International Study at Crane
Many students consider taking a semester overseas as part of their undergraduate education, and this opportunity is available to you at The Crane School of Music. But we encourage you to think more broadly about overseas experiences - to think beyond the semester overseas! Below are some examples of the international educational opportunities Crane students are able to take advantage of.
Students at SUNY Potsdam can take advantage of a number of semester-long study abroad options. Music majors, however, are limited to two programs in the United Kingdom: Birmingham Conservatoire and York St. John University. Exchange students from these colleges also join us at Crane each year as well.
Typically, students choose to take their semester overseas during their junior year. There can be challenges to staying on schedule for graduation, though, especially for music education majors, so students are encouraged to talk to their advisors early about their desire to study abroad.
Faculty in a variety disciplines across campus offer occasional or regularly scheduled courses overseas. These offerings will change from semester to semester. In music, one of the recent "occasional" course offerings was Dr. Peter McCoy's Exploring the Arts of South India.
One of the regular offered overseas courses is the Jamaica Field Service Experience for Music Education majors. Students work with Crane faculty in local schools in Jamaica gaining knowledge and experience in a different kind of school environment.
Music education majors have two student teaching placements, at least one of which must be in New York State. The other one could be in Australia! Students at Crane may elect to take one of their student teaching placements in the Brisbane area, in Queensland. This a summer (here - winter there) experience, with the New York State student teaching placement occurring in the spring semester prior or the fall semester following the summer the Australia.
Crane School of Music ensembles tour overseas, too. Dr. Jeffrey Francom has led unique tours with the Crane Concert Choir over the past several summers. The choir has walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and biked from Hamburg to Dresden in Germany, performing in churches along the way. In 2019, the choir is headed to perform in Peru, and will visit Machu Picchu during the journey. The Crane Latin Ensemble recently led an educational tour of Cuba, in partnership with the Universidad de Cienfuegos. Members of the ensemble got to perform alongside master musicians, including the traditional Afro-Cuban band, Los Naranjos.
Summer (and other) Opportunities
Students can also take advantage of summer programs overseas, and the faculty at Crane guide and encourage our students to apply for a variety of experiences. Some faculty have particularly close ties to certain programs or countries (most notably vocal professor Donald George, who lives in Germany when he is not in Potsdam!), but regardless, if a student is interested in having an overseas experience in the summer, they should speak to their studio teacher and/or advisor early in the school year.
A Final Word
Many of these experiences are highly competitive, but by encouraging students to think broadly about overseas study, we hope many more students are able to take advantage of at least one of them. For more information, visit the SUNY Potsdam International Office's Study Abroad webpage.