Identifying a university has taken Marco Amherd a lot of time. ‘For me it is less important to find the right university, it is the tutor that matters. As a musician, most of my training involves one-to-one tuition, rather than attending lectures.’ To ensure he made the right choice he looked for opportunities across Europe, visited a number of universities and asked friends for advice. His decision to select Toulouse for the first year of his master’s degree was based on both his tutor’s international reputation and the repertoire of organ music available in France.
Alongside the specialist tuition, he attends lectures with other international students. For those learning to play the organ ‘establishing a network of specialists is important. It will play a central role in my future career.’ Prior to starting the Erasmus exchange, he had combined studies in economics and music. The forthcoming year will be different and provide ‘the first opportunity to concentrate on my music. Living away from home for such a long time will also help me to be independent and strong minded – something that also matters in the music profession.’
He began his Erasmus exchange in September 2011. It is already clear that there are differences between universities and living in France rather than Switzerland. ‘It will take some time to feel at home. It is a great opportunity, but I am sure I will notice the cultural differences even though there is no language barrier. However, if you want it all to be like home, then you should stay at home.’
Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Schweizer)
Centre For Advanced Studies Music and Dance, Toulouse, France (dCentre d’Etudes supérieures Musique et Danse, Toulouse, France)
10 months (2011)