International Programs

International Exchanges – Visiting Students

The USC Thornton School of Music welcomes students from several institutional partners abroad to study in Los Angeles for one semester (fall or spring).

For the 2017-2018 academic year, these institutions include the Conservatoire national supérieur musique et danse (CNSMD) in Lyon, France, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts in Helsinki, Finland.



Undergraduate students currently enrolled at one of our partner institutions may apply, according to the policies of their home institution, if they are in their junior or senior year of study during the 2017-2018 academic year.




Students register and pay the standard tuition at their home institution during the semester of exchange. Any merit- or need-based financial aid being received by Thornton students will apply toward the exchange program. Students visiting the United States will also be responsible for paying the mandatory fees (approximately $1800) that are charged in excess of tuition at USC Thornton.

Room & Board

Students will be responsible for paying room and board expenses at USC Thornton. Assistance with identifying housing options for the semester of exchange will be provided.


Students will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own travel to and from USC Thornton, as well as ground transportation for the duration of stay in Los Angeles.

Medical Insurance and Medical Expenses

Students will be responsible for paying their own medical expenses, including the cost of insurance. Students must meet the medical insurance requirements of both the home institution and USC Thornton through the coverage carried during the study period.

Books & Supplies

Students will be responsible for paying for all books and supplies required for study at USC Thornton.

Personal & Miscellaneous Expenses

Students will be responsible for paying for all personal and miscellaneous expenses for the semester of exchange.

Passport & Visa Costs

Students will be responsible for paying all passport and visa costs associated with their travel to the United States. These costs will vary according to the student’s country of citizenship.


Language Requirements

Demonstration of English proficiency is required in order to obtain the necessary visa. Proficiency will generally be determined through a video interview between the visiting student and the sponsoring faculty member at USC Thornton.


Selection Process

Students will be selected to participate in the 2017-2018 exchange program according to the following process.

1. Apply at Home Institution: Students apply for consideration by their home institution according to guidelines set by their home institution. Detailed guidelines will be provided by the home institution to eligible students.

2. Pre-Selection by Home Institution: The faculty of the home institution screens applicants and selects a small pool of students to be considered for final selection by USC Thornton.

3. Apply to USC Thornton: The students pre-selected by their home institution submit a new application to USC Thornton according to guidelines set by USC Thornton. An application fee may be required. Detailed guidelines will be provided to the pre-selected students through the international exchange coordinator at the home institution. 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, including the courses at USC Thornton that the visiting student would propose to take during their time of study if selected for the exchange program.
  • Transcript of academic work completed to date at the home institution.
  • Copy of a valid passport.

4. Final Selection by USC Thornton: USC Thornton makes the final selection based on the materials submitted by students who were pre-selected by the home institution. Video interviews for assessment of language proficiency will be arranged during this stage of the process if needed.

5. Notification: Students are notified of the final selection and are advised by USC Thornton regarding how to obtain the necessary visa and make other important preparations.



  • March 2017 — Internal selection process at home institutions
  • March 31, 2017 — Applications due to USC Thornton
  • May 1, 2017 — Final notification of selection for the exchange program



Questions regarding Thornton International Exchange Programs can be directed to