Eurovision Eurovision 2024

Eurovision 2024: Many former international students among contestants

Artists representing 8 different countries studied abroad as exchange students or for full university degrees.

Research by European study choice platform shows that, this year, an unprecedented number of Eurovision contestants have received higher education abroad: Out of 55 performers representing 37 nations, a total of 8 went to university in foreign countries.

The Eurovision Song Contest stands as one of the world’s most anticipated and celebrated music events, reaching 162 million viewers in its previous edition in 2023. This year, the contest will be held at the Malmö Arena, Sweden, and will consist of two semi-finals on 7 and 9 May, and a final on 11 May 2024.

From class to stage: educational backgrounds of the participants

As the 2024 contest approaches, research into the participants’ biographies shows that the majority of those who studied at university had chosen Music and related subjects. However, some of this year’s performers also have studied subjects as diverse as Law (Fahree from Azerbaijan), Anthro­pology (Marko Veisson from Estonia) or Communication Sciences (Iolanda from Portugal).

These are the 8 artists that pursued higher education in a different country:

– Czechia: Aiko studied in the UK and has a Bachelor in Music: Production, Performance and Enterprise from the University of Westminster, London.
– Estonia: Marko Veisson (member of Puuluup) obtained a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki.
– Greece: Marina Satti studied Jazz Composition, Contemporary Writing and Production in the US at Berklee College of Music.
– Ireland: Bambie Thug studied in the UK and has a degree in Musical Theater Dance from Urdang Academy in London. 
– Lithuania: Silvester Belt studied in the UK and has a Bachelor in Commercial Music Performance from the University of Westminster, London.
– Luxembourg: Tali studied Musical Theater at Marymount Manhattan College in the US. 
– Portugal: Iolanda studied in the UK at the British & Irish Institute of Modern Music, now BIMM University. (Read the interview)
– Serbia: Teya Dora studied in the US at Berklee College of Music.

This year: UK & US are the only foreign study destinations

All of this year’s internationally-educated Eurovision performers went to study abroad either in the United Kingdom or the USA. Two institutions even show up twice: the University of Westminster (London) and Berklee College of Music (USA).

“It’s inspiring that so many of this year’s Eurovision contestants were once international students. It also reflects that studying abroad has become an increasingly common choice among young people,” comments Gerrit Bruno Blöss, founder and CEO of “It’s not just the Erasmus programme that opens doors, it’s also the growing number of Bachelors and Masters in English.”

There is also one former international student among the Eurovision winners of past years: Salvador Sobral, who won the 2017 ESC for Portugal. He had gone on an Erasmus exchange to the Spanish island of Mallorca and attributes part of his choice of becoming a career musician to his study-abroad expe­ri­ence. (Read the 2018 interview)

Among the benefits of studying abroad, many artists highlight the importance of cultural exchange to help them evolve their music style and creative development. As Portugal’s Iolanda puts it in her recent interview with “Being far from your comfort zone pushes you into discovering a lot about yourself.”


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