Eliana Meyerowitz was raised in Boca Raton, Florida and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She went to college in Ohio at Oberlin College where she studied Theatre. During her undergraduate education, she took her adventures to study abroad in London, at The British American Drama Academy. There, she participated in the London Theatre Program. Eliana is passionate about Shakespeare, and having had the privilege of seeing her perform it, she’s well-versed in it as well. Eliana is a talented theatre-maker who has been dedicated to her craft since she was young.
It’s no surprise that her study abroad experience would have a significant focus on the classroom, enabling her to immerse herself in her artistry. Discover what it was like for her to participate in an intensive theatre study abroad program in one of the greatest theatre landscapes in the world. Read on to learn more about how Eliana thrived alongside the booming London theatre scene.
What sparked your dream to travel abroad?
“I have been a total nerd for reading, seeing, and performing Shakespearean text for at least half of my life, so London seemed like a natural choice to expand my theatre education.”
What were your expectations before you left? How have they changed?
“I expected London to be fairly similar to New York or something. It surprised me how normal things actually felt despite how little things (like curvy, older architecture) would suddenly remind me I was a foreigner. My program was probably more time intensive than others, though. We were all living together. We were in class from nine in the morning to six at night Monday through Friday. Plus, we were also seeing shows together outside of that (and completing homework for our eight courses).
I honestly think the only way to befriend other people was to use apps like Tinder, or to muster the energy (which I didn’t have much to spare) and go out to bars and clubs. Many people use friend/dating apps or apps like CouchSurfing to find fellow travelers or friendly locals! See if any hostels have events. That way, you can meet more visitors and possibly get advice from the locals who work there. Find concerts or other events where you’ll be comfortable being extroverted! When I visited other countries on my break, I often used the tours to befriend tour guides (who had great advice about sites and activities) and fellow tourists.”
What did you not expect?
“I was amazed at how much theatre is a part of studying in London culture. Surprisingly, tickets were easy to find quickly and often a fourth of the price of most tickets in the United States. Even on weekdays, the houses were full of enthusiastic, everyday audience members. In reality, many theatres in the United States struggle to recruit their local community. TodayTix is an amazing ticketing app. They had a lot of rush hour and lottery tickets! For bigger venues, you may have to buy tickets on the theatre’s website ahead of time to ensure your spot.”
What’s your next step?
“I am now pursuing acting and directing in Minneapolis. The theatre scene here is much more robust than some people understand. It has the second most seats per capita after New York, hundreds of theatres, and a strong audience base that supports local venues. I’ve found the theatre community to be very friendly and welcoming. I love that most theatres choose to be very oriented toward their community and fostering social change. In addition, the people are nice, the food is great, and it’s affordable. It’s a nice balance of small city/ urban with quiet and respectful Midwest.”
What advice would you give to a student with the dream to study abroad in London?
“Find a way to connect with locals and travel to less known towns/places nearby! Use the Citymapper app to navigate if they have your city available. Look into trains and buses between cities and countries, not just flights. I found that four to five days in a location was just the right amount for me to take a tour on the first day (and have the tour guide help me narrow down my itinerary), visit the few tourist-y things that most appealed to me, take time to just stroll aimlessly or go somewhere less explored, and still have time to rest or read a book. Respect locals and they will tell you which bars to go to that are less tourist-y and more authentic.”
Also, I am vegan. So, the app HappyCow, which allows you to find plant-based meals based on your location, was the KEY to maintaining my lifestyle all over. I located vegan restaurants in Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Israel, and Scotland).