First Year Abroad

This program for first-year students takes place on the Valencia, Spain, campus.

Berklee’s First Year Abroad program in Valencia, Spain, offers you all the benefits of a Berklee education while also providing a comprehensive and well-supported international experience in a small-campus environment. 

Just as in your entering year on Berklee’s Boston campus, the First Year Abroad program develops your musicianship and engages you in a coherent liberal arts curriculum that informs your thinking about issues that have shaped our time. At the same time, the First Year Abroad program provides a life-changing international experience to those students who are especially curious about the world around them.

By living in another country during your first college year, you will greatly expand your way of thinking. The program places you in a culturally diverse setting in Valencia, Spain, a city known for its rich history and its musical traditions. The program also provides you with the opportunity to interact with people of various backgrounds and perspectives, and to explore your new community through additional cocurricular travel and activities.

Living in residence halls with students from Spain and throughout Europe, you will also learn through the informal processes of dormitory life what it means to be a part of a diverse community. You'll learn to analyze problems on a global scale—an ability that can be difficult to master at any age. A year in Spain offers you the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of that country’s people, music, culture, and language. But more than this, you'll come to appreciate the diversity of the world in which we live, an appreciation essential in the global society of today.

College students, especially first year students, who study abroad often form a strong sense of community amongst themselves. Overseas, students depend on one another for support as they strive to balance their courses and the intricacies of an unfamiliar nation. Such bonds provide will provide you with a built-in network of close friends to start off your college experience. This is especially true in the small campus environment of Berklee’s Valencia location. These friendships will likely continue as you transition to the Boston campus to complete your undergraduate education and may very well serve you as a lifelong support network. 

Visit for program details, or find out how to apply.

Entrance Requirements

Admission to Berklee through the standard application process with an additional personal statement about your interest in the program.

What the Program Gives You

In addition to the first-year learning mastered by all Berklee students, students who complete the First Year Abroad program will:

  • articulate their identity in a global context;
  • evaluate the connections between their own personal decision-making and various local and global issues;
  • evaluate and apply diverse perspectives to complex subjects in the face of multiple and even conflicting positions (i.e., cultural, disciplinary, and ethical);
  • apply a deep understanding of multiple worldviews and experiences;
  • explain and connect two or more cultures historically or in contemporary contexts;
  • apply musical, cultural, and historical knowledge from Spain; and
  • address complex global problems using interdisciplinary perspectives independently or with others.
Required Courses

Students in this program will take all required Berklee core courses for first-year students, with added culturally focused curricular content and cocurricular activities. Subject areas include: