Program Overview

This semester abroad is our flagship program, and the result of over a decade of relationship building in the professional theatre industry in London. You won’t find another semester offering like it, where participants are study abroad students on the beautiful 54-acre campus of the University of Roehampton, while also gaining access to the city’s best theatre training in London’s West End and Shakespeare’s Globe. All students will join our Site Director for excursions, including:

  • Day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon to explore the town where Shakespeare was born and died, and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).
  • Day trip to Bath to visit the Victoria Art Gallery and Roman Baths.
  • Backstage tour of the Royal Opera House, and attendance at a dance performance.
  • Film-themed walking tour of Greenwich, and a film screening at a local cinema.
  • Group visit to Shakespeare’s Globe for a theatre tour, afternoon tea, and attendance at a performance in the iconic open-air theatre.

When building your course schedule of up to 16 academic credits, you can pick and choose from three main options, outlined below.*

Musical theatre – Train with London theatre professionals in notable West End venues, with academic credit issued by Nazareth University in Rochester, New York. These are the same studios where West End musicals hold auditions and rehearse productions. Masterclasses and workshops include acting, singing, stage combat, puppetry, jazz, hip hop, ballet, mock auditions with casting directors, question and answer sessions with notable directors, and more. You will workshop musicals and plays such as Wicked, Les Miserables, Waitress, Hairspray, Mama Mia, Mary Poppins, Matilda, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and many more with current cast members who you will see on stage doing the same choreography and staging you have been learning together in the classes. All students will also take at least seven voice lessons with a private vocal coach throughout the semester, chosen from a list provided by Performing Arts Abroad. Note that this course requires you to submit audition materials. For a detailed course description and outline, go here.

Shakespeare – Study with actors and directors at Shakespeare’s Globe and perform in final scenes on the stage of the Globe itself, with academic credit issued by Nazareth University in Rochester, New York. Attend masterclasses in movement, voice and speech, stage combat, Elizabethan dress, textual analysis, performance practice, and more. Explore every inch of the Globe Theatre in a unique “Heaven to Hell” private tour beginning in the rafters far above the stage and ending underneath the stage peering up through the Elizabethan-era trapdoor. For a course description, please go here.

Roehampton – Supplement your time in the studio with an exploratory Introduction to the London Stage course taught by the distinguished professors of Roehampton University where you will see at least one theatrical production each week, ranging from the large West End theatres to the National Theatre to intimate pub theatres. You may also choose courses from Roehampton’s wider course catalogue, which you can explore in more detail on the Course Listing section of this page (note that courses are available in a variety of other fields for those students needing to fulfill core requirements in disciplines such as Anthropology, Business, English, History, Psychology, and more. Contact us for more information).

Stage Combat – Receive a professional certification through the British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC). This is an add-on experience, not for academic credit, and is an extra cost of $1,200. You will train with other PAA students under the guidance of a stage combat professional one day a week for three hours, culminating in a final certification exam. The certification you receive is recognized by Actors Equity and Spotlight (among many others), and is considered the industry standard level of training expected of professional actors.

*Please note that students electing to train in London’s West End AND at Shakespeare’s Globe will live in centrally-located flats with other PAA students and commute to Roehampton’s campus one day per week for the Introduction to the London Stage course. All other students will live in student housing on Roehampton’s campus. Please see the housing section on this page for more details.

My semester at Roehampton was a life-changing experience. With the incredible help of PAA, I was able to spend five indescribable months studying theatre in London. I met people from all over the world, saw game-changing theatre all over the city, and learned so much not only about theatre, but also myself.

Performing Arts Points of Interest

Queen's Theatre

One of the many famous West End theatres, Queen’s Theatre is in the Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square area of London. The theatre is most notable for housing the world famous musical Les Miserables since 2004 after its run at the Palace Theatre for 19 years prior.

Royal Court Theatre

Hailed by the New York Times as “the most important theatre in Europe,” the Royal Court Theatre is located next to the Sloane Square Station. The theatre is known for being a huge proponent and supporter of local playwrights in order to cultivate an authentic, diverse selection of plays for the public.

“The undisputed epicenter of new writing in this country.” -Time Out

“It’s hard not to rave about the Royal Court.” -Guardian

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by William Shakespeare’s company the “Lord Chamberlin’s Men” and was rebuilt in 1614 after a fire destroyed the original. The latest version of the theatre, renamed “Shakespeare’s Globe,” opened in 1997. Travel back in time and attend a Shakespeare play in the unique open-air theatre.

The Place

Hailed as one of the most exciting, innovative dance spaces The Place, is a space that houses the London Contemporary Dance School, the Richard Alston Dance Company, and a 280 seat theatre. The Place offers classes, workshops, and other professional development opportunities for artists young and old. Performances are open to the public year round as well as festivals and special events. The Place is a member of the European Dancehouse Network aimed to support UK artists.

PAA Home Base

Throughout your program in London, your home base will be the University of Roehampton. You will stay in a single room with an ensuite bathroom and take courses from outstanding faculty in classrooms, theaters, and black box studio spaces. Roehampton is located about a 45-minute commute from the center of London, tucked away on a beautiful campus near the tennis club where Wimbledon is played, complete with green fields, quaint ponds, and families of geese roaming the grounds. Your pre-professional training masterclasses will be at Shakespeare’s Globe on the River Thames, or in professional studios in London’s West End.

About the Location

London’s energy is contagious and will have you hooked the moment you arrive. In addition to the vibrant theatre scene, you will have the opportunity to explore the cultural, historical, and political landmarks of the city with other students. From Big Ben to the London Bridge, learn what it means to call London home. The abundance of theaters and artistic organizations, and the reasonable price of theatre tickets (especially compared to everything else in the city!) makes this a worthwhile destination for even a short visit, and even better for a full semester.


There are two housing options for this theatre semester. By default, students training in London’s West End AND at Shakespeare’s Globe will live in flats in central London (option 1 below), while all other students will live in student flats on campus at the University of Roehampton (option 2 below). We are flexible, and willing to consider requests to change options.

OPTION 1 – Central London flats

You will share a bedroom with 1 or 2 fellow Performing Arts Abroad students in a fully furnished flat in central London with easy access to the studios where you will be training and the most desirable landmarks in the city, such as Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower of London, and more. Your flat will include a dining room, living room, full kitchen, washing machine, and all the amenities you would expect from a downtown apartment. You will commute about 45 minutes to the University of Roehampton one day a week for your Introduction to the London Stage course.

OPTION 2 – University of Roehampton student flats

You will have your own room with a private bathroom in a six to eight bedroom wing that you share with other British and international students. Your floor will have a spacious common area as well as a full kitchen where you can save money by preparing your own meals. Take advantage of this small group setting to build friendships and community while you study abroad. Classroom buildings, the student center, and restaurants are all nearby. Enjoy the independence of living on your own while still creating lasting relationships with other students. If taking a professional practice course in central London, you will commute into the city about 45 minutes each way, two days per week.


You will have your own single room and private bathroom in the housing. The main cohort of students on this program are from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, which is the institution providing the academic credit for the West End and Globe courses. We also welcome students from all over the United States and other parts of the world. Your suitemates will likely include other PAA students, as well as other study abroad students spending a semester or full year at Roehampton.

A Day in the Life

The Participant Experience

The lights go out and a hushed silence is followed by a roar of applause and cheering. The actors come out for a bow and you rise to your feet with those around you, still not believing that you’re finally seeing a show at London’s iconic National Theatre. And to think this was a class assignment! The stress of the end of the semester is accompanied by an incredible sense of accomplishment as you’ve succeeded in three classes and performed in the campus production. Tomorrow you will join other Performing Arts Abroad students to see a performance at the Royal Albert Hall, and the weekend will include an excursion to Stonehenge and a personal trip to the Harry Potter studios to see how the movies were made and drink a butterbeer on the Hogwarts set. When you arrived, you were missing home. Now, you never want to leave.

On Arrival

You will book your flight to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London (LHR) before 12:00 p.m. on the arrival date. A PAA Roehampton representative will be waiting at a pre-arranged meeting point, and you will be directed to a Roehampton bus that will take you to campus.

Upon arrival on campus you will meet our Site Director Anna who will give you a welcome packet and help your find your room. Your first afternoon will be a chance to unpack, settle in, meet other students, and join a Roehampton welcome dinner. The following day, Roehampton will lead several on-site orientation activities so that you will be prepared for your experience in London and can begin to get to know other students. The next day you will finalize your registration and class enrollment. PAA’s Site Director Anna will take you out for a Welcome Meal and an additional orientation. This orientation will include important information about the city, an overview of British culture, information about the performing arts scene in London, food, transportation, and other need-to-knows. The following day, you will join additional university orientation activities, such as a “Photo Frenzy Day”, which is an epic photo scavenger hunt that will take you into central London for a chance to win a prize!

A Typical Day

The following few days will include additional pre-class activities, and classes will begin shortly thereafter. For the rest of the program, you will be living on campus going to class and exploring the city on your own as a student in London. We will provide excursions and cultural activities throughout your semester, including trips to Bath to see the famous Fashion Museum and Roman baths, and Stratford-Upon-Avon to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, grave, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. If you are enrolling in the pre-professional training courses in musical theatre with the West End or acting with Shakespeare’s Globe, you will begin traveling to central London for these classes a week or two after Roehampton classes begin.

Host Group

Broaden your understanding of the stage, and the history of performance and international theater with this semester-long study abroad program in collaboration with the University of Roehampton, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the West End. PAA students benefit from small class sizes and are immersed in courses with local Londoners and other students from all over the world. The university is located roughly 45 minutes from London’s bustling downtown, offering diverse courses and filled with historically picturesque buildings. Thanks to Roehampton’s unparalleled international student support and its friendly, lively campus, you will feel at home the minute you step off the plane. For those training at Shakespeare’s Globe or the West End, you will make invaluable contacts and benefit from small masterclasses with London theatre professionals.

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff



“Thanks to PAA, I was able to travel to a city I’ve always wanted to go to, to do what I love most. Along the way, I met some amazing people,watched some beautiful pieces of theatre, crossed a number of things off of my bucket list, and made some lifelong friends.”

The program was amazing. everything we did was a memory i’ll carry with me forever. the classes were all helpful and being able to see the shows and meet people in the industry gave me a real insight on the job i want to pursue.

“Having the opportunity to work with professionals that were currently performing in West End shows was so unique, and it really helps you learn what they have to do on a daily basis. We got to learn choreography from active West End shows, and then in some cases went to see the shows and could see what we’d learned being performed.”

“I found this program really fun and it was great to get a taste of a city I’ve always wanted to visit : London! I made lifelong friendships and had some amazing experices!! I would definitely recommend studying abroad through PAA!”

Program Dates

Fall 2024

Session Application Deadline Start Date End Date
Fall Semester 2024 May 01 2024 Sep 18 2024 Dec 22 2024

Important Fall 2024 Dates

Program Cost

Description Cost
Fall 2024 - with Roehampton housing $19,450
Fall 2024 - with Central London housing $21,850
British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC) professional certification - optional add on $1,200
Private Voice Lessons (minimum of seven required for musical theatre course) $80-$120 per lesson, depending on your instructor selection

Apply today — How the process works

Submit a simple online application

Schedule a live video interview with a Program Coordinator

Upload program specific materials to an online portal

Receive your aceptance decision and begin your journey!

How the process works

To apply, click the “Apply Now” button on this page. You will fill out a simple initial application online and pay a non-refundable application fee that will be applied toward your overall program cost if you are accepted. We will review your initial application and contact you within a few days to let you know if we are inviting you to the final step. At that point, we will ask you to complete and upload the following materials:

  • Official university application / enrollment form
  • Your academic transcript
  • A scan of your passport, or the date you expect to receive it if you do not have one already
  • For musical theatre applicants, audition videos:
    • You singing at least 16 bars from two contrasting songs, with at least one being from a musical
    • A video showing your current dance level (can be a video with other dancers, as long as we can clearly identify you)
Apply Now

Application Tips

  1. For your audition videos, pick videos that are high quality and material that has a strong opening. For the songs, be sure to demonstrate your ability to act on song, and not just sing well.
  2. Talk to your financial aid office and academic department to see if any of your financial aid, grants, or scholarships can be used for your semester abroad. Federal aid should apply as long as your school will accept academic credit from Nazareth College and the University of Roehampton, both accredited institutions.
Request Information

Eligibility Requirements

  • Age

    Participants must be 18 or over the day they begin the program.

  • GPA / Student Status

    Preference is given to students with a 2.8 GPA or higher and students can apply to the program in any year of their degree, including freshmen and gap year students. If your GPA is lower than 2.8, you are welcome to submit an application with a letter of explanation, and we will consider each application on a case by case basis.

  • Language

    There is no foreign language requirement for this program, as all instruction is in English.

  • Experience

    We give preference to applicants with at least one year of theatre experience, although all are welcome to apply. While the training courses require a baseline skill level to join, the courses at Roehampton are often suited to a variety of levels.

  • Motivation

    We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for theatre and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.

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