Music Education Abroad: The Best Conservatories in the World – Rating 2023

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So, you have a fiery passion for music, and you’re looking to elevate it by obtaining a higher education in this field? Well, you’re in the right place. The world is filled with prestigious conservatories dedicated to honing the talents of aspiring musicians, helping them master their craft and ultimately, illuminating their path in the world of music. In this article, we will dive deep into the crème de la crème of these conservatories, specifically, those topping the charts in the QS World University Rankings by Subject: Performing Arts for 2023.

Navigating the wide world of music education can be overwhelming, with an array of factors to consider. These range from the institution’s reputation, the courses on offer, the quality of faculty, to the alumni success rate. That’s why a trusted guide such as the QS World University Rankings is invaluable. It allows you to discover and evaluate the best conservatories worldwide, ensuring that you’re well-informed to make the best choice for your musical journey.

Stay tuned as we strike a chord with the world’s top conservatories, offering you a comprehensive look at the best platforms to orchestrate your dream music career.

World’s Best Conservatories

1. Royal College of Music (UK)

Royal College of Music-Study abroad with Univibes

Founded in 1883, the Royal College of Music is one of the world’s finest music colleges and prepares outstanding musicians for international careers. The college has 900 students from more than 50 countries and is taught by internationally renowned music professors.

More than 50% of Conservatory of Music students receive financial aid from the college or private organizations. In 2023, every applicant who applies for admission will be considered for a scholarship provided by Royal  College.

College website

Required criteria for admission:

  • Completed online application at
  • Information about previous education
  • Personal statement in the form of an essay focusing on musical experience and your accomplishments
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Audition

Applications open in July and last through October-November, depending on the specific program. Auditions are held in November and December. There is an opportunity to apply after deadlines.

Famous alumni:

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber (English composer)
  • Sarah Brightman (British singer and actress)
  • James Roy Horner (American film composer)

2. University of music and performing arts, Vienna (Austria)

University of music and performing arts- Study abroad with Univibes

The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is the international leader for music education. It offers 115 programs for 3,000 students from 70 countries.

This university offers more than 20 scholarships for talented applicants. It is also possible to receive a state tuition grant.

The university website is

Application Criteria:

  • Complete the online form at, attaching all required documents
  • Provide proof of your German language skills
  • Pass the entrance exam.

Applications open in January and will be accepted until spring. The exact dates of the opening and closing dates depend on the specific program.

Notable alumni:

  • Christoph Waltz (Austrian actor and director)
  • Zubin Mehta (Indian conductor)
  • Aida Garifullina (Russian opera singer)

3. Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (Paris Conservatory)

Paris Conservatory- study abroad Univibes

The Conservatoire de Musique et de Danse de Paris is the leading French university in the arts.

The university offers opportunities to study classical and modern instrumental disciplines, vocal, conducting, sound design, musicology and pedagogy.

More than 600 of the 1,400 students at the Conservatory receive financial support. For international students who do not have European Union citizenship a scholarship program from the Meyer Foundation is in place to attract international talent.

The website of the university is

Steps for admission to college:

  • Fill out an application and pre-screen (video presentation, cover letter)
  • Have an audition
  • Take the required theory tests
  • Get an interview with a panel of judges.
  • Prove your French skills at level B1

Applications to the Conservatoire are accepted until October-November. Candidates who succeed in the initial selection are invited to the entrance exams in February and March.

Famous alumni:

  • Michel Legrand (French composer)
  • Jeanne Moreau (French actress and singer)
  • Richard Clyderman (French pianist)

4. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (UK)

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland- Study abroad with Univibes

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland offers a music education of a decent standard, attracting students from more than 60 countries. The university demonstrates the highest employment rate of graduates – 99.2%.

Each applicant is automatically considered for scholarships, which are awarded to the most talented applicants. Partial or full funding is provided by both the Conservatory and private organizations.

The university’s website:

To apply for the program, you must:

  • Fill out an application at
  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation
  • Have an audition
  • International students have until December to apply.

Notable alumni:

  • James McAvoy (British actor)
  • Jack Bruce (British musician)
  • Richard Madden (British actor)

5. Norwegian Academy of Music (Norway)

Norwegian Academy of Music - study abroad with Univibes

The Norwegian Academy of Music provides music education of the highest standard so that students can reach their full potential. It offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs and short courses to hone your competencies in a specific field.

University website:

Required criteria for admission:

  • Completed online application
  • Completed previous education
  • Proof of proficiency in English or Norwegian
  • Auditions and entrance exams

Applications are accepted until mid-December, and auditions are held in February.

Notable alumni:

  • Edvard Fliflet Bryne (Norwegian composer and conductor)
  • Ola Gjeilo (Norwegian composer and pianist)
  • Jannike Kruse (Norwegian singer and actress)

Securing Your Future in Music with Univibes Advisors

At Univibes, we recognize that the pursuit of a career in music is a journey filled with inspiration, passion, and dedication. To help you realize your cherished dreams, our advisors are committed to providing personalized guidance every step of the way. 

Choosing the right conservatory abroad is a critical first step in your journey, and our advisors have the expertise to guide you through this process. We will work closely with you to understand your aspirations, strengths, and areas of interest, and help you identify the best-suited conservatories that align with these.

A strong portfolio is a powerful tool in your application process. With Univibes advisors at your side, we will assist in making your portfolio competitive and reflective of your unique musical talents. This includes providing feedback and guidance on your work, highlighting areas that will showcase your abilities and potential to the fullest.

Scholarships can provide significant financial assistance, making studying abroad more accessible. Our advisors are knowledgeable about various scholarships on offer and will guide you through the application process, increasing your chances of securing financial aid.

Navigating the admissions process can often be challenging. Rest assured, with Univibes advisors, you’re not alone. We will go through the entire process with you, from understanding admission requirements, completing applications, to preparing for interviews or auditions. 

At Univibes, our ultimate goal is to see you flourish and succeed in your musical journey. By partnering with us, you can focus on what truly matters – your passion for music, while we handle the complexities of securing your place at a world-renowned foreign university. Turn the dream of studying music abroad into a reality, with Univibes by your side!

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