Study Abroad Spotlights

Taylor’s Experience In London

Taylor Studied on the  London: FSU, Theatre Academy of London program.

How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?

The skills I’ve learned abroad helped me inside and outside the classroom. As a director, I was lucky to see different styles of directing abroad, and as I begin to prepare to direct my own shows in the future, I will have different influences that I can pull from. I also am very open to trying new things, because that’s basically what I had to do all semester in London.

What experiences did you have while studying abroad that you feel you could not have had if you had stayed at Penn State?

I gained a ton of new networks, and I made new friends from an entirely different country and culture and, while there are a ton of different students at Penn State that I haven’t met, I don’t think I would’ve ever gotten this experience again. I also discovered my favorite play which luckily transferred to New York this season, and I cannot wait to see it again.

What advice would you give to outbound study abroad students to help them make the most out of their study abroad experiences?

Don’t let fear hold you back. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so do as much as you can while you’re there. If you stay in your room watching Netflix, you’ll miss out on a lot. Be open to new experiences; you’ll return to America eventually, so don’t bring it with you. Live in the now, do something that scares you. You might end up with some really great stories.

Share an experience where you interacted with someone in your host culture in a way that taught you something.

My one professor was an active playwright in the London theatre scene. It was interesting to talk to her about what influences her work and what she wanted to write about, be it personal experiences or political influences. It was kinda cool to see that America and the UK weren’t all too different.

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