This post is part of our #PAA5Years Scholarship celebration. In honor of 2016 being our 5th year of operation we’re offering scholarships to favorite programs in FIVE different destinations. Today we’re highlighting London where our RADA and West End Training…
Study dramatic theory, performance studies, theatre history, and more in the city where modern theatre began. You’ll take diverse courses from prominent faculty at the University of Roehampton, one of London’s most prestigious universities. Acquire international theatre knowledge and skills, and become immersed in the culture and surroundings that inspired Shakespeare and his contemporaries. With central London only a 30 minute commute from campus, you’ll be able to attend plenty of performances during this semester-long program, including several provided by PAA. As with all PAA semester programs, you can also choose courses from the university’s offerings in other disciplines. You will stay in a single room in an on-campus house and will have the chance to meet students from all over the world. Our Site Director Anna will lead regular trips and excursions including an overnight trip to Edinburgh, Scotland (all included in the cost of the program), and will provide you with tickets to a variety of theatrical performances around London.
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
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.
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.
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
PAA Home Base
Throughout your program in London, your home base will be the University of Roehampton. You will stay in a single room and take courses from outstanding faculty in classrooms, theaters, and black box studio spaces. Roehampton is located about a half hour 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.
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.
Spend the semester immersed in the life of a British student by living in student accommodation right on campus. You will have your own room 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.
You will have your own single room in the housing. PAA usually has a handful of students on campus each semester studying dance and theatre, who join hundreds of study abroad students from all over the world. You will spend most of your time with other students in the theatre department, especially if you choose to get involved in campus productions.
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 iconic 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.
You will book your flight to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London (LHR) between 8:00 a.m. and 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 be given your room key and taken to your housing by Roehampton staff. 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 also meet you to show you our office and 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. During this time Anna will also answer any questions you have and will provide you with a Hop-on / Hop-off bus pass that includes a bus tour on the Thames River so you can explore London on your own, as well as tickets to theatrical performances in London throughout the semester. 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 previously mentioned tickets to a variety of theatrical performances.
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. 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 30 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.
Deb is the primary PAA contact for all participants once they have applied to their programs. She processes applications, conducts applicant interviews, communicates with overseas partners regarding acceptance decisions, orchestrates all pre-departure preparation, supports participants while they are on their programs, and oversees re-entry counseling as she ushers them into joining the ranks of our fabulous PAA alumni.
Deb grew up at a small, independent school surrounded by the languages, music and cultures of students from around the globe. Her passion for exploration has brought her to many out-of-the-way places such as studying variable stars at a Nantucket observatory, flying a small plane over the skies of New England and mapping ancient lava flows in southern Arizona. Without a doubt, though, her favorite place is anywhere in a theater. As an award-winning stage manager, Deb has collaborated on productions throughout the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts and always enjoys challenging and innovative theater. She happily admits to an obsession with all things organizational and considers a trip to the office supply store a totally valid form of therapy.
She has studied and traveled extensively in England and Scotland, has journeyed through parts of France and currently shares her space with cats, humans, and far too many books.
Erin Hardee Patterson
Erin advises everyone who expresses interest in PAA’s programs. She responds to e-mails, answers questions submitted in online forms, makes and receives phone calls about our programs, and communicates with those who begin an application.
Erin Hardee Patterson earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music, and her Master’s in Music Therapy from Florida State University. Her professional adventures as a cellist, singer songwriter, board-certified music therapist, event coordinator, admissions professional, project manager, and newly trained birth doula have helped her to live all over the United States – from her home state of Virginia, to New Orleans and Maine, to Tallahassee and Vegas (to name just a few!). In addition to her US travels, a ferocious case of wanderlust inspired Erin to travel to The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, France, and Belgium. (The wanderlust is no joke – this bio was written on a plane!). She enjoys practicing her conversational French and American Sign Language, and has aspirations of one day carrying on conversations in Spanish (hopefully on a beautiful balcony in Spain). Erin is a new transplant to the Northampton, MA area with her firefighter/paramedic spouse Max, their dog Eleanor, and 3 very fat house cats. She is passionate about tiny humans, music, yoga, beautiful bodies of water, succulents, two steppin’, empowering families to have joyous, satisfying births, and being a smiley muppet.
London Site Director
Anna supports all participants on our programs in London, acting as the main point of contact throughout their stay in the United Kingdom. She coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Anna holds a B.A. in English and German from Ca’Foscari University of Venice. The Italian village where she was born was never enough for her and from a young age she decided she wanted to see the world and meet a lot of people from different cultures. Fascinated by foreign languages and traveling she first studied abroad in London when she was in high school and then at Humboldt Universität in Berlin a few years after. New York City holds a special place in her heart, ever since she was an intern at the Italian Cultural Institute there.
After volunteering and working for the not-for-profit association AFS Intercultural Program helping hundreds of high school students enroll and prepare for their experience abroad, she moved to London and focused on working with university students. She loves West End musicals, fashion, drinking green tea, spending time at the V&A museum, studying Korean and backpacking throughout Southeast Asia.
London Program Director, Roehampton
Rhys acts as the university contact for PAA students studying at Roehampton on semester or summer programs. He finalizes course schedules, coordinates university orientation events, provides academic advising, and acts as a liaison between PAA and Roehampton’s academic departments of dance and theatre.
Rhys is the Study Abroad Manager at the University of Roehampton. He graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Modern Languages having spent a year researching the televised media and working in France, and volunteering in Ecuador. Rhys and his team work closely with Performing Arts Abroad throughout a student’s time in London to ensure they return home having had a transformative experience.
Despite a Tony-worthy performance in a school production of a TS Eliot play, Rhys today finds himself much more at home seated in front of the stage rather than performing on it. A long time resident of London, he enjoys the performing arts across the city from world-class productions at the National Theatre to exciting new works off-West End. Drop by the office to discuss cheap ticket strategies.
Rhys firmly believes there is no city quite like London and no campus as friendly as Roehampton. He can’t wait to meet you in person.
“I had a great time while studying abroad. I learned so much. I would honestly do it again if given the opportunity. I met a lot of amazing people and I hope that what I learned serves me well in the future.”
“It was amazing to meet people from all around the world that share with me passions and dreams. This goes over any cultural difference. The city was great and the classes very interesting and useful, I hope to have the chance to do another program like this again!”
From the blog
We at Performing Arts Abroad are incredibly proud of the Study Abroad programs we offer in Ireland, England, Italy, and New Zealand, as well as the participants who go on them. Students are applying now for Spring semester, and in honor…
Christine Stein is a PAA Arts Administration Intern in London. For her internship capstone project she’ll profiling a different London theatre every month from September to January. Stay tuned for more from Christine soon! Five Fun Facts: The current building…
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Fall 2018 (estimated)||May 15 2018||Sep 12 2018||Dec 15 2018|
Important Fall 2018 Dates
|Event||Start Date||End Date|
|Arrival (estimated)||September 12, 2018|
|Orientation (estimated)||September 13, 2018||September 15, 2018|
|Classes start (estimated)||September 24, 2018|
|Classes end (estimated)||December 14, 2018|
|Departure (estimated)||December 15, 2018|
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Spring 2019 (estimated)||Oct 15 2018||Jan 09 2019||Jun 07 2019|
Important Spring 2019 Dates
|Event||Start Date||End Date|
|Arrival (estimated)||January 9, 2019|
|Orientation (estimated)||January 10, 2019||January 12, 2019|
|Classes start (estimated)||January 14, 2019|
|Classes finish (estimated)||March 19, 2019|
|Spring break (estimated)||April 1, 2019||April 19, 2019|
|Advice, guidance, reading week (estimated)||April 22, 2019||April 26, 2019|
|Departure (estimated)||June 7, 2019|
|Spring 2019 (estimated)||$17,795|
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 deposit that is refundable if you are not accepted. Otherwise, this deposit will be applied toward your overall program cost (not an additional fee). 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 open an online portal for you and ask you to complete and upload the following materials:
- Your resume/CV
- Official university application / enrollment form
- One academic reference letter
- Your official academic transcript
- Your availability for a 30 minute Skype interview
- The Skype interview is our first face-to-face impression of you. Show up on time, dress well, and be personable.
- For your academic letter of reference, be sure to choose a professor who knows you well and can speak to your strengths and theatrical interests.
- 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 always apply as long as your school will accept academic credit from the University of Roehampton.
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. 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.
There is no foreign language requirement for this program, as all instruction is in English.
We give preference to applicants with at least one year of theatre experience, although all are welcome to apply.
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.