How many students participate in the program each summer?

We like to keep it intimate, so we recruit between 18 to 24 cellists for our program each year. We have hosted students from Japan, Korea, Northern Ireland, Canada,Finland, Argentina, Venezuela, United States, Italy and China.

Do I need to be fluent in English?

No, but we recommend that students be proficient enough to communicate with their teachers to get the most of their experience.


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 an International Cello Institute staff member. 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 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.

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 practice and attend every class and session of program activities.

6. Students must follow all instructions from the Program Director, staff and counselors.

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


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. Do not leave your cello or bow out for a long period of time, after practicing put it back in the case and lock it in your cello locker. Familiarize yourself with your new surroundings.  Listen to all directions by the directors and counselors. Keep important travel documents in a safe place. Copies should be given to camp officials in case originals are lost. Always carry documentation of prescriptions and keep them in proper containers. Car keys will be 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, grill station, and great desserts. Plenty of choices for everyone.


Will I have a roommate?

Yes. Students are paired by age in double or triple occupancy rooms.


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

All students will be housed in the same dorm. The dorm features study lounges, computer facilities (yes, we do have wifi), and common areas. Large bathrooms are located in each hallway. Girls and boys will be housed in separate wings or floors.


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

July and August can get quite warm in Minnesota, the dorms do not have air-conditioning, but all other spaces we use do. If you are driving here, we recommend that you bring a fan for your room. You will want to bring summer clothing as well as a sweater or two. The music building facilities are all air conditioned.


How much spending money should I bring?

Our program is all-inclusive, meaning that students’ expenses while they are attending ICI will only be of personal nature. St. Olaf’s Buntrock Commons has a coffee shop and store that is fully stocked. Cash and credit cards will be accepted almost anywhere. ATMs available on campus. You will be given a meal card along with your room key.


What should I bring to camp?

Lighter summer clothes, a swimsuit, and beach towel, sweatshirt, light rain gear, fan, umbrella, water bottle, bug spray, sunscreen. In addition to your cello, bring a metronome, sheet music (including piano parts!), extra strings, and rosin. Sheets, towels, a blanket and a pillow are all provided, but feel free to bring additional blankets and pillows if you so desire. Laundry facilities are available in the dorm for use on designated laundry days, ICI provides detergent.


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, – bring a frisbee or two! Events such as concerts and lectures will be planned in the evenings, along with fun things like ice cream socials and movies. We also have a “beach day” field trip at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.


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

We are happy to assist with visa applications if necessary. 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 or buy a seat for your cello on the plane. If buying a seat for your cello we suggest you book directly with a live person and call the cello CBBG with your last name. 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 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 our 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. All students are required to have a completed medical form on file prior to the start of the institute. 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.