From ancient Ambrosian chants to cutting-edge multi-media installations, Italy has always been at the forefront of musical innovation. As a music student in Milan, you have the opportunity to work with world-class musicians, soak up the local music scene, perform at a variety of venues, and attend a wide range of performances.
Whether you’re fluent in Italian or you can only say ciao, you are welcomed with open arms by the IES Abroad Milan Center staff. At the Center, there is a full range of opportunities for instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, and performance majors, and partnerships with the Civica Scuola di Musica, the Conservatorio G. Verdi, the Milano Classica Chamber Orchestra (spring only), and La Verdi Symphonic Choir and Orchestra.
In Milan, you get an education tailored specifically to your musical needs and interests. Enjoy being surrounded by some of the world’s top musicians and educators—including the Center Director who is an active composer and music scholar whose pieces are performed worldwide!
Milan will be your classroom. Envision yourself catching an opera at La Scala or working as an apprentice with some of the top musicians in the world. You can work with an instructor who can help you hone and develop your area of study, immerse yourself in the operatic tradition, play in an ensemble, and take courses in music theory or history at one of IES Abroad’s partner institutions. From viting the spectacular infrastructure created for the World Expo of 2015, hosted in Milan, to surveying Italian art and music culture, you'll explore the innovative nature of this city.
We also help you with instrument rentals and studio time arrangements in Milan. You are invited to attend performances on a regular basis, from productions at La Scala to smaller concerts at intimate venues throughout the city. You can even enroll in a music-related internship, which includes time spent working at your placement in addition to an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.
We want you to feel at home in Milan, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
For students enrolling ONLY in IES Abroad courses.
For students enrolling in partner institution courses.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
While in Milan, you are placed in classes and ensembles to enhance not just what you learn, but how you learn it, and provide you with new perspectives each day in class. Milan features many highly-qualified local instructors for both voice and instrumental performance, composition and theory, to enrich your learning experience.
Also, you may use concert venues for recitals, and attend concerts and rehearsals of professional performance organizations such as La Scala, Milano Classica, La Verdi Symphonic Choir & Orchestra, and Italian musical productions. In addition, we help you with instrument rentals and studio time arrangements—all rental costs will be covered by IES Abroad.
You must take 15–19 credits per semester, and most courses are worth 3 credits. Language courses are taught in Italian, and all other courses are taught in English or Italian.
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
The cost of all music-related lessons and partner institution courses in included in the program fee. Please notes that some courses have prerequisites.
In recent years, our music students have worked with more than 60 top Milanese faculty and ensembles. This program offers a full range of high-level music options including:
Instrumental Performance: (All Instruments)
Music Theory and Composition
Private Instrument and Voice Instruction
Past students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
Composition, Music Theory and TechnologyPast students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
Music HistoryPast students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
Ensembles and ChoirsPast students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
This is a full list of courses offered in Milan. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings for your term in your MyIESabroad account. The final course list for each term will depend on faculty availability, students interested in each course, and discipline diversity.
Based on level and language ability, IES Abroad places each student with some of the best teachers in the country for both individual instruction and ensemble work. Most of these teachers currently work for prestigious institutions like the orchestra of La Scala, top Italian conservatories and universities, as well as private academies.
For Music: Tradition and Innovation students, IES Abroad will cover the cost of all music-related courses at partner institutions in the total program cost. Any additional non-music courses taken at partner institutions will come at an additional cost to the student.
Our Milan Music Program allows you to take courses at the best music institutions in Milan. The institutions that most frequently welcome U.S. semester and full-year students are:
Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbadowww.fondazionemilano.eu/musicaThe largest private music school in Italy, the Scuola Civica di Musica includes schools of:
Our Music Coordinator may arrange for you to tak instrumental technique and performance classes here, as well as English-taught composition, theory, or history course.
Based on the number of contact hours, you earn 2-3 credits per course for instruction, private lessons, and ensemble work. Either audio or video files/web links are required with the application. Private non-performance music classes may be arranged in Italian or English.
Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi
Founded in 1807, the Conservatorio G. Verdi is the largest music school in Italy, enrolling 2,000 students each year. Some of Italy’s most famous musicians have graduated from or taught at the Conservatorio. Individual instruction may be arranged with faculty from the Conservatorio, based on your skill level.
Based on the number of contact hours, you earn 2-3 credits per course for instruction, private lessons, and ensemble work. Either audio or video files/web links are required with the music application.
La Verdi Symphonic Orchestra and Choir
The Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of La Verdi was founded in the autumn of 1998 under the musical direction of Romano Gandolfi, and is made up of 100 members who perform a wide range of musical repertoire, ranging from symphonic to chamber and polyphonic works, from Baroque to Twentieth century modern music. The Choir typically sings with the Symphonic Orchestra of Milano Giuseppe Verdi, but also collaborates with various national and international symphonic groups. La Verdi provides an opportunity for you to work shoulder to shoulder with professional performers and participate in rehearsals and concerts that fit with your voice or instrument.
An audition by either an audio or video file or web link is required, along with the music application. After the Music Coordinator has received your audition material, they will arrange for an in-person live audition with the conductor which will take place when you arrive in Milan.
Milano Classica Chamber Orchestra: String Orchestra Assistantship (Spring only)
The string orchestra assistantship is designed to offer undergraduate string performers the opportunity to enhance their orchestral practice of both early Baroque and Classical repertoire, including relevant chamber music literature when applicable. Music students also increase their performance skills and are introduced to performance practice with original instruments. Milano Classica, a renowned chamber orchestra that has been active on the professional Milanese scene since 1992, welcomes U.S. college students to participate in their concert season at the beautiful Palazzina Liberty Hall.
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuorewww.unicattolica.itFounded in 1921, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is located in the old city center in the former ancient monastery of Saint Ambrose. It is also one of the largest private universities in Europe. It is also a short walk from Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church where Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” is located. The surrounding neighborhood of winding, narrow streets blends with the Renaissance architecture of the Cattolica and its charming courtyards. The Cattolica campus is a short 5-minute walk from the IES Abroad Milan Center. There are a few Italian-taught music history courses available to students with the appropriate language background.
Participating in a service learning experience in Milan is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s culture and society. Working alongside local people towards a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Milan, while contributing your skills towards a community-driven solution.
A service learning experience consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by a weekly academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar, you have structured time for reflection and discussion, and even research, on the issues of your host community.
Service Learning in Milan primarily focuses on the current immigration and refugee crisis in the Mediterranean region with an emphasis civic engagement, social justice, and advocacy. The seminar focuses on the concepts of multiculturalism and integration, and comparing the Italian experience with other European countries.
IES Abroad Milan organizes course-related excursions that complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Italian culture and society. Past course-related excursions have included:
Interning while in Milan gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Personalized PlacementsOnce you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to find the ideal internship placement that fulfills your academic and career goals. We've placed students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses. If we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search for a placement that's right for you.
Placement FieldsPast students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
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 Milan, it will feel like home.
Placements are available in Milanese homes throughout the city. This is a priceless opportunity to learn about Italian families first-hand and engage directly with Italian culture.
You have a private or shared room at your homestay and receive breakfast and dinner daily. Enjoy your other meals at university cafeterias, bars, or restaurants. Commuting time from a typical homestay to the IES Abroad Milan Center can range from five to 40 minutes.
Share a furnished apartment located in a safe and lively district with three to six IES Abroad students. These apartments are single-sex, and you generally share a bedroom with another student. Single rooms in an apartment carry an additional fee.
Apartment life is enhanced by a live-in Italian roommate called a Community Assistant (CA). These assistants can help you improve your Italian language skills, get to know the city of Milan, and integrate more fully into the local culture. The Italian CAs also spend time at the IES Abroad Center answering questions and working for the program. If improving your Italian is your priority, you may request to live in an Italian-language only apartment.
Meals are not included, so you normally eat lunch at a local café or a university cafeteria, and prepare your own breakfast and dinner at home. Located on main public transportation routes near the Center, apartments offer fully-equipped kitchens, Internet access, a dishwasher, and a washing machine.
Collegio di Milano - Residence Hall
This residence for Italian and international honors students offers single rooms with private bathrooms and balconies. The facilities include a computer room, library, small gym, cafeteria, private park, security system, kitchenette, and an auditorium for special cultural programs.
Breakfast and dinner are provided daily and lunch is available on weekends. Space is limited and students are chosen by the Collegio based on academic merit. Because of the extra amenities, this option carries an additional fee.
Part of making you feel at home in Milan is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that prepares you, 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 a short orientation to help you become familiar with the IES Abroad Milan staff, your fellow students, and the city of Milan. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during orientation.
After orientation, you participate in a three-week intensive language program designed to help you gain practical language skills and to acclimate you to the local environment. IES Abroad schedules several excursions and tours to introduce you to the history, culture, and districts of Milan.
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.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Milan through cultural events, such as:
Even though your adventure starts in Milan, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:
Desenzano Lake District2 Days | FallSpend two days on the southern end of Lake Garda in the Lombardy region.
3 Days | FallExperience the cradle of Western Civilization, the home of Magna Grecia, a unique place full of art, archeology, myth, history, folklore, and breathtaking scenery. Visit baroque Catania; Europe’s highest active volcano, Etna; and the magical mountaintop town of Taormina.
3 Days | Fall
Tour the Tuscany countryside and visit the medieval towns of Pisa, Siena, and Montalcino. Hear the Gregorian chant of the monks of Sant’Antimo Abbey and savor unique wine and cheese while admiring the Tuscan countryside.
Alps Ski Trip3 Days | SpringA charming town in the Alps is your destination for skiing in Europe’s highest mountain range.
Culture & Cuisine of Northern Italy3 Days | SpringDive into the music, culture, and cuisine of Northern Italy with guided tours of Cremona and its violin makers, Parma and its parmesan cheese factory, and a family run agriturismo for dinner.
Secrets of Hidden Lombardy
1 Day | SpringExplore the Romanesque and Gothic heritage of Lombardy by visiting abbeys and castles located in the Lombardy region.
IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Milan Center is located in the city’s bustling historic center, within walking distance of the Duomo, DaVinci's "Last Supper" and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.
For more than 17 years, Roberto Andreoni has been the Director of the Milan program. Dr. Andreoni holds a doctorate in Music from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his undergraduate degrees at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan and the Civica Scuola di Musica. He has previously served as the director of the Civica Scuola di Musica in Assago and Milan. Dr. Andreoni is an internationally recognized composer whose works are regularly performed, published, and recorded. When Dr. Andreoni isn’t busy directing the Milan program, he also serves as the Music Coordinator for IES Abroad Milan and is a professor of Composition at the Conservatorio di Musica N. Piccinni in Bari. During Fall 2010, he was the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for Music and Italian Studies at Scripps College.
IES Abroad Milan Staff
Irene BaldoniAssistant Director
Luca BlumerStudent Affairs and Customized Program Specialist
Laura CarreraInternship Coordinator
Emanuela FerriAcademic Assistant
Manuela NigrelliHousing Coordinator
Jessica Rodrigues PolettiAcademic Advisor
Anna SalandiniAccounting and Fiscal Administrator
Coordinator of Academic Affairs