IES Milan: Music Tradition and Innovation

  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Language of Instruction: English (IES Courses) and Italian (IES and University Courses)
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors


A famous Milanese song says there are many wonderful Italian cities that people love to visit, but only one in which they want to live and work. Milan is world reknowned as the European capital of fashion, design, architecture, publishing, modern art and music.  Once a capital of the Roman Empire today the the city of Milan is Italy’s lively center of business, banking and finance.  In Piazza Duomo, the architecture of past centuries blends with the neon lights of a modern metropolis.  It is the city where Leonardo da Vinci painted his masterpiece The Last Supper and invented is canal system, the city where Verdi and Puccini produced their operas still performed today at La Scala Opera House and the city where the Futurists Movement redefined the traditional concept of art.

The IES Center is located on the Università Cattolica campus, across the street from the historical cloisters of the Medieval Church of St. Ambrose.

  • Visa:

    Required. See NAFSA: Italy VISA FAQs.

  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition, room, and partial board to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting tuition payments to the program.

  • Requirements

    Higher GPA and junior year standing are required for admission to the Università Bocconi.  Previous Italian language study is encouraged but not required.  Two semesters of college-level Italian language study (elementary or equivalent) are required for Intermediate-level students. Four semesters of college-level Italian language study (intermediate or equivalent) are required for Advanced-level. The application requirements can be found on the IES website.

    Academic Credit

    Students must carry 15 credit hours per semester. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.

    Italian majors and minors are expected to take their major/minor credits in Italian at one of the affiliated IES universities. Italian majors and minors cannot take courses in English at the IES Center. It is recommended that students who have no background in Italian enroll in at least one course at one of the English speaking universities.  Some university classes are not available to sophomores. Students must enroll in an appropriate-level IES Italian language course. Italian Language in Context: Novice Abroad II fulfills Haverford’s language requirement.


    This program is designed for students with all levels of Italian language skills. Qualified students may enroll in Milanese universities.

    This program is highly recommended for Music majors.

    Scuola Civica di Musica
    Students with no prior Italian may enroll in technique and performance classes (instruments, voice, composition, orchestra, ensembles). Advanced Italian is required for theory courses, although some English-taught theory courses may be arranged as an independent study.

    Credit bearing seminars with embedded internships are available in Business, Fashion, Government, and Publishing.

    Music and Voice majors can design individualized programs. Those who do not want to take their own instruments can rent.  Opportunities for music students are at the Accademia Internazionale della Musica and the Conservatorio G. Verdi.

    Note that the University’s calendar is not posted in advance. This means that the dates of university course final exams will not be available until students are on-site and have enrolled in the course.  Fall semester students enrolled in courses at outside institutions must remain in Milan to complete final exams on the dates assigned by the Italian institution. Final exam calendars are set by the University in October with most final exams typically taking place by the IES Abroad departure date; however, in a few rare cases the final exams have taken place after the IES Abroad departure date. In addition, students planning on enrolling in Italian-taught courses at the Università Bocconi must remain in Milan until mid-January to complete final exams. IES Abroad will provide housing until the end of your exams. Students enrolled in English-taught courses at Universita Cattolicà may depart by the IES Abroad departure date.

    Spring semester students enrolled in courses at outside institutions must take regular exams in June and should be prepared to stay in Milan through mid to late June. IES Abroad will allow students to remain in their housing through the day following the first possible exam date.

    Course Highlights

    Music, Private Instrument and Voice Instruction, Composition, Music Theory, and Technology, Music History, Ensembles and Choirs, Italian

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: A three-day off-site orientation is followed by a three-week language intensive orientation.

    Number of Students: Approximately 100-150 students attend each semester for all of the IES Milan programs

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Haverford requires that students live with families. IES Abroad offers a limited number of homestays in private homes in Milan. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about Italian families firsthand and engage directly with Italian culture. Students housed in a homestay will have a private room with access to a private or shared bathroom. Homestay families will also provide daily breakfast and dinner, (14 meals per week) for and additional fee. Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Field Trips: IES organizes several optional, partially-subsidized field trips. Past destinations include Lake Maggiore, Tuscany, Sicily, Northern Italy, Lombardy, and a ski trip in the Alps.

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Fulfills Language Requirement
  • Semester I: Late August to mid-December
  • Semester II: Early January to late May
  • Year: Late August to late May
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: October 1
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Ute Striker