International Programs

The USC Thornton School of Music, in cooperation with institutional partners abroad, offers opportunities to study overseas for one semester (fall or spring). Thornton students who are selected to participate in this exchange program will be immersed in a unique learning environment with the students & faculty of the partner institution.

USC Thornton students pose for the camera.

Program Requirements


Currently enrolled USC Thornton undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for participation in the exchange program.

Language Requirement

At CNSMD Lyon and the Paris Conservatory, Thornton students will need to be proficient in French. Completion of USC’s FREN 250 is ideal, with FREN 220 at minimum. At all other partner institutions, Thornton students will be able to pursue their studies in English.

Partner Institutions

In general, the coursework taken at the host institution will be similar to what would have been taken during the same semester at USC Thornton and the coursework completed overseas will be transferable for credit toward the student’s USC degree through a pre-approval process guided by the students USC Thornton advisor.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Lyon, France

Paris, France

Program Costs

While on exchange, students continue to pay standard USC Thornton tuition. Other costs associated with exchanges are listed below.


Airfare & Ground Transportation

Room & Board

USC or Private Health Insurance

Books & Supplies

Personal Expenses 

Passport & Visa Costs

Financial Aid

Any merit-based or need-based financial aid being received by Thornton students will apply toward the exchange program. USC Financial Aid will repackage aid based on program-specific expenditures. Students may apply for study abroad scholarships to offset the cost if necessary.

Selection Process

USC Thornton students are selected for the exchange program as detailed below.

USC Thornton Application

USC Thornton students may apply for exchange by submitting the following in Slideroom.

  • Online application for USC Thornton faculty pre-selection
  • Application fee of approximately $25, payable by credit card, charged at the time of submission
  • Letter of Motivation consisting of one or two pages that describe the reasons why you are interested in participating in the exchange program
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae, including musical, professional, and academic experience
  • Academic Transcript (unofficial PDF of the “Completed Course Summary” from the OASIS system will be acceptable)
  • Copy of a valid passport (PDF format)

Thornton students will be notified via email when the online pre-selection application is available for any given year. This notification will usually be issued sometime before winter recess and will include a link to the online pre-selection application.

USC Thornton Pre-Selection

The faculty of USC Thornton screens applicants and selects a small pool of students to be considered for final selection by the host institution.

Host Institution Application

The students pre-selected by USC Thornton may apply to up to three exchange partners. An application fee may be required. Specific guidelines will be provided to the pre-selected students through the international exchange coordinator at USC Thornton. This application is generally submitted online and will require materials that could take time to prepare, including:

  • Media uploads of the applicant’s artistic work.
  • Letter of motivation, describing the reasons why the student is interested in participating in the exchange program.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae, which should list the student’s musical, professional, and academic experience.
  • Learning agreement, a listing of courses that the visiting student hopes to take at the exchange partner.
  • A USC Transcript.
  • Copy of a valid passport.
Host Institution Final Selection

The host institution makes the final selection based on the student’s application materials. If needed, video interviews will be arranged to assess language proficiency during this stage.


Students are notified of the final selection and work with the host institution to obtain the necessary visa and make other important preparations.

Application Cycle

All dates below are projections subject to change.
November 15

Application for Thornton Pre-Selection becomes available.

January 15

Application for Thornton Pre-Selection deadline.

February 1

Students are notified of Thornton Pre-Selection.

Linda Diaz in Antwerpen with the 'Fight On' hand gesture.
February 7

Pre-selected students apply to programs with Thornton advisor support.


Host applications due in March (deadlines vary).

May 1

Final selection notification by the overseas host.

Students gathered around the entrance to Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Stay Connected

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