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Music Study Abroad Guide

Music Study Abroad Guide

Study Abroad Quick Facts

Trafalgar Square

CU-Boulder Study 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.

  • To start researching options and to learn about next steps, visit the Getting Started page.
  • Academic Information provides more details about courses, credits, and grades.
  • The Finances page provides extensive information regarding program costs, billing, financial aid, and scholarships.
  • Answers to most other questions not answered in this guide can be found here.

General Advice for Music Students Going Abroad

Bachelor of Arts students:

  • Non-music electives and core*
  • 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:

  • Non-music core* 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 requirements are most easily fulfilled abroad: literature & the arts, contemporary societies, and historical context. The following core 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.

If you plan to save some A&S core classes for study abroad, the best options are contemporary societies, historical context, and literature & arts (upper and lower). Other core areas are possible but less common (note: written comm. is rarely approved).

Planning and When to Go


  • Talk to your academic advisor and start planning for study 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 study abroad.
South Down Sunrise Rubies, England

Sophomore and Junior

  • Schedule study 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.


  • Study abroad during your senior year is possible during fall only; study 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 study abroad during your senior year, be sure that you know when the credits may be transcripted, as this can delay your official graduation date.

Getting Courses Approved

  • Remember to first check the pre-approvals lists for major/minor and A&S core (over 6,000 courses total)!
  • To submit additional major/minor courses for review, you will work with your Academic Advisor. You can view more information about the process here.

Recommended Rrograms

Study Music in the Americas

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil: Liberal Arts (CIEE)

  • Piano, guitar, and voice classes are available
  • Enroll in intensive Portuguese language classes
  • Study in this coastal city known for its beauty, music, and strong African roots
  • Background in Spanish and/or Portuguese required

IES Buenos Aires Music Program (Argentina)

  • Requires an advanced background in Spanish
  • Enroll in music courses at IUNA - a local music/arts institution
  • Enjoy the beautiful and historic city of Buenos Aires

Study Music in Africa and the Middle East

The Ocean Front of Cape Town by Matthew McAllister

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 studnets at the University of Cape Town, a leading African research institution
  • Volunteer and community service opportunities available

Study Music in the UK & Ireland

Global Seminar: Performance in Scotland (summer)

  • Study music, theatre, and culture in the context of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!
  • See numerous musical and theatrical performances
  • Visit historical and cultural sites in Edinburgh and the surrounding area
  • This course is taught and led by two fantastic CU-Boulder faculty

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, Italy: Music & Performing Arts: Renaissance in the XXI Century (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 in Florence and at the Alba Music Festival in Piemonte
  • The Renaissance city of Florence is your home for 6 weeks!
  • Weekends are usually free to travel in Italy

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 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 (GlobaLinks)


  • 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 (GlobaLinks)

  • 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 Claudia Casbarian; Galen Brown; Matthew McAllister; Unknown; Matt Reid