I'm not even close to where I need to be, but now I know. June 12, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/08/2018 to 04/12/2018 with

British American Drama Academy: London/ Oxford - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
LOTS of gains in my skills with Shakespeare, text analysis, and physical comedy. And weirdly, my writing ability got a good deal better as a result of Dramatic Criticism.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were overall a very good growing experience, and the teachers not only inspiring, but they really seem to care about the growth of their students. But the program ends with four weeks of rehearsal for an end-of-year production. Outside directors are generally hired to direct these shows, and they generally do not care about the production, or they will act as though they are completely above it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very good location, super close to a grocery store, with a beautiful walk to school through Regent's Park. Easy access to a Tube stop. Almost all rooms are doubles though, which made privacy a bit hard to find.

* Food:

Shopped primarily at Tesco (very very cheap), quality and price of food really depends on your tastes and cooking ability!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Went to school with all American students, but I definitely left having experienced a lot of theater, nightlife, and art in London.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

London is a very safe city, especially the areas you will be going to as a BADA students. Pick-pocketing and bag-stealing is common in London, but the administration does a good job of warning students and emphasizing this point. Plus, gun and knife laws are super heavily enforced in London, so there is often very little reason to worry about weapons.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The classes were really good for me, and looking back on the program, I would do it again for the acting experience. I personally found it very hard to make friends, given that there were only 18 students there, and I only found that I enjoyed spending time with a few of them. Most of the students were from USC, and they all generally knew each other.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

London is an expensive city, but if you are smart about buying produce and real food, without eating out much, it's manageable. Personally, much of the money spent came from buying tickets to theater performances, but even those are much cheaper than in America.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Food cost about 35 dollars a week at Tesco.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? In America, eating healthy and cheaply can require a good eye for bargains. In London, I often found that the healthy food was the cheapest food (fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains.) If you are planning to take advantage of London's lower drinking age, set yourself a weekly budget on alcohol. It can be easy to start shelling out money on fancy drinks at bars!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Teachers
  • Going to see shows
  • Building is beautiful
* What could be improved?
  • Administration needs to be more upfront with directors, and hire people with humility.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that although I'm not such a weird guy by Brandeis standards, I am a very weird guy by USC standards.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!