Unsure About Fall Plans? Consider Studying in Spain.
On June 15, Berklee announced that it was offering students two options for the fall semester. They could come to campus and take part in a mixed in-person and online model, or they could choose to study entirely remotely.
Students who had hoped to study in Boston this fall are now weighing the two choices, but there’s another path they can take to continue their education: They can go to Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain.
For the first time, the Valencia campus is open to undergraduates at every level, from entering students to those in their final semester, offering all students studying for their bachelor’s degree an unprecedented opportunity to spend their semester or academic year abroad.
María Martínez Iturriaga and Simone Pilon welcome students to Valencia this fall:
“With a combination of remote classes in your major offered from Boston and classes offered in Valencia, students of all majors and all levels can stay on track for graduation,” Simone Pilon, the incoming dean of academic affairs, said. “Students can take courses in their major remote from Boston, then take core music, liberal arts, and elective courses in-person or in a hybrid modality (a mix of in-person and online) in Valencia.”
The robust academic connection between the two campuses, made possible by Berklee’s strong online platform, gives students in Valencia access to all the online courses students in Boston have access to. In addition, the Valencia campus is in close contact and collaboration with department chairs in Boston to make sure students get the courses they need to make progress in their major.
Students in Valencia will also have access to state-of-the-art facilities, performance spaces (including the iconic City of Arts and Sciences opera house and performing arts center), and professional guidance through the International Career Center.
Staff and faculty in Valencia are preparing a fall program that will allow most students to spend more than half their time on campus, depending on their courses and majors. First Year Abroad students can expect to have more than 60 percent of their classes on campus. In general, experiential activities (such as lab sessions and work involving studios) will be done in person when safe social distancing can be maintained, and lecture-style courses will be held online. However, the plan is to have a selection of all types of classes offered in person.
The robust academic connection between the two campuses gives students in Valencia access to all the online courses students in Boston have access to.
Valencia is following similar social-distancing protocols as is Boston, but there are slight differences depending on guidance from the governments and health officials in each country. “As it stands, COVID-19 is well-controlled in Spain due to strong measures taken early on. However, we need to remain vigilant and prepare for all eventualities,” María Martínez Iturriaga, the campus’s executive director, said.
Beyond the new offerings this year, the Valencia experience will continue to foster the personal, professional, and academic growth it always has. “College age is a key time in life where students mature as people, get out of their comfort zone, build a network of friends and future colleagues, expand their horizons, and gain valuable skills to prepare themselves for a life that will be an ever-changing experience,” Martínez Iturriaga said. “The feedback that I hear the most from the students that come to Valencia to study is that this experience has transformed them and that it was the best year of their lives.”
The Valencia program will also continue to emphasize the benefits of taking a global approach to one’s art and career. This year is no different as the campus gets ready to welcome students from around the world. With the openness of international borders being in flux, the Valencia option is an especially good one for citizens or legal residents of the European Union (E.U.), Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom, all of whom don’t need a visa to study in Valencia.
In addition to being open to all undergraduates, the Valencia campus will offer its four graduate programs: Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration); Global Entertainment and Music Business; Music Production, Technology, and Innovation; and Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games.
Pilon encourages undergraduates considering studying in Valencia to consult with their department chair and/or an academic advisor to plan their semester. Those who choose to study in Valencia in fall may return to Boston in the spring or may notify the Study Abroad Office that they prefer to stay in Valencia for the spring semester. (First Year Abroad students can stay the whole academic year if they choose to.) Housing will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and students are asked to declare their preference for the fall semester by July 1.
Learn more about studying this fall at Berklee's campus in Valencia, read more about Berklee's study abroad programs, or contact the Study Abroad Office.