SIBELIUS ACADEMY’S STUDENT EXCHANGE GUIDELINES
This is how to apply for an international student exchange as a student at the Sibelius Academy.
Can I apply for a student exchange?
As a rule, you may start the application process at the earliest in your second year of studies in the bachelor’s degree programme, in which case the exchange may take place at the earliest in the third year of studies. The progress of studies in the target schedule is a prerequisite for taking part in a student exchange. For example, a prolonged study period or a lack of completed compulsory courses in the 1st and 2nd year’s study plans may prevent you from partaking in student exchange.
Student exchange is part of the degree you pursue at the Sibelius Academy, so the studies completed during the exchange will be included in your personal study plan (PSP). The exchange year is not an additional study year, nor is it a way to extend your study period. The academic terms used for the exchange count as entitlement to personal instrument studies in your major subject. The student must therefore discuss with the head of department and/or PSP coordinator both the timing of their student exchange and the content of the studies to be completed during the exchange. You cannot submit an exchange application to the destination institution without the support of the head of department.
If it is necessary to prioritise applications for a destination, the head of international affairs decides on this based on the policies between the institutions and the student’s own priority order indicated in their application. If necessary, the head of international affairs consults the head of department or dean to help with the prioritisation decision.
When do I apply for a student exchange?
The internal application period in the Sibelius Academy for the academic year 2023–2024 will be in January 2023, regardless of whether you are applying for an exchange in autumn 2023, spring 2024 or the entire academic year.
Fill in a preliminary application in the Surveypal system no later than 15 January, after which the PSP coordinator will comment on your application from the perspective of study progress. After this, the head of department must give their support to your exchange plan. The preliminary application must be processed by the end of January.
Early deadlines: Montreal McGill University, University of Texas at Austin and Musik Akademie Basel
These institutions have an early deadline. Please contact the international affairs office if you intend to apply to these institutions:
- Montreal McGill University: The application deadline for the autumn period for master-level students is 1 December 2022
- University of Texas at Austin: The application deadline is already 8 December 2022
- Musik Akademie Basel: The application deadline is already on 31 January 2023
How to apply for a student exchange
Make sure your PSP is up to date in the Peppi system
Explore exchange destinations
Fill in the preliminary application
Fill in the form to apply for a head of department’s support for your exchange plan.
The applications of opera training students and doctoral students will be supported by the professor/supervisor responsible for the studies. In this preliminary internal application form of the Sibelius Academy, you should provide the grounds for the exchange plan and a preliminary plan on which studies/courses you plan to complete during the exchange period. You may list 1 to 5 of the most interesting destination institutions in your application.
Find out about the study opportunities offered by the destination institution
The student planning an exchange must find out about the study opportunities offered by the destination on the institution’s website independently. If it is difficult to find out about the course offering and/or the course lists cannot be found, you should include in the preliminary application a list of the topics and learning areas that you would like to study during your exchange programme. Please contact your PSP coordinator in advance, before mid‑January, and discuss the situation of your studies and your exchange studies plan with them.
Fill in the institution-specific application
The actual application forms to be sent to the destination institutions do not need to be filled in in January (except for the above-mentioned institutions). In February, all applicants supported by the head of department will receive an e‑mail containing instructions on how to prepare actual, institution-specific applications and the Learning Agreement. Institution-specific applications are usually submitted to an electronic application system, but in some institutions, they are still sent as a PDF attachment by e-mail.
The final application usually consists of:
- Application form for the exchange programme/institution (in an online system or on paper)
- A Study Plan proposal (containing a list of courses you’d like to complete) that is the basis for the Learning Agreement
- Curriculum Vitae, i.e., a brief resume in English or the language of the destination country
- Letter of Motivation, in which you can explain in your own words why you are applying for an exchange in the institution, in English or in the language of the destination country
- Application video or a composition sample. In most cases, you can decide on the content of the video yourself. There are no general instructions. You should always check the destination institution’s website to be sure. In most cases, the search terms Erasmus incoming or student exchange can be used to find instructions for those applying for an exchange. If there are no guidelines, the sample may contain 2 or 3 pieces in different styles, with a total duration of approximately between 10 and 20 minutes. The preferred format is a link to a video that can be opened without logging in.
- Transcript of Records (in English), which you can get yourself from the Peppi system.
- Possibly a teacher’s recommendation letter (only necessary for some destinations)
- Additionally, some universities, e.g., in the USA, require a Bank Letter for a certain amount and a certificate from a TOEFL test or another language test.