Wanting to study in some of the finest music institutions in Europe is a wonderful dream. However, for those with limited financial means, this is exactly what it is: a beautiful dream. Tuition is expensive, boarding in some of these cities is crazy out of reach, and you have to take into account the fact that this is a whole experience package you are opting for. Therefore, missing out on anything can cost you in terms of how much you can get out of it. Luckily, the heads of these top European institutions have taken into consideration the fact that there are talented students who deserve to go here too, so they have created scholarship programs. Here is what you need to know about some of them.
TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIPS YOU COULD APPLY FOR YOUR MUSIC STUDIES
Let us start off by saying that there are specific scholarships and grants you could apply for, then check if they cover your music studies as well. With these types of scholarships, the focus is mainly placed on the country you wish to study in and on your own country of origin. For example, Belgium offers a series of scholarships for students coming from developing countries. These are the CIUD-CUD Scholarships in Belgium for Developing Countries, the VLIR-UOS Scholarships for Developing Countries, or the World Citizen Talent Scholarship for International Students.
It is important to see which music programs are covered in these scholarships and to make sure that the university you have your eyes on is included in the list of partner universities.
Your own country’s scholarship program
Many countries invest in their students and help them get an education abroad. Therefore, there could be some government scholarships you can apply for. The best thing about it is that you have the possibility to cover the whole duration of your studies. However, keep in mind the fact that not all governments are so open to the idea of funding music studies unless you are anything less than a prodigy? Why? Because this is considered a state investment and in most cases, you may have to return home and pay back for the scholarship by putting your acquired knowledge to good use. This is a considerable downside for anyone dreaming of continuing a career abroad.
Grants are a great thing, although people giving them out can still be very picky about whom they give them out to. And there is still the issue of dedicated study grants, meaning that you can only use them for specific studies. On the other hand, you can opt for music grants directly and limit your efforts. One good example in this respect would be the Swedish Arts Grants Committee that offers grants and allowances for artists in a number of fields, music being the most prominent of all. There is also the Support for the Individual Artist Program, offered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
The value of each grant is different and it can vary from several hundred dollars or euros to several thousands. This is not nearly enough to cover a year’s tuition or boarding, but it is a small help and it is granted more easily than scholarships are. If you rely on all the help you can obtain to get you through the university years, then we suggest you start collecting information.
Scholarships offered directly by the institution you want to study at
And if you manage to get one of these, you have managed to hit the jackpot. Why? For starters because you no longer have to make sure that the institution is a partner of whatever program in which you were thinking of applying. Secondly, some scholarships may cover the entire duration of your studies, not just one year. And this is no small thing. Thirdly, for such scholarships you may only have to keep up grades and have a great evolution. We know this is no easy thing to do, but it beats having to go back to your home country and “work-off” the loan the government gave you. Last, and not least, direct scholarships are amazing because they are granted based on merit and according to the evaluation of professors at the institution you want to attend. This is a great validation of what you can do and of what you can become.
Getting a scholarship at one of the best European music institutions
An important thing to remember is that you are applying for a scholarship of great value to a number of people. This means you will be fighting for the same position as tens of other applicants. If this does not scream pay attention to every step of the process, we don’t know what does.
Let’s take the London College of Music Pete Townshend Scholarship for example. For this scholarship, only UK nationals are invited to apply, applicants must have a previous degree, and a form can be downloaded directly from the website. The Conservatoire de Paris, on the other hand, is more open and offers up to three types of scholarships, from social ones to scholarships of the French government, to assistance in finding student accommodation in Paris. The best thing to do is to start reading the information offered by each institution, then start looking for financial support elsewhere.
Find a sponsor
It might sound weird to some of you, but this is actually common practice. In the past, rich people would often support talented musicians and got the possibility of feel magnanimous and to boast with having taken part in the discovery of a small genius. Things are not very different now, especially if you actually have some talent to back up your claim. The odd thing about having to find a sponsor is that, unless you are ‘discovered’ by someone, therefore saving you the trouble, you will have to start looking for a sponsor yourself. And finding someone who will fund more than ten thousand pounds, dollars or euro is no easy task. But it can be done!