Exchanges: Thornton Students

The USC Thornton School of Music, in cooperation with institutional partners abroad, is offering opportunities to study overseas for one semester (fall or spring). In each exchange, a USC Thornton student will study at an overseas school, while a student from the same institution will study at USC Thornton.

Thornton students who are selected to participate in this exchange program will be immersed in a unique artistic environment, learning with the students and faculty of the overseas host institution. An individualized course plan will be created for each participating student from the course offerings available at the host institution for the specific semester of study. 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.

Alumni of the USC Thornton International Exchange program may also have the opportunity to become USC Global Scholars, a special designation celebrating outstanding global engagement.

Partner Institutions

Amsterdam Conservatory
Amsterdam, Netherlands
CODARTS, University of the Arts
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Lyon, France
Paris, France
Norwegian Academy of Music
Oslo, Norway
Royal Northern College of Music
Manchester, England
Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts
Helsinki, Finland


Undergraduate students currently enrolled at USC Thornton are eligible to apply for participation in the exchange program, if they will still be an undergraduate Thornton student during the coming academic year.


Students register and pay the standard tuition at USC Thornton during the semester of exchange. Students are responsible for making all necessary arrangements and paying all necessary costs associated with:

Any merit-based or need-based financial aid being received by Thornton students will apply toward the exchange program. Most financial aid (including scholarships, grants, loans, and tuition assistance benefits) is transferable to approved USC international exchange programs. However, the amount of aid will be adjusted based on program-specific costs, as projected on a program-by-program basis. Some types of financial aid may be reduced if the overseas program expenses are projected to be less than the projected cost of one semester of on-campus study at USC.

Language Requirements

At CNSMD Lyon and the Paris Conservatory, Thornton students will need to be proficient in French. We expect at least an A2 level of French and ideally a B1 level of French. At all other host institutions, Thornton students will be able to pursue their studies in English.

Selection Process

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

1. Apply at USC Thornton: Students apply for consideration by USC Thornton according to guidelines set by the school. These guidelines will include (but not be limited to) the following:

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.

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

3. Apply to Host Institution: The students pre-selected by USC Thornton submit a new application to the host institution according to guidelines set by the host institution. 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:

4. Final Selection by Host Institution: The host institution makes the final selection based on the materials submitted by students who were pre-selected by USC Thornton. 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 the host institution regarding how to obtain the necessary visa and make other important preparations.


All dates below are projections and are subject to change.
November 15 Application for Pre-Selection becomes available
January 15 Deadline: Application for Pre-Selection
February 1 Notification of Pre-Selection
February 7 Pre-Selected Thornton students work with Academic Advisor & International Programs Coordinator to complete external application to overseas institution
In most cases, the application for final selection from overseas institution will be due around March 15. The final selection notification by the overseas institution will be sent by May 1.


Questions regarding Thornton International Exchange Programs can be directed to