As a Music student, you’ll flourish in the thriving arts environment of Amsterdam, a city known for its ability to embrace expressions of the human spirit.
Enrolling in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the largest and most diverse music conservatory in the Netherlands, integrates you fully into a specialized institution where you study with other students who are dedicated to the study of music.
The Conservatorium van Amsterdam takes full advantage of Amsterdam’s established reputation in music to offer outstanding instruction in classical and jazz music performance, theory, and composition. The Conservatorium is dedicated to upholding superior standards of teaching, performing, and creating music through a highly-individualized course of study. It aims to train you to become a versatile musician at the highest level of professional musicianship.
A member of the Amsterdam School of the Arts, the CvA was originally established as the Amsterdam Conservatorium in 1884. The vast majority of courses at the CvA are taught in English.
If you wish to study at the CvA, you should be a strong Performance, Composition, or Theory major with the motivation and intention to become a professional musician, a music scholar, or a composer.
Finally, we want you to feel at home in Amsterdam, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life abroad. We also take you on field trips to see some of the Netherlands’ great cities, such as Groningen and Maastricht.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
At the end of the term, you can check out of your housing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and not on public holidays. If you are departing Amsterdam over the weekend or early on Monday, you will need to check out of your housing before 5 p.m. on the Friday before your departure. You will then be responsible for your own accommodations.
The departure date is set in accordance with the date by which most exams or final work will be completed. You may leave Amsterdam earlier if your exams take place or final work is due before this date. All early departures must be cleared with the Center Director.
Exceptionally, your exams or final work may take place or be due after this date, though this is rare. We strongly encourage you to investigate ticket change fees and policies with your airline, or look into tickets with a changeable return date. Exam schedules are not available until several weeks into the semester.
IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Conservatorium van Amsterdam www.ahk.nl/en/conservatorium
The Conservatorium van Amsterdam takes full advantage of Amsterdam’s established reputation in music to offer outstanding instruction in classical and jazz music performance, theory, and composition. The Conservatorium is dedicated to upholding superior standards of teaching, performing, and creating music through a highly-individualized course of study. It aims to train you to become a versatile musician at the highest level of professional musicianship. If you wish to study at the CvA, you should be a strong Performance, Composition, or Theory major with the motivation and intention to become a professional musician, a music scholar, or a composer.
In close consultation with our staff, you establish a personalized, full-time (15-credit) course of study that includes applied and theoretical aspects of music study with electives and optional courses. The mandatory practical component of the curriculum is a combination of one-on-one and small-group instruction.
Study includes highly-individualized lessons with a tutor and participation in an extensive chamber music and ensemble program, and culminates in final performances. Theoretical components aim at developing musical imagination and perception. Core subjects include offerings in ear training (aural skills courses), analysis, harmony, counterpoint, and composition.
CvA offers courses within the departments of Classical and Jazz:
The elective component includes additional performance and theory options. Within both the Classical and Jazz departments, elective courses are available in:
Designed by Frits van Dongen and opened in 2008, the CvA’s building includes recital halls, classrooms, practice rooms, and offices. The facility is located in the center of Amsterdam, across the street from the Muziekgebouw, the purpose-built home of contemporary music and jazz in Amsterdam.
Even though you’re directly enrolling in one of our partner institutions, we’re here for you whenever you need us.
Before you leave home, we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process.
But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Amsterdam, our staff is available to help you transition into your new home. Creating a plan of study at a school abroad can be confusing and overwhelming. When you arrive on-site, we are available to answer your questions while you work
with your home and host schools to figure out what courses you need to complete while in the Netherlands.
The support services we offer IES Abroad direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s why our staff is there for you.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Amsterdam, it will feel like home.
As part of IES Abroad’s direct enrollment services, we arrange well-located, comfortable housing for all students because securing housing independently can be challenging. IES Abroad’s housing options reflect the local student culture and meet our safety and security standards.
Apartments - Live in a spacious studio apartment that has its own kitchenette and bathroom. Most rooms are shared, but some single rooms are available for an additional fee. As a resource to you, local resident assistants live in the apartments to provide assistance. Meals are not included. Most students cook meals in their apartments or eat in student canteens and restaurants.
Part of making you feel at home in Amsterdam is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Amsterdam staff, your fellow students, and the city of Amsterdam. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during this time. Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. As part of the CORE™ program, you participate in a volunteer activity that creates a sense of community with your fellow students, offers you deeperinsight into Dutch life, and gives you a point of contact if you’d like to continue participating in volunteer projects throughout the semester. Field trips are also organized to introduce you to other parts of the Netherlands and to Dutch pastimes. Past trips have included excursions to the Zaanse Schans and Utrecht. Following IES Abroad orientation, you participate in an orientation led by the CvA to get to know the staff and facilities.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Amsterdam through cultural events, such as:
Although your adventure begins in Amsterdam, our field trips take you to other great cities in the Netherlands to provide contrast and content for what you are learning in Amsterdam. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Past destinations are listed below.
Island of Texel
2 Days | Fall
Tour the island by bike, visit a seal rescue center, and take a trip on a shrimp boat.
2 Days | Spring
Explore the city, explore the famous caves of Limburg, and take a country walk in the beautiful hilly countryside.
1 Day| Fall & Spring
Take a guided walking tour and visit the famous cube houses.
The IES Abroad Amsterdam Center is housed in the Oranje-Nassau Kazerne, former military barracks now turned into offices and apartments, and located opposite the Artis Zoo. The center provides a classroom, staff offices, Wi-Fi, and space for students to meet and study.
Chantal OmlooIES Abroad Director
Chantal Omloo earned an M.A. in History of International Relations at the University of Utrecht and an MSc in Development Studies at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her academic focus was centred on economic development in Sub Saharan Africa and she has published a number of articles in this field. Prior to joining IES Abroad in 2001, Chantal worked for Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), a NGO based in the United Kingdom. Chantal managed customized programs out of the IES Abroad London Center before moving back to her native Netherlands to take up the IES Abroad Amsterdam Center Director’s position.
IES Abroad Staff
Anabelle GouletteStudent Affairs and Office Coordinator
Diana KaekebekeAcademic and Student Affairs Coordinator
Depending on your program, you will be taught by faculty from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Vrije Universiteit, the Universiteit van Amsterdam or IES Abroad.