Studying abroad can be an invaluable experience for music students, especially for those looking to experience how music changes with a different environment and culture. From studying music history, composition, and theory to musical performance and techniques, there are quite a few options for music majors to study abroad.

Head to Spain and study flamenco or get to the heart of classical music in Vienna. Have an adventure and go study music abroad.

Music History

From classical to rock, music history studies the evolution of a specific genre of music, tracking how music has morphed over centuries into what it is today, as well as how it has influenced culture and society around it. Students may choose to delve deeper through source studies, style criticism, and musical analysis courses.

Music Theory & Composition

Students will study how harmony, melody, and specific rhythms and notes play a key role in music. From studying music already created and learning how to compose their own, students will gain a unique perspective on music theory and composition by taking a course in a country different from their own.

Musical Performance & Technique

Students will learn to gain full control of their musical instrument while practicing a wide range of notes and chords that may be new to them. Students will have the chance to practice and enhance their own musical instrument skills. They may receive one on one practice in addition to group practice, and may even have the chance to perform at the end of the semester and show their new skills.


The music and dance culture in Spain is incredibly rich, with a wide variety of different music variations that date back centuries and have become an important part of their heritage. Genres include classical instrumental, opera, contemporary, and much more. Students can also choose to combine this with the study of the flamenco dance to create a rich experience unlike anywhere else in the world.


France is a country with pop, rock, and classical music, all in a beautiful cultural setting with incredible history and fashion. Home to some of the most beautiful architectural buildings in the world and the most wonderful works of art, students can immerse themselves in music while learning about a spectacular culture at the same time.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a wonderful place to study music because it combines Asian, the Pacific, and European music all in one. Students can attend the Wellington International Festival of the Arts for a comprehensive experience of international music. Jazz and percussion orchestras, amongst many other fields, are available in New Zealand for students to study.

Austria & Germany

Cities like Berlin and Vienna are wonderful areas for music majors to explore classic music and immerse themselves in a rich musical culture.

West Africa

West Africa has a rich and diverse musical culture, and typically leverages patterns and techniques not often found in western music. Dance is also a huge component of music, and you'll often learn about them side by side. If you really want to explore a type of music that'll make you think differently about composition and instrumentation, pick up a djembe and head to Ghana, Senegal, or Mali.


Students have the chance to experience Latin American music in Peru. Knowing Spanish may help students if they choose Peru as their study abroad destination. Regardless, Peru is a wonderful place for music majors to study for a semester.


Your study abroad program may provide housing for you, typically in a dorm or homestay. Choose the housing option that best suits you and your needs. If you need to arrange housing on your own, your school will usually help with this and may set you up in an apartment or a hotel depending on the duration of the program.

Costs & Funding

Students can typically apply for a scholarship through the school that will either pay for the entire program or partially pay, depending on the scholarship. Check to see if there are any scholarships within or outside of the college specific to music majors. Students can also raise money to pay for their program.

Flights and, in some cases, housing will not be covered as part of program fees. Buy tickets well in advance, and check visa requirements for any potential costs.


For students wishing to play music abroad, you may have to audition for your school, especially if you’re getting a scholarship. You may either send in a video audition, recording, or have to audition in person. Your school will inform you of the process.


Attending live concerts, festivals, and other music events in your host country is a unique experience for music majors. Check out the events in your country (or nearby destinations, if possible) before your departure, and buy tickets if necessary. Keep an eye out for student discounts!

Contributed by Monica Gray


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