First Week of Classes

Marissa Ferrara Goldsmiths, University of London, England


October 9, 2017

I’ve officially completed my first week of classes! I’m incredibly excited to delve further into each subject and form relationships with the other students along the way. I’ve found myself to be very lucky in the sense that all of my classes encourage discussion and group engagement – I usually prefer this style of learning as opposed to straight lectures, because I feel like it enhances my understanding of the class material. Additionally, I realised that as a study abroad student I’m also lucky to have the unique freedom to select any combination of modules that I wish to take. The students completing their entire undergraduate education at Goldsmiths usually have a more limited pool of modules to choose from, because they have to choose a more specific academic route and adhere to more specific requirements, even when it comes to “electives.”

I am taking the courses Managing Arts Organisations, Audiences in Theory and Practice, Acting in London, and London Theatre. The first two courses are required courses for Goldsmiths students who are in their second year of pursuing the Arts Management program, and all of the students in these classes have already taken classes together for the entirety of last year. As the only study abroad student enrolled in either of those modules, I was a bit nervous that I would feel isolated because everyone else already seemed to have established relationships. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that my classmates have been incredibly kind and welcoming. After the first day of Managing Arts Organisations, a few of my classmates invited me to get coffee with them and asked me to be in their group for the project that we’ll be completing throughout the term. Being a theatre major at my home institution, I’m used to taking classes with friends and peers who I’m familiar with, and I’m very grateful that I have the opportunity to do that here as well. My Acting in London class is almost entirely comprised of American students studying abroad, and is another great opportunity to form friendships because of the nature of the class. It meets for 6 hours every Wednesday, which is without a doubt the longest class I’ve ever taken, but I loved every moment of the first class. The tutor is incredibly intelligent and articulate, and I’m very excited to be trained as an actor from a British school of thought. My London Theatre class begins right after Acting class. Students in this course receive free tickets to shows throughout London, which we attend on Wednesday nights and discuss the next week in class. So my Wednesdays are jam-packed with theatre from 10am – 10pm, and I absolutely love it.

I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with my classmates and discovering the differences between the American style of education I’ve received my whole life and the British style of education that I’m just beginning to explore. If the first week is any indicator, this term will be educationally, culturally, and socially edifying.