Twitter Facebook
Contact Us: 1-507-413-3495
Cello An American Experience | Northfield, MN USA


How many students participate in the program each summer?

We recruit around 30 cellists for our  Senior Program and 12 cellists for our Junior Program. We receive applications from all over the world.


What are the ages of the students?

Junior Program ages 11 to 15, and Senior Program, ages 16 to 24.


Do I need to be fluent in English?

No, but a little background practice will be helpful. During the two weeks we encourage you to try out your skills.  We have translators available.


Are there any rules at camp?

All participants must abide by the following rules and regulations. Any student who violates any of these rules and regulations will be sent home at his/her parents’ expense and will not be entitled to any program fee refund.

1. All private outings outside the university campus are subject to prior approval of the Program Director.
No student will be permitted to leave the campus except in a program event accompanied by International Cello Institute staff member and we apply the rule of three, no student is allowed off campus with just one other person.

2. Boys and girls are not allowed to be in each other’s private dormitory rooms or pods at any time. There are common rooms and venues for socializing. Dormitories are locked during the day; counselors are responsible for letting you in if you have forgotten something.

3. Students must obey curfews, as failure to do so can lead to expulsion.

4. Alcohol or drug possession or consumption is strictly forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal from the program. Student use or possession of controlled substances may be punishable by severe penalties. Students caught with illegal drugs are subject to local laws of the State of Minnesota.

5. Students are expected to attend every class and session of program activities.

6. Students must follow all instructions from the Program Director and counselors, and are advised to stay with the group at all times.

7. Cell phones and computers are not allowed to be used in masterclass.


Will I be safe on campus and in Minnesota?

Northfield is very safe. St. Olaf security is enforced 24 hours a day, and counselors are available (and on call) night and day. In addition, our camp has its own staff of student helpers assigned to your dormitory at St. Olaf. This staff will help with campus directions when you arrive and may help with some of the recreational details.

Safety tips: Keep belongings locked and in your view in public locations.  Familiarize yourself with your new surroundings.  Listen to all directions by the directors and counselors. Keep important travel documents in a safe place. Copies will need to be given to camp officials, in case originals are lost.  Travel with small amounts of cash and   Always carry documentation of prescriptions and keep them in proper containers. Car keys are handed over to the director at the time of registration.


How is the food on campus? What if I am a vegan or have a special diet?

Food served on campus is highly regarded, locally grown and has been highly praised by students and faculty.  We have a vegetarian menu, a vegan menu, a pasta bar, salad bar, a grill and several choices of ethnic food and really good desserts. Plenty of choices for everyone.


Will I have a roommate?

Every student will be roomed with another student in double occupancy rooms, each within a separate pod.


What will housing be like?  Will we all live in the same dorm?

St Olaf College has several dorms available to us in the summer. Each suite or pod consists of single and double rooms arranged around a common living area. This hall has A/C and features a beautiful main lounge, study lounges, computer facilities (yes, we do have wifi), sinks in the rooms, and music practice rooms. Large bathrooms are also on each floor at the end of the hall. Girls and boys will be housed in separate wings or floors. Juniors have their own wing and counselors.


What will the weather be like in Minnesota in July? Should I bring a fan?

July and August can get quite warm in Minnesota. Typically we do not have air-conditioning in the dorm, but all other spaces we use do. If you are driving here, feel free to bring a small fan for your room, otherwise we do have fans available. You will want to bring summer clothing as well as a sweater or two. Since the St. Olaf campus is on a hill, the temperatures tend to be cooler in the evenings.


How much spending money should I bring?

Our program is all-inclusive, meaning that students’ expenses while they are attending CAAE will only be of personal nature. Buntrock Center has a coffee shop and store that is fully stocked. Traveler’s checks and credit cards will be accepted almost anywhere. There are cash machines available on campus.


What should I bring to camp?

Lighter summer clothes, a swimsuit, sweatshirt, light rain gear, personal effects, your cello, metronome, music stand, music, extra strings, rosin. Sheets or towels and bedding are all provided, but feel free to bring additional blankets if you so desire. Bring a water bottle if you can fit it in your suitcase, bug spray and sunscreen. If you cannot take these items on the plane we will make a trip at the beginning of camp to purchase them.  There will be opportunities to be transported into town to buy supplies throughout the two weeks.


How much free time will I have? Will I have time for recreation and sports?

Our days will be highly scheduled, but plan to have fun! Outdoors we have a volleyball sandpit, soccer, basketball and frolfing (disc golf) – bring a frisbee or two! On some evenings we might have a bonfire and visit the pizza farm. Events such as concerts and lectures will be planned in the evenings, along with fun things like ice cream socials and movies.


How and where will I apply for a Visa if I am coming from outside the US?

CIAC Travel can take care of all travel arrangements and visas for students coming from Asia. If you are traveling from Europe or elsewhere, we can recommend a helpful travel agent.


What sort of travel arrangements do I need to make for my cello?

International students will need to make their own arrangements with a travel agent in your country. To ensure the safety of your cello we suggest that you invest in a travel cello case, something like the Stevenson case, or buy a seat for your cello on the plane. Be aware that some airlines are no longer allowing musicians to do this. DO NOT allow the airline to put your cello in its regular case underneath the plane.  For a small fee, always have them hand carry it. We are happy to assist you with questions concerned with travel with your cello. Under certain circumstances we may also be able to provide you with a cello to borrow for the 2 weeks you are here.


Will I need any shots or vaccinations before coming to the USA?

Be sure to check with a travel expert or doctor depending upon your country of origin.


I am visiting the camp for a short period. What are the nearest accommodations and restaurants?

Check out the Visitor Info section of the website for a list of restaurants and hotels in Northfield.


What kind of medical care is available?

The International Cello Institute places the highest priority on the health and safety of our students.  St. Olaf College offers basic health services on campus. In the event of an emergency or larger health concern, we are very close to a major hospital in Northfield.  Students must obtain full medical insurance prior to the start of the program. Medical insurance must be purchased for the entire program. If the student already has a medical insurance policy in place, please make sure the coverage is applicable in the US.  Students traveling to the USA do not need to have immunizations prior to departure, but some students choose to have hepatitis and tetanus shots as a precaution.  If you plan to travel to other countries during the summer, you should check the requirements and precautions for those countries.