SMU Abroad gives students a chance to become 'Londoners'
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 23:02
SMU-in-London: Arts is looking for adventurous and intellectual students to spend the summer in London exploring the city and do as the Londoners do. In the five-week program, students have the opportunity to explore the features that make London one of the world’s greatest cities.
Students will experience historic venues such as Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
They will also live and see the vitality of London life in and through its people, streets, mews, squares and parks like Dickens, Shakespeare and Henry VIII.
With weekly excursions to Salisbury, Bath and Stonehenge students will get the opportunity to experience all London has to offer.
“If you have ever wanted to experience a city as if you live there, London Arts study abroad is for you,” Dr. Shelley Berg, SMU professor and program director, said.
Students become Londoners as they experience street fairs, traditional food markets, theatre, dance, musical events, museums and exhibitions.
The course is based in the discipline of performance studies, and studying the actions and performances that occur around them. The program uses the city as its classroom, exploring the history of theatre and uncovering the meaning of performance.
“Performance can be cooking in a food market, how someone rides the Tube, or an actual performance on stage. We look at how they really are similar and how everywhere you look in London you see performance,” Berg said.
SMU sophomore Kelsey Rohr applied for the program on a whim last year. As a dance major, Rohr was always interested in theatre.
Rohr said her experience was “the most fun, adventurous, life changing five weeks she has ever experienced.”
Two semesters after the program, Rohr still finds herself learning from her London experiences.
“Not only did I live in such a rich cultural and global city, I had the privilege of sharing my time with some truly incredible professors and peers,” Rohr said.
The program is open to freshmen through seniors and is not exclusive to theatre or arts majors. Students from all academic points are encouraged to apply and explore the historic city of London.
Freshmen will fulfill a “Ways of Knowing” course, and sophomores through seniors will fulfill two cultural formation courses.
Rohr said her courses in London were some of the best she has taken at SMU.
“We really dissected the meaning of performance not only in the traditional artistic sense, but with food and culture as well,” Rohr said.
From sampling the fresh berries at Borough Market to chatting with locals at a nearby coffee shop, the students’ time outside of the classroom teaches them about the performance side of London.
The March 1 deadline is quickly approaching. Application and program information can be found at abroad.smu.edu.