I fell in love with London, and with theatre all over again. Past Review

By (Theatre, Indiana University - Bloomington) - abroad from 09/10/2012 to 12/15/2012 with

Sarah Lawrence College: London - London Theatre Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The classes and teachers gave me more confidence than I have ever had in my abilities as an actor due to the individual attention from teachers and the tight bonds formed with my classmates. I gained a background in many different classical British genres, as well as a great overview of British theatrical history and contemporary British theatre. I built relationships that will last a long time and found a wonderful mentor. I experienced Europe for the first time and fulfilled my dreams of traveling to London and Italy. It will probably stand out as the best semester of college I had, and I just wish I could have afforded to stay the whole year.

Review Photos

Sarah Lawrence College: London - London Theatre Program Photo Sarah Lawrence College: London - London Theatre Program Photo Sarah Lawrence College: London - London Theatre Program Photo Sarah Lawrence College: London - London Theatre Program Photo Sarah Lawrence College: London - London Theatre Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

If you want to be an actor, particularly a stage actor, this program will give you an exceptional foundation in classical British acting techniques and genres, and the historical background necessary to understand them. It is an intense program with more hours than the most study abroad programs, but the classes and accompanying performances are the highlight of this experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators in London were a wonderful resource. They made students feel comfortable navigating the city, were available for all questions that were school-related or general questions about London i.e. transportation, the post office, restaurant recommendations, etc.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Landward, where we were housed, were apartments off of Edgeware Road, a 45 minute walk to the school in the Camden area. They definitely need to updated. My apartment had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. There were 6 of us, so 2 in each bedroom. Some apartments house 4 students, and all apartments are same-gender. Unfortunately, not all bedrooms were the same size, the smallest being tiny with a bunkbed and 1 closet, so get there as early on the day of arrival as you can so you can claim the biggest bedroom. Also, each person had a Wifi account and had a limited number of minutes and data usage each week, otherwise you had to pay for more. The building houses students from several different study abroad programs, as well as families. It is a five minute walk from 4 different Tube (subway) lines and there are many bus stops on Edgeware Road. Although I was disappointed with the living arrangements, I would not hesitate living there again if it meant I could do this program again.

* Food:

I don't know why people complain so much about London food. Not only is the quality on par with American food 99% of the time, but there is a huge variety of cuisines. There is no meal plan, so students (or, more likely, parents) are responsible for providing funds for their own food. It is much cheaper to buy groceries than eat out all the time. Waitrose is a grocery store around the corner from the apartments that is a little pricier, but has great quality foods. Tesco is really cheap but I found the food quality to be pretty crappy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since every student in the programs at BADA are American (or at least go to an American university), the most cultural integration we experienced was through our teachers, going to see shows, and going out to bars and restaurants. It would have been nice to have some interaction with British acting students, by maybe partnering with some other institutions, but the American friends I made more than made up for this.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Personally, I did not have any major health issues while in London, but there was a girl that was so sick she had to be hospitalized, and the school administrators stayed with her every step of the way. One of them actually drove her, there after a show and stayed with her the whole time. They were also quick to recommend clinics and doctors as needed. However, there is no infirmary, clinic, or related health professionals associated with the school or housing.

* Safety:

Just like in any big city, it's not advisable to go out after dark, unless you're just going around the corner to the grocery store. We always tried to make sure there was at least one guy in our group when we went out at night, and at the very least, did not go out alone after dark. The area we were housed in had a very high Muslim population. The only reason this made me a little uncomfortable, is that there were a few anti-Israel protests while we were there, and I am Jewish, but I never actually encountered any problems directly.

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


* 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)

Having to provide for all of our food and transportation needs was extremely costly, on top of the exorbitant tuition and housing costs. I do not recommend getting the student Oyster Card (equivalent of a NY metro card for the London Tube and buses). The discount only applies if you get the card and use a weekly or monthly plan. The exchange rate made everything more expensive, of course. The only saving grace was that there were excellent student discounts for shows (they were usually cheaper than going out to dinner before them).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $300+
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy groceries and cook as much as you can, instead of going out to eat. This applies to drinking as well. It is cheaper to buy your own alcohol and enjoy it in the apartments instead of paying 7 pounds a drink at a bar and hanging with the same people you would have been with if you stayed in. The markets are absolutely wonderful, with fresh food and cheap prices, and there are markets everywhere. There is a small canteen at BADA with different meals every day that are a lot cheaper than buying lunch or dinner elsewhere, but you would still save money by bringing your own lunch and snacks. Try to give yourself a weekly budget, because with shows, museums, attractions, etc., the money quickly adds up.


* 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?
  • The education (classes, teachers, shows)
  • European culture, people, history
  • The friends I made in the program
* What could be improved?
  • Prices and financial assistance
  • Housing
  • A longer semester
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Check out discount programs for every show/theatre you want to go to before you go. You will save SO much money. Spend sparingly on restaurants and clubs (the clubs are honestly not worth it). This program is intense and requires a lot of dedication and time outside of the huge class load. But it is so worth it and I would do it again in a second.

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!