Unfortunate Past Review

By (Sarah Lawrence College) - abroad from 09/05/2011 to 12/09/2011 with

Sarah Lawrence College: London - London Theatre Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was not worthwhile for me. I know a few people who really enjoyed themselves. It depends on the individual and the intensity of their previous experiences. Whether or not a student enjoys their time their depends on the other students

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.

I was disappointed by the London Theatre Program. There were only a few classes that I felt benefited me as a student and a performer; these classes were Shakespeare, Stage Combat, and tutorials. Some of the faculty members should not be teaching or serving as mentors to young minds.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

A few members of the faculty were excellent, such as Shelia Allen, Eunice Roberts, Jackie Snow, Christopher Cook, and the Stage Combat instructor. The entire administration were wonderful. Ian and Caroline particularly were comforting and a real joy to be with. Other faculty members were not pleasant, such as Adrienne Thomas, Mick Barnfather, and Kelly Hunter. Although they had great moments, I felt that on a whole they did not provide a supportive atmosphere or benefit me as performer. Their instruction was lacking and the energy they provided was not beneficial to the classroom.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartments, The Landward on Edgware Road, were fine. They had lots of room and were kept clean. The location was awful. I, as well as the other girls, were verbally harassed constantly by the residents in that neighborhood. I did not feel safe. It was also almost a 2 mile walk to the academy. I was told that the apartments would only be a walk through the park from the academy. I would not have chosen this program if I had known that I would have had to walk about 4 miles every day.

* Food:

The academy does not provide food. Students have to buy food from the school, which is cheap compared to other spots in the area. Food is expensive in London. This should be considered by interested students.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There was not a lot of time to explore or become integrated into the local culture because of the time spent in the academy. There were oppertunites to become immersed in the theatre world, but it was exhausting trying to explore the local culture because of time limitations placed on us by the program. If students are intersted in becoming integrated into the local culture they should attend a program that does not have class from 9am to 6pm five days a week and most certainly not with all American students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The school was great about taking me to see a private pratice doctor when the walk-in clinic proved not to be helpful. My insurance covered the cost. Unfortunately, the doctors in the UK are not great and the one I saw neglected to give me all the medication that was necessary for my recovery.

* Safety:

London is not my favorite city. I had a few situations during my semester there that impacted my experience. No school can protect students in a city once they leave the institution.The school handled the situation as well as possible and the administrators who knew were very supportive.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 to 100 pounds
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? To save money, students should give themselves a limit on how much money they can spend per week.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?
  • Tutorials
  • Members of the administration
  • Master classes
* What could be improved?
  • Structure
  • Housing
  • Quality of instructors
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Location of housing, the quality of the instructors and intensity of the classes

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Acting in Performance

Course Department:
Instructor: Kelly Hunter
Instruction Language:
Comments: Kelly Hunter's behavior was immature and unprofessional. She made me feel extremely uncomfortable and did nothing to benefit me as a performer. Her behavior may be acceptable within the professional world, but it is not in an academic institution, where the students are paying for constructive criticism. She had several meltdowns, where she made abusive comments to the students. She would make brutal comments about students in the other casts and would encourage nasty comments to be made about the other students. At one point during our time together she grabbed my shirt. I was sexually assaulted during the semester and when I attempted to share this information with her, her response was not appropriate - she implied that I was lying. The comments she made in my evaluation were also unfair because she had been informed what I was suffering through. Artistically, she is not a director I would chose to work with again. Most of the creative choices that worked and lifted the show were made by the students. If she hadn't been in the rehearsal room, it probably wouldn't have made an impact.
Credit Transfer Issues: