chamber.

**Applied instruction must be approved by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and your applied instructor.

Getting Courses Approved

Recommended Programs


Study Music in Africa and the Middle East

Legon, Ghana: Arts & Sciences (CIEE)

  • Applied instruction is available
  • Study the music of West Africa
  • Enroll in upper-division music theory courses
  • Study Twi language
  • Enroll at the University of Ghana alongside local students
  • Live with a homestay or in local dorms

Cape Town, South Africa: Arts & Sciences at UCT (CIEE)

  • Applied instruction is available
  • Enroll in a variety of theory and history courses
  • Participate in a variety of ensembles
  • Take courses in English with local students at the University of Cape Town, a leading African research institution
  • Volunteer and community service opportunities available

Study Music in the UK & Ireland

Glasgow, Scotland: University of Glasgow (Arcadia)

  • Applied instruction is available
  • Enroll in various music theory or history courses
  • Live in dorms with local students and also enjoy a short homestay opportunity during orientation or mid-term
  • Study at one of the top universities in the UK, located in the posh West End

Study Music in Mainland Europe

Florence by Judith Glyde

Florence & Siena, Italy: Siena International Music Program (summer)

  • Performance Studies in Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, and Piano (however, all instruments and voice will be considered)
  • Elective in Music History of the Renaissance
  • Optional (no credit) course ‘Italian for the Musician’
  • 6 weeks, 6 credits
  • CU and Italian instructors; all courses in English
  • Lessons, chamber music, and performances around Siena's Chigiana and Florence
  • Weekends are usually free to travel in Italy

Copenhagen, Denmark: DIS Abroad

  • Take unique and challenging courses taught in English
  • The Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM) is specialized in the training of classical musicians and has a strong international profile - collaborating with leading music schools in Europe, Asia, and North America and an experienced faculty with professional music careers of their own
  • RDAM is part of the Scandinavian and European music tradition and is housed in historic and charming surroundings with beautiful and acoustically outstanding concert halls, classrooms, and rehearsal rooms
  • Take part in amazing study tours around Europe, Greenland, Iceland, Portugal, London, and other locations
  • Option to live with Danish host family (semester-only) in resident halls, or in private apartments

Paris, France: Contemporary Music Creation & Critique (summer CIEE)

  • Enjoy access to the world-renowned Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM)
  • Founded in 1977, IRCAM is devoted to research and experimentation in music composition, acoustic performance, and technological modification of sound
  • Live in the lively and beautiful city of Paris
  • Stay with a French family!
  • 4 weeks, 4 credits

Strasbourg, France: Syracuse University

  • Applied instruction is available (audition required)
  • Participate in chamber music groups
  • Study music at The Conservatoire National de Region de Strasbourg
  • Live in the charming and international city of Strasbourg

Milan, Italy: Music Program (IES)

  • Participate in the specially-designed IES Music Performance Workshop
  • Choose from additional IES-taught music courses, typically in music history
  • Select non-music courses (in English) in a wide variety of other disciplines
  • Great option for keyboard (especially harpsichord and organ) and voice
  • Enroll in technique and performance courses (in English) at the Accademia Internazionale della Musica (offered for choral, jazz, contemporary, classical, and early music)

Paris, France: Music Program (IES)

  • Requires at least four semesters of French
  • Choose from IES-taught courses in French language and other subjects, plus music courses at the Ecole Normale de Musique
  • Music courses at the Ecole Normale will be highly-individualized and not finalized until after arrival
  • Great option for winds and percussion
  • Live with a French host family
  • Requires independence and desire to live in an urban setting with a commute

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Direct Enroll Music Program (IES)

  • Designed for serious and highly talented students
  • Create a highly individualized plan of study that includes small group instruction and ensemble work at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (jazz and classical) - emphasis on performance

Vienna, Austria: Music Program (IES)

  • Enhance your performance skills with private music instruction
  • Participate in the specially-designed Music Performance Workshop
  • Great option for keyboard (especially harpsichord and organ), winds, and percussion
  • Choose from a wide variety of courses taught in English in various disciplines, including music theory and history
  • Enjoy various performances in Vienna throughout the semester
  • Six-week summer music option also available, which includes the Music Performance Workshop (admission is somewhat competitive for summer)

Study Music in Oceania

Sydney Opera House by Nicole Frey Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington (ISA)
  • Applied instruction is available
  • Study the music of New Zealand or other parts of Oceania
  • Live in Wellington, the capital known as "The San Francisco of the South Pacific"
  • Participate in a four-day orientation in the Rotorua area of the North Island

Sydney, Australia: University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music

  • Study at the well-known University of Sydney Conservatorium, which offers many courses for music performance, theory, and history
  • Enjoy the vibrant urban atmosphere of Sydney, with numerous social and cultural opportunities

Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury (ISA)

  • Applied instruction is available
  • Participate in a variety of classical and jazz ensembles
  • Study music history and theory
  • Choose from a wide variety of courses in the School of Music at Canterbury
  • Enjoy a great location on the South Island for numerous outdoor activities
  • Participate in a four-day orientation in the Rotorua area of the North Island

Photos by Judith Glyde & Nicole Frey