Profile: Eliana Weiss '21
Major/minor: Theater Arts with a minor in Linguistics
Study abroad program: Sarah Lawrence/London Theater Program (BADA) (Fall 2019)
Reason you chose this program: I always knew that I wanted to study in London, so that gave me a place to start while narrowing down where to go. This program was recommended to me by a high school teacher, and has always been on my radar as a thing I would like to do. It had just the right mix of intense, conservatory style acting training, experiential learning through acting in a production and seeing plays in London, and time for me to explore the city on my own.
Favorite class: It is hard to pick because many of them were fantastic! I would say that Scene Study: High Comedy, Scene Study: Shakespeare, and Stage Fighting were the best. Many of the teachers also worked at the top drama schools in Britain, in addition to being accomplished working actors. I was challenged tremendously; the teachers did not go soft on anyone, but they were extremely dedicated and I learned a tremendous amount.
Housing situation: I lived in student housing in Kentish Town. It was about a half hour walk away from the school, and a block away from the nearest tube station.
How your identity played into your time abroad: I am Jewish, and because my program was independent from any conventional university, there was no student community in that regard. I was able to find a few programs that served university students across London that helped me stay connected to the Jewish community over the semester.
Favorite memory: Definitely the action packed weekend days that I spent sightseeing. My three favorite days were visiting the Tower of London (you can go inside a building that finished construction in 1100 CE), the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Studio Tour (I spent nine hours there), and everything I did in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's hometown.
Greatest challenge: I wish I had known that going away to another country would be different than going away to college. I thought that homesickness would not be a problem because I had already figured out how to deal with that while at college. When you go abroad, most people don't come home until the end of the semester, which means you don't see your family as much.
In the second half of the semester, although I was having just as much fun and excitement as the beginning of the semester, I was also experiencing an immense amount of homesickness that I had to learn how to deal with while also making the most of my last weeks there.
“It had just the right mix of intense, conservatory style acting training, experiential learning through acting in a production and seeing plays in London, and time for me to explore the city on my own.”
Eliana Weiss '21