International Students


The Aspen Music Festival and School welcomes nearly 200 international students over the course of each summer. In any given season, students come to Aspen from approximately forty countries. The Office of Student Services is well acquainted with the challenges of studying abroad and is equipped to help you make your plans. Please read the following information before applying.


English Proficiency and Correspondence

All written correspondence, including letters of recommendation, must be in English. If you are concerned about a potential language barrier when calling the Office of Student Services, you may wish to consult your long-distance carrier about telephone interpretation services. In Aspen, all instruction, rehearsals, and classes are conducted in English. Students must be proficient in English in order to fully participate in the program.


Payment of Fees

All fees are payable in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. correspondent bank. Domestic and International Money Orders, checks drawn on U.S. banks, or credit cards (Visa, Discover, Mastercard, or American Express) are accepted. Checks should be made payable to Aspen Music Festival and School. Accepted students are responsible for paying all visa-related fees and travel expenses.


Financial Aid

International students are eligible for financial assistance. Students applying for a scholarship must make certain that all application information is complete. Incomplete applications may result in ineligibility for aid. The scholarship committee is aware that other countries use different methods of calculating personal income. If you need to provide further clarification, please contact the Office of Student Services.


Visa Information

As part of the enrollment process, accepted international students are required to complete a questionnaire related to their current visa situation. The Student Services office will use this information to advise enrolled students about their visa option(s). The descriptions below outline visa options available to students for this coming summer. The Aspen Music Festival and School is only able to offer assistance for international students who meet the J-1 visa requirements. International students with a U.S. passport or green card valid through August 2024, do not need to review the visa options.


J-1 Visa

The AMFS is able to offer J-1 Intern visas to students who work and/or attend school outside of the United States. A student who is currently attending a post-secondary school outside of the United States or who has graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to the date the Festival begins can attend on an AMFS sponsored J-1 Intern visa.
Enrolled students who meet the above J-1 stipulations will receive detailed instructions about the application process from the AMFS Office of Student Services, and will need to complete required forms through their AMFS Student Portal.  

Students who attended the AMFS in 2023 on a J-1 visa: Returning students who attended the Festival on a J-1 Intern visa in 2023, and still meet the eligibility requirements for the Intern status (those currently enrolled in an international school or who have graduated less than 12 months prior to the Festival start date), can qualify for another J-1 Intern visa. Students can attend the AMFS for multiple years in a row on the J-1 Intern visa. However, students who attended the AMFS in 2023 on a J-1 Intern visa and no longer meet the qualifications may need to wait two years before applying for some visas. More information can be found here. This requirement may not apply to all students, and those impacted are strongly encouraged to speak with a consular officer at the U.S. Consulate. 


F-1 Visa 

Students enrolled in a U.S. school on a F-1 visa that is valid through August 2024 can legally stay in the United States for the summer. Students should contact the international adviser at their current school to complete the appropriate paperwork necessary for extending training and education over the summer. 
Students enrolled in a U.S. school on an F-1 visa that is not valid through August 2024 will need to either enroll in a school for the fall of 2024 or apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). 

  • Students continuing school at either a new institution or the same institution in the fall will need to speak with their international adviser/s to ensure paperwork is processed correctly. Students starting a new school in the fall may be able to transfer their current visa. It is recommended students DO NOT leave the country when transferring visas. Students must check with their international adviser for best practices. Students who must leave the country for visa needs while in Aspen are required to communicate with the Office of Student Services, as opportunities at the Festival may be impacted. 
  • ​Students not continuing with school after Spring 2024 may consider applying for OPT. Students should start this application immediately by meeting with their current international student adviser. The AMFS must be informed of the application status.  


Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a great option for international students who are finishing school in the United States and do not plan to continue with a new degree in the fall. OPT is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or who have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to work towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies on a student visa for at most one year. F-1 students are usually permitted a total of 12 months of practical training. Any students who meets these requirements will need to contact their current international adviser immediately to start the application process. The AMFS must be informed of the application status. Click here for more information about OPT.  

Students who do not meet any of the F-1, OPT, or J-1 requirements described above are encouraged to explore other visa possibilities that best suit their situation. Please note that the AMFS is unable to sign any documentation to aid in the visa process, with limited exceptions to certain J-1 visas. Students wanting to visit the United States on a visitor visa or on ESTA should communicate immediately with their local consulate. The AMFS does not suggest traveling with such paperwork as students take the chance of not being granted entrance to the United States at customs. 

For further information, please contact our Student Services staff at studentservices@aspenmusic.org.