Emerson partners with Berklee for new study abroad opportunity

Emerson College has partnered with Berklee College of Music to offer students a new study-abroad program for the coming academic year in Valencia, Spain, according to David Griffin, director of international study and external programs.

The trip provides participants with a semester-long study opportunity in the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, an opera house and cultural center, where Berklee’s campus is located, Griffin said. Valencia is Spain’s third largest city.

“[Berklee] approached Emerson about the possibility of Emerson students going,” Griffin said.

The study-abroad option will be available for both the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters, according to Griffin. He said it is yet to be determined if a summer session will be offered.

According to Camille Colatosti, dean of institutional assessment and graduate studies at Berklee, courses in music business, the liberal arts, music technology, music theory, music history, music performance and film scoring will be offered. Students will also have the opportunity to meet artists in the international music industry, Griffin said.

“I’m assuming that Berklee will be trying to arrange interactions between the artists that are working at the facility and the students who are there,” Griffin said in an interview with The Beacon.

Sophomores, juniors and first semester seniors are eligible for the program, but final acceptance decisions will be made by Berklee’s Valencia Global Studies Program, according to Griffin. Colatosti said 50 students can be enrolled each semester. Berklee has received 11 Emerson applicants total for the fall and spring semesters, Griffin said.

Emerson students who are accepted into the program will pay regular Emerson College tuition costs, Griffin said. Housing is located on the Valencia Polytechnic University campus, according to Colatosti.

This is Berklee’s first partnership with another school for study abroad options, Colatosti said. Both Emerson and Berklee belong to The Professional Arts Consortium, an association of six Boston institutions dedicated to the arts and education. Colatosti said that the presidents of each of the schools meet periodically and it was at a meeting last fall where Berklee President Roger H. Brown  told President M. Lee Pelton about the Valencia program that had started in January 2012.

“Through their conversation, the idea of developing a partnership emerged,” Colatosti said.

Dan Houbrick, a sophomore, said he thinks the chance to study abroad is a good resource Emerson provides students.

“I think if [students] want the option [to go abroad], they should have every available opportunity,” said the visual media arts major. “Obviously you shouldn’t be forced if you don’t want to but I think having the opportunity available for students is something great that the college is offering.”

Hannah Hunt, a freshman marketing communication major, who said she will be studying in Ireland next year under a program at Arcadia University, said the college needs to extend the number of places where students can travel abroad.

“I definitely think Emerson needs to broaden [and] strengthen their study abroad programs because I did an external one just because my options were so limited and each program seems to be out of my [price range],” Hunt said.

Hunt also said she thinks the new options in Spain and Japan are a step in the right direction.

Griffin said Emerson is planning on continuing the partnership, not only in summer 2014, but beyond that.

“I don’t want to say that it’s a definite yet,” he said. “But, you know, it’s definitely our intention, assuming everything goes well, that it will be an ongoing relationship and it will be available year-round.”