You know what I think anyone who has the means to do should do during their time in college? Leave the country for a bit! Study abroad
! Go somewhere and study your craft outside of the familiar landscape of the US. Or don’t study your craft. Maybe study something completely different. The point is that you shake up your perspective and challenge yourself by being in a new environment with people you’ve never met before and absorb a new culture. Just do it.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to study abroad in France after my second year because of a scholarship I received when I graduated from high school. I didn’t do it through DePaul because the program I had my sights set on was an independent voice training program at the Roy Hart Artistic Centre
in the south of France.
After making my way across the pond and spending a few days visiting family friends in Lyon, I arrived at Malerargues; the home of the Roy Hart Centre. Two of my friends from The Theatre School
were already there and we did our weeklong program together. The chateau at Malerargues is gorgeous in its simplicity. Originally conceived as a commune where a group of British expats gathered to explore the human voice and make alternative theatre, the collection of buildings has been restored by hand over the years and now yearly hosts hundreds of people from all over the world who want to explore their connection to the voice and the myriad ways they can use it. And even though my friends and I are actors, the vast majority of the people in our program were not. They were psychologists, microbiologists, teachers, musicians, roofers, and explorers. They were all there for different reasons. Some were having trouble in their marriages and wanted to improve their communication, some felt like they had never truly been heard, and for others it was medicinal.
It was an incredibly inspiring experience for me because it offered me a completely different perspective on the kind of artistic work I want to do and made me feel like a fuller human being. I think about it every day.
I cannot recommend studying abroad more highly. DePaul has wonderful programs available to its students that will get you out there in the world and trying things you never thought you were capable of. Do it. You won’t regret it.
Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:
This song makes me smile. That’s a valuable thing.