Foreign Exchange/Study Abroad Program

Earn credits at MSM while seeing the World!

Manhattan School of Music offers a foreign exchange program for current students to study abroad at any of our ten partner schools. Studying and traveling abroad is an irreplaceable experience in your education that prepares you to perform and engage as a global citizen.

Foreign Exchange allows students to study abroad at MSM’s partner institutions while earning credits and paying tuition at MSM. Students on exchange switch places with students at the partner institution as per agreement between MSM and the partner institution.


Name: Kalyn Jang
Instrument: French horn
Year Abroad: Junior year, Fall 2011
Exchange Institution: Royal College of Music
# of Semesters Abroad: One

Why did you choose to study abroad?
I thought of it as an opportunity to expand my musical knowledge. I was also curious to see how music education was approached outside of the US. I had planned to study abroad when I first started college, so when I heard the news, I was instantly excited. It was just a question of where I should go.

 Why did you choose the institution you chose?
I chose Royal College of Music because of my perception of its prestige compared to the other exchange programs offered. I'm not sure if I was correct, but I had a great experience there. I was interested in living in London, and that the UK is an English-speaking country was a plus. I remember it was a tough decision between the conservatory at Amsterdam and at Sydney, Australia. I did a fair amount of online research about the schools before making my decision.

 What is a unique learning experience you encountered abroad that you wouldn’t have had at MSM?
Student tickets to concerts are much, much cheaper in the UK, which caused me to attend more concerts than I would have in New York. I took historical instrument lessons (natural horn), which were not offered at MSM. One thing that I noticed, that did not affect me directly, was that young musicians are recruited directly out of conservatories into major orchestras. For example, the top-ranking string players at RCM were placed on the substitute list at the London Symphony Orchestra. I found that the musical culture in the UK placed more trust in young musicians than in New York.
Kalyn’s Exchange Tumblr: London Concerts

 How was it finding friends and interacting with the student life at your institution? How was it to not speak the mother tongue of the country?
I ended up being friends with exchange students from Boston University, because they were new to the school and interested in doing fun activities. Student life at RCM was very active, and a student council planned a lot of cool activities. Students were willing to put effort into throwing school-sponsored parties.

 What would you tell/advise MSM students interested in the Foreign Exchange Program?
If I were to repeat it, I would travel more. I took the school part of it very seriously, and I may have missed out on some fun opportunities. Anyone with an adventurous spirit should consider studying abroad. If an MSM student wants to email me about Royal College of Music, I'd be happy to answer questions! .


Name: Lucia Carolina Perez
Voice, Mezzo-soprano
Year Abroad:
junior year, 2013-2014
Exchange Institution:
Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart
Number of Semesters Abroad:

Why did you choose to study abroad?
I decided to apply for the exchange program because I wanted to have a European experience, and because I was particularly interested in studying with one of the voice teachers At Stuttgart.

Why did you choose the institution you chose?
Besides being interested in studying with the renowned tenor Francisco Araiza, I wanted also to learn the German language and to experience the German music world. I have always been a “lied” (German song) lover, and this was the greatest opportunity for me to learn a lot about the language, style, composers, poets, etc., and experience all this music in its original places and environment.

What is a unique learning experience you encountered abroad that you wouldn’t have had at MSM?
To begin with, all classes were in German, so I had to really learn the language fast. This was not easy at the beginning, but I took an intensive German course every day from 8 am to 1pm, then went to the conservatory (all classes in German), and then home where I lived with other 6 German students, so that really helped to learn the language fast. English is already my second language, so learning also German was such a big challenge of which I feel very proud of now (but at the beginning I was scared). Also working in all the German repertoire, in Germany, with all the specialized teachers was an amazing experience.

How did you find readjusting to life at MSM/how did it help you in your program?
I am very happy I went into the exchange because I learned a lot, I made lots of new friends and professional connections, but I am very happy to be back with all my friends, colleagues and teachers at MSM to have a wonderful last undergraduate year.

How was finding housing? Obtaining a work visa?
Housing was great. I lived in a Studentenwohnheim, which is a house for students and I got to know very interesting people who became my dear friends. None of them were musicians; they were mostly air-space engineers, so it was really nice to meet new people of such different environment.

What would you tell/advise MSM students interested in the Foreign Exchange Program?
I would strongly encourage people to take this opportunity. Do not be afraid of the language, culture and arriving alone in a whole new place, and take this opportunity to open your horizons as an artist and human being, and to expand your career network.



Language Requirement: Working Knowledge of Chinese
General Information
Performance Spaces
Teachers – Chinese
(click on “教学院系”to see each department)

Language Requirement: Working Knowledge of Chinese
General Information
Performance Spaces


General Information
Performance Spaces


General Information


Language Requirement: Working Knowledge of French
General Information
Academic Calendar
Performance Spaces

* Partnership made possible in part by Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Programme 2015/2016


Language Requirement: Must know some German
Academic Calendar
Performance Spaces

The Netherlands

Jazz Students interested in this program should contact Justin DiCioccio prior to submitting application
General Information
Housing Information
Performance Spaces


General Information
Academic Calendar
Performance Spaces

United Kingdom

General Information
Student Information
Academic Calendar


With proper planning, going on exchange will not slow down your progress towards graduation

Open to current sophomores applying to study abroad for the first semester or both semesters of their junior year.

Open to current first-year graduate students applying to study abroad for only the first semester of their second year.

Must be in good academic standing

NO extra cost in tuition/fees. You pay MSM and receive financial aid as usual

Housing, travel, and insurance are not included

Please note: These limitations are in place for scheduling and graduation purposes; however, exchanges are granted on a case-by-case basis and exceptions may be made. If you feel that you do not meet any of the above qualifications but are still interested in applying, please contact:

Lianna Portnoy
Foreign Exchange Coordinator
(917) 493-4034
Room 214



October 23, 2017 8:00 PM Foreign Exchange Information Session
December 16–January 7 Winter Break
January 29, 2018 MSM Foreign Exchange Application Due
February 23, 2017 Partner School Materials Due (Recording)
February 24–March 11 Spring Break
End of the Semester Results

You can pick up a 2017 MSM Foreign Exchange Application from the Office of the Provost, or print the PDF linked above. This application is due January 30, 2017 and consists of:

  • Application Form
  • Short Essay of Intent
  • Studio Teacher Letter of Recommendation

Once this MSM application is accepted, you will be guided through an additional process for your Partner School. This will consist of:

  • Program-specific Application Forms
  • Submitted Recording

You may return a hard copy of the application to the Office of the Provost or email a PDF to


October 10, 6:30 PM (Pizza provided)


Will I need to renew my TOEFL if I study abroad and then return to MSM?
No, your TOEFL is submitted to MSM when you applied, and it is good throughout your degree,

Will I get actual grades from my exchange school? Will the grades be factored into my MSM GPA?
You will be evaluated in all of your courses abroad, and each course/school is different in terms of grading with numbers, letters, pass/fail, etc.
NO, your grades received abroad will not be factored into your MSM GPA. On your transcript, the semester(s) you spend abroad will show up with grades of “T” for “transfer”.

Are there any visa limitations or general limitations for international students to go on exchange?
Yes, you can always go on exchange, but be sure to speak with Michael Lockhart to be sure all of your paperwork is in order.

Are there opportunities to apply for scholarships abroad to help pay for housing and other expenses abroad?
Typically not through MSM or through our partner schools, except in Stuttgart.

If the student at the partner school that I am exchanging with ends up dropping out at the last minute, will my acceptance to study at that partner school be rescinded?

Is there an official test to prove my proficiency in German for Stuttgart?
No, but some German is good.

Am I allowed to study at a partner school for just the Spring semester?
Yes if we can work that out with the partner school.

Are students in the graduate OP and CPP programs allowed to go on exchange considering the abundance of specific requirements for their programs?
If this is your case, please be in contact with Lianna Portnoy to set up an appointment with Provost Merryman.

If I am selected as an exchange student, will I be required to attend?
It is preferred that you be fully committed to attend upon submission of your Partner School specific application. However, you will not be obligated to go if you are selected.

Is it too late for me to go on exchange for the Spring 2015 semester?
It is not likely, but if this is your case, please be in contact with Lianna Portnoy to set up an appointment with Provost Merryman.