STUDY ABROAD ALUMNI STORY

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Why did you decide to study abroad?

I decided to study abroad fulfill requirements for my theater studies major. I also thought the program sounded amazing because it'd be in London, and we'd be seeing theater basically every week day night! 

Tell us about the program you went on

It was called Duke in London. We lived at University College of London, and we took two classes: Shakespeare, and Performance. We went to plays every week day night, and had an excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's hometown. 

How did you pay for your study abroad experience?

My family paid for me to go without any scholarship money.

What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?

I wish I knew more options about how to pay. Even though my parents were able to pay for me, it still cost a lot, and I wish I could've helped somehow.

Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?

No. Everyone's ideas and perspectives were valued on this experience. Class was very discussion-based, and the class was very good at disagreeing respectfully with one another, and everyone was able to make friends among the people there. 

How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?

I've reinforced my love of theater through going to London. I realized how much potential there is in theater. People are needed in theater--actors, directors, tech crew, people who work on staff. Also, theater is so powerful at transmitting stories and ideas in a way that is so unique. It's a valuable art form, and shouldn't disappear. 

What was the most memorable moment of studying abroad?

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. This play was so technologically packed with cool effects, and the class all voted that it was our favorite show. 
Other than the theater, I just loved walking around London and getting to know the street names,  the general layout of the city, and going sight-seeing and trying new food!

How was the entertainment and nightlife?

The entertainment was theater for me. I saw one movie, Begin Again, at an Odeon theater, and that was good. But I even saw a play, The Importance of Being Earnest, for fun for myself. Of course, the nightlife in London is very lively, but personally I didn't go to many places at night.

In what way do you feel your experience abroad has prepared you for your future career? (Think both tangible things like language acquisition and intangible like learning to work with people who are very different from you)

I feel like this program helped me develop more appreciation for story-telling, which can be applied to many jobs. People are affected by what they hear, how people say things, and how they in tern feel and respond to what they hear. There's something about theater that emphasizes being in the NOW, and completely owning each moment of your life, like an actor has to onstage. 

Would you recommend the program you went on, if so why??

YES! London is amazing! The classes and shows are amazing! This program is like you're on vacation, seeing so much theater as classwork, and only writing a few assignments throughout the course. 

What advice do you have for students thinking about study abroad?

See whether or not it's practical. Some people have the luxury to go a lot of places for fun and for credit, but most people don't, so make sure it's worth the money and your time to be spending your summer abroad. Choose the program that makes sense with your studies. I feel like you'd get more out of it when it can contribute to what you're working towards. 

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