Paris, France

Summer Contemporary Music Creation + Critique

Study Program



4 weeks



4 semester hours

6 quarter hours


Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

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If you’ve got a passion for composition, this four-week Parisian adventure will be music to your ears. Learn from the experts at the world-famous IRCAM at the Centre Pompidou, recognized for experimental composition and research, with a unique three-step curriculum sure to take your skills to the next level. A celebrated musical festival, ManiFeste, a conference, and day trips around contemporary art and sound design expand the program’s experience beyond the classroom or studio walls. The performance of a personal composition as part of a student concert open to the public will serve as a worthy finale to this unique experience!

Unique Experiences

Learn from and collaborate

with IRCAM students, composers, researchers, scholars, and visiting performers

Master cutting-edge electronic composition software

composition software – then enjoy a year of access to IRCAM's software database back home

Connect with celebrated artists

and composers at the IRCAM ManiFESTE music festival


Statues of Liberty in Paris


Monuments throughout the city


Trees lining Parisian streets

  • High school students posing with statue at Paris museum
  • High school students on steps

The Destination

If you’re looking to spend time in one of the world’s most prominent centers of culture, finance, and commerce, you’ll find it in Paris. The capital of France – and the country’s most populous city – Paris is a top tourist destination and will make you fall in love with its historic landmarks, exquisite dining, and charming architecture. Paris has hosted two Summer Olympics and two FIFA World Cups, and each year the city hosts the final stage of the Tour de France bicycle race.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Paris.


Other Excursions & Activities

  • Learn the nuances of the City of Lights through a guided walk of Paris.  
  • Savor time in the studio, patching, sound sculpting, composing, and more. 
  • Attend concerts, conferences, exhibitions, and happenings around multimedia and new music technology and composition, during IRCAM’s ManiFESTE festival. 
  • Visit the theaters, cafés, and luxury shops of the Champs-Élysées.

Program Blogs


Why I Chose to Study Abroad in Paris

By College Study Abroad Ambassador at CIEE

By: Lia Nickson When choosing where to go for your study abroad program it can be a really difficult decision. There are so many different factors for choosing a place... keep reading


Favorite restaurants in Paris

By College Study Abroad Ambassador at CIEE

By: Lia Nickson Paris is known for its amazing food with more than forty-four thousand restaurants throughout the city. While my time in Paris did not allow me to impossibly... keep reading


Financial Tips for a Semester in Paris

By College Study Abroad Ambassador at CIEE

By: Lia Nickson Spending a semester abroad in Paris has been by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The city has infinite experiences to offer and... keep reading

What Students are Saying

  • "Fun and exciting course, plenty of time to experience the location while balancing school."

    Thomas M., Texas Christian University



This unique summer program takes place at the world-renowned Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). Founded in 1977, IRCAM is devoted to research and experimentation in music composition, acoustic performance, and technological modification of sound. 

IRCAM conducts ground-breaking research in acoustic and computer technology. Promoting new works and new composers under the aegis of the Centre Pompidou, IRCAM also provides intensive instruction to a select handful of graduate students. 

All classes in this program take place at IRCAM, and students have full access to all facilities, including the library, as well as all ManiFESTE activities. ManiFeste, the IRCAM multidisciplinary festival and academy, is a gathering of creative artists in Paris, combining music with other disciplines: theater, dance, digital arts, and visual arts.  

Students participate in three components: 

  • First Steps: An intensive two-week course focusing on the MAX/MSP music application that helps students create patch sound samples and voice modulation. 
  • Culture of Music Creation: Connect the art and critique of sound with concerts and events at the ManiFESTE festival at IRCAM. 
  • Académie:  presentations by composers and musicians selected among the program of the ManiFeste Academy. 



Additional Requirements

  • Completion of or proof of enrollment in an introductory level course in electronic music that touches on Max/MSP. 
  • Fluency in Macintosh OS X environments. 
  • Familiarity with sequencer programs such as Pro Tools or Logic Audio. 
  • Familiarity with a sound editor like Peak.  
  • A letter explaining the student’s motivations in participating in the program. 

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


All students must take MUSI 3001 CMCC: Contemporary Music Creation and Critique. 

Program Credit

Total credit: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits 

Course Credit

CIEE course: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 76 contact hours 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

MAX/MSP and overview classes blend theory and practice. Students are gathered in small groups for exercises and “patches” designed to bring together topics covered in sessions. With the simultaneous ManiFeste and Académie concert series, and opportunities to interact with other composers, IRCAM provides a unique forum for new music composers. 

Class Format

Most classes include only CIEE students. Master classes and some Académie classes include both CIEE students and other international students. 


Students are graded based on composition exercises and a final evaluation for the composition software phases of the program. Written work in Culture and Critique of Composition section is averaged into composition exercises and final work. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


Course Information

All work completed during training sessions, program exercises, Académie, and IRCAM are required components of the program and factor into the final grade for the course.

Summer 2024

Semester Credit

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.


Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • CIEE Stem Scholarship

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application.

Learn more about scholarships

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Summer 2024 4 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $6,450

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $4,453**

Housing = $1,500

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $6,450

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $432

International Airfare = $1,250

Local Transportation = $120

Books & Supplies = $50

Personal expenses = $150

Total Costs = $2,002

Optional Housing

CIEE accommodation options are detailed in the Housing section. Based on availability, Select or Select Plus Housing can be chosen during the application process for an additional fee:

Select Housing Fee = $200^

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships


**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

For students in homestays, families provide breakfast and 5 meals a week. For students in residence halls/apartments, you should budget approx. $388 per month for groceries if you plan on making your own meals, and more if you plan on eating out regularly.

^first-come, first serve, based on availability

What's Included



Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet


Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city

On-site Staff

Full-time program leadership and support in your city

Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities

Excursions and/or Study Tours

Travel Protection

CIEE iNext travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support


Our Staff

Delphine Mauny

Center Director

A born-and-bred Parisian, Delphine has extensive experience in international education, having worked with American high school students, college students, and adults traveling to France.

Franck Le Gac

Academic Director

Franck oversees the coordination, quality, and planning of all courses and educational programing in Paris. He is responsible for faculty staffing, finalization of syllabi, the course evaluation process, and program...

Linda Ponte

Student Life Manager

With a background in intercultural communication, Linda is a key contact for students and helps participants discover and understand the French culture.

Get Started Steps

Get Started

Here’s what you need to do to take the next steps:


You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 


Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 


Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program. 

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