Back from abroad: Catching up with the Londoners

Lexi DeSollar, Staff Writer

With the semester off to a chilly start, Millikin University welcomes back the many students that spent the first half of their term abroad. Among these full semester immersions, the well-known study abroad opportunity in London, England provides individuals at Millikin the opportunity to study their degree of choice surrounded in the rich culture of Great Britain. Many Millikin theatre students have taken advantage of the opportunity.

In addition to classes three days a week from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the students involved were also provided with the incredible opportunity to train at the famous Globe Theatre in the evenings. After its opening in 1997, this modern reconstruction has since produced both classical and modern renditions of the works of William Shakespeare that have become famous for their talented teams of theatre artists.

The Decaturian caught up with junior and musical theatre major Coy Branscum—one of the many individuals that took part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Studying at the Globe was surreal,” Branscum said, “Absurdly talented professionals who’ve worked on that stage taught our classes. Actually, our acting professor, Yolanda, had to reschedule some of our class times because she’s booked a show on the West End. No big deal, right?”

With classes only three days per week, the students were provided with four day weekends to catch up on homework and, most excitingly, to see productions in the West End—an area of central London containing many of the city’s major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings and entertainment venues.

“[I saw]so many!” Branscum said, “The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Jersey Boys, the revival of The Scottsboro Boys, The Light Princess – the new Tori Amos musical, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some.”

As performance majors, students must take it upon themselves to grasp at any opportunity to see professional productions, and seeing shows such as these are just as important to the students’ learning as time spent in class.

“ . . . I definitely encourage everyone to consider it as an option,” Branscum said. “You will walk away with stunning memories and a newfound appreciation for your own backyard. There’s so much to explore, going to London helped me realize that.”

If you are interested in studying abroad in London or one of the many other international opportunities that Millikin provides, please contact the Center for International Education by phone at 217-424-3758 or e-mail at [email protected]