"Taking Jazz courses at McGill was life-changing in that it forced me to revaluate my experiences of learning to improvise"
Do you think you’d like to study abroad?
What follows is a short summary of the options open to you. Full information about Durham University’s study abroad schemes is given by the International Office.
Which year can I go abroad?
At Durham your year abroad is an additional year, taken between your Level 2 and 3 years at Durham. It does not replace any of the years of the Durham degree; you will end up studying for four years.
You only have to pass this year: so long as you pass, it has no bearing on your final degree grade.
Why study abroad?
Because you are studying at a different institution, and because you only have to pass (!), your year abroad can be a chance to experiment and explore new areas, and develop different skills; equally it can be a chance to reinforce or advance existing skills. Sometimes you are able to find an institution that caters more specifically to your interests than the Durham department!
Studying abroad is usually a moment in which students gain in self-confidence and self-reliance through putting themselves in a new and unfamiliar situation. Navigating a new country and institution forces you to develop as a person, and exploring a different culture gives you new perspectives on the world.
Studying abroad is great for your CV: it shows employers that you have ambition and initiative. It will also contribute to your global networks!
Depending on where you go, you may develop foreign language skills that will be useful for your career or simply for pleasure.
Where can you study abroad?
You can study abroad via two schemes:
Through ERASMUS, we have partnerships with a range of European music departments. We have a certain number of places allocated to qualifying students from the Durham music department.
Durham University has links with universities teaching in English across the world through the Overseas Exchange scheme. Our partner universities can be found here. Through this scheme you compete with Durham University students across all subjects for the places available in these partner institutions, though music students have a good success rate!
Where you choose to go will depend on the language skills that you already possess/wish to develop, and the type of study that you wish to do: our institutional partners offer a great range of options, and have their own specialisms. Visit the music department pages of our partner institutions to see the kinds of modules you can study there.
If you are keen to travel to focus on performance or composition, please be aware that sometimes the institutions have extra requirements for students studying these subjects: this may be an audition upon arrival or in advance, or the submission of a portfolio of compositions. It’s best to inquire early about these kinds of issues to avoid surprises!
Reports from Students
We have started collecting reports from our music students who have spent a year abroad so that you can get a better idea of what the experience might be like for you.