Berklee Launches First Year Abroad Program

A new program for first-year students provides them with an opportunity to begin their education on the Valencia, Spain, campus.

July 6, 2016

Fall 2017 will usher in a milestone moment for Berklee. It will be the first time in the college's more than 70 years that undergraduate students will have an opportunity to begin their education not in Boston, but on the campus in Valencia, Spain, through the newly launched First Year Abroad program.

Kicking off Berklee careers on a campus in the culturally rich Mediterranean city will provide a host of benefits, including:

  • a more intimate academic setting;
  • programs and services that strongly emphasize the global music industry and international career paths; and
  • immersion in one of Spain's most important musical regions.

"Everything about my experience was memorable," said Zach Rosten, who studied at the Valencia campus through Berklee Study Abroad for a semester in 2015. "It's about getting to immerse into an entirely different culture; the freedom and possibility of exploring other countries on the weekends; the smaller community of Berklee students; the facilities; and, of course, the weather."

Students in the First Year Abroad program will complete the same core curriculum taken by entering students on the Boston campus, while enjoying the Spain campus' state-of-the-art recording studios, technology labs, and classrooms.

Upon completion of their first-year studies in Valencia, students will transfer to the Boston campus to continue in their declared major. They'll also have the ability to choose from Berklee's wide range of undergraduate academic options, including minor programs of study or dual majors.

Students who have spent a semester in the Berklee Study Abroad program often talk about the bonds they build with other students in the close-knit Valencia environment. Being a new college student presents one with a host of new social experiences and, sometimes, challenges, and being in a smaller first-year group can enhance the transition process.

Another advantage for undergraduates who spend time in Valencia is the chance to meet and interact with Berklee graduate students enrolled in one of the campus' four master's programs.

"Being in an environment in which we were able to collaborate with graduate students was incredibly enriching," said Nicole Kwan, who was in the 2014 Berklee Study Abroad program. "They were such kind, experienced students who, yet, had so much drive to learn and do more. Being surrounded by that energy inspired a more efficient and passionate work ethic for me and my fellow undergraduates."

The process for applying to Berklee’s undergraduate program is the same, regardless of where students would like to spend their first year. First Year Abroad is in the Opt-in Programs section of the application at