IESM places a priority on the welcome and integration that its students enjoy. The institute is located in the heart of Aix-en-Provence and has nearly 40,000 students enrolled.
Driven by the values of openness, sharing and innovation, IESM will guide and support your mobility plans.
There are two main options for enrolling at IESM: an initial training course following admission based on the entrance exam or studies as part of an Erasmus+ exchange.
IESM is a signatory of the Erasmus+ European Charter and an active member of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires (AEC).
everything you need to know
initial training students
Foreign students who want to take a complete course at IESM should go to the “Entrance exam” section of this website and carefully review the application procedure.
A list of the programmes we offer at IESM is available in the “Academics” section of this website. All classes are taught in French.
There are three different statuses available for foreign students who want to study here on exchange:
- Exchange students in the Erasmus+ programme
- Students enrolled at an institution which has signed a bilateral agreement with IESM outside the European programme
- Free mover students who are enrolled at an institution without a bilateral agreement, with the approval of all the concerned department heads, for a maximum study abroad period of one semester.
Preparing your application
All the procedures that you must fulfil in order to study at IESM as a foreign exchange student with the Erasmus+ programme
- Existing agreement between the home and host institutions
- If there is no agreement between your institution and the IESM, please contact the International Relations Coordinator at your home institution
- Language skills: we recommend a French language skill level of B1 or B2
- Be selected by the international relations offices at your home institution
The following documents must be provided:
- A completed study plan
- A cover letter in French
- A CV in French or English
- Musicians must submit an audio or video recording, about 20 minutes long, demonstrating their musical skills by providing a link (YouTube, Vimeo or other) that does not require signing in.
- Letters of recommendation from department heads or Main subject teacher are preferred
- Your last academic transcripts in French and English.
Students who want to temporarily study abroad at IESM, as part of an Erasmus+ programme or under a bilateral agreement, must necessarily begin by contacting the Erasmus+ coordinator at their home institution. An application submitted by a student alone will automatically be rejected.
how to apply ?
Applications are submitted on the EASY platform. If the sending institution does not use the EASY platform, the application is submitted by email.
Be sure to submit your application via your home institution’s international relations office by the deadline.
application deadline : April 28, 2023 for Fall semester / Spring semester / Academic year 2023-2024
preparing for your arrival
after your selection
Exchange students must be enrolled at their home institution and have paid their tuition there. To pick up their IESM student ID card, students must show their :
Student ID card from their home institution
Proof that they have taken out civil liability insurance (see your insurance provider).
Your rights and obligations are outlined in the Erasmus+ Student Charter and are the same as for students enrolled in a normal course of study.
Recognition of study abroad periods
In accordance with the Bologna Process, IESM uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). That system provides for full recognition of a study abroad programme towards earning a university degree or diploma.
The French marking scale goes from 0/20 to 20/20.
To pass a teaching unit (TU), the student must earn a mark of at least 10/20.
1 semester = 30 ECTS credits
1 full year = 60 ECTS credits
IESM will provide a diploma supplement, attached to the diploma in English and French.
To simplify the arrival of foreign students, IESM provides a practical guide containing information and advice:
- Discovering and studying at IESM
- Living in Aix-en-Provence and exploring the region: information about student life and cultural life
- Preparing for your arrival: insurance, grants, housing, banking, transport, etc.
- Daily life in Aix-en-Provence and France.
Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support (OLS)
All participants in the Erasmus+ programme (study and work placements abroad) must necessarily test their language skills on the OLS online language platform before and after their exchange.
This concerns the following teaching languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish (with exceptions made for students for whom the teaching language is their native language).
Events at IESM
At IESM, the academic year is punctuated by many events and activities: masterclasses, more than 30 events for the public season, a students’ association and a rich cultural and student life in the region.
For more information, please see :
- The welcome packet for foreign students
- The “News” section of this website
- IESM’s Facebook page, where information is posted on a regular basis.
We recommend looking for your housing before coming to Aix-en-Provence.
Several types of accommodation are available to you:
- Private rentals
- Flat shares
- Rooms in local homes
- University rooms (via CROUS (student services) – contact AMU)
See the welcome packet to learn more about your options.
Foreign students, just like French students, may be entitled to housing aid via the CAF (Family Allowance Fund).
Campus France is a mechanism that highlights and promotes the French higher education and vocational training system abroad. It helps students to be as prepared as they can be for their arrival in France.
Useful tabs on the Campus France website:
- Studying: practical information about French education, particularly the grant application process for foreign students
- Getting organised: helps with the formalities for getting a visa and a residence permit, as applicable; provides information about housing options and how the French social security and healthcare systems work; it also contains advice on opening a bank account in France
- Living in France: provides information about French culture so foreign students can fit into French society as well as possible.
Length of stay
Incoming students can come at the IESM for 3 to 12 months as long as their home institution allows them to.
The institute encourages students to stay for one or two complete semesters.