The London Dramatic Academy (LDA) is a challenging program offered by Fordham University that provides a lively, intensive, high-quality introduction to the principles of British acting. It is practical rather than theoretical, and both stimulating and demanding of all those who take part in it-students and instructors alike. The program features small classes (8-10 students), one-on-one tutorials with British instructors, specialized workshops, opportunities for meeting peers at other British theatre schools, master classes, behind-the-scenes theatre visits, and excursions to places of special interest in London and beyond.
London is one of the most exciting and dynamic places in the world to be a student - a city at the cutting-edge of developments in every field. With more than 8.5 million inhabitants and an incredible concentration of history and creativity throughout the city, you can find yourself among a sea of both British and worldwide cultures. For study purposes, London offers special advantages, including major libraries, museums and art galleries, the headquarters of learned societies, and research institutes in medicine, law and the humanities.
Did you know…?
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is the only building in London allowed to have a thatched roof since the Great Fire in 1666.
The program at the London Dramatic Academy is for College students who are majoring in theater arts.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: No previous study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Must have taken theatre classes.
Other Requirements: Prior acting experience required. Auditions are required of applicants.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at the London Dramatic Academy consists of four classes per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
LDA provides classes in Acting (Contemporary & Classical), Physical Theatre, Voice, Speech/Dialects, Period Dance, Alexander Technique, Stage Combat and Movement. Academic classes include Theatre History, Literature and Dramatic Criticism, Space/Place/Time based on regular theatre visits and site visits in and out of London.
The fall semester at LDA generally runs from early September to mid-December, while the spring semester occurs from early January to mid-May. Specifics on dates can be found on Fordham’s website.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
The London Dramatic Academy is run by Fordham University. Upon program completion, Fordham reports grades to Penn Abroad, who will send them to the College for posting on your Penn transcript.
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the London Dramatic Academy prior to the start of each semester. More information on LDA’s orientation activities will be distributed upon acceptance.
Integral to the program are weekly visits to London theatres such as the National, the Royal Court, the Almeida and the Donmar. Students attend theater, ballet, and modern dance performances, as well as opera and symphony concerts. The semester's program also includes exclusive performances at the Centre given by distinguished actors.
LDA Conservatory acting students can be paired with a British acting student. We will arrange a couple of informal social events and you will be invited to showings at the British Drama School.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
Student accommodation is in flats (apartments) that are within an easy commute from the London Centre. Student apartments are located in popular Clerkenwell, familiar both to Shakespeare and Dickens. A number of famous sights and attractions are within easy reach, including the Barbican Centre, Sadler's Wells theatre, the Museum of London, the British Museum, the Charles Dickens Museum.
Each flat has a roomy living/dining room, fully-equipped kitchen, bathroom, and two or three shared bedrooms. All flats are given a light cleaning and change of linens weekly. Blankets, pillows, towels and bed linen are provided. Storage is very limited as most flats only have one or two very small dressers. All flats have a washing machine/dryer. Kitchens are equipped with pots, pans, dishes, flatware, stove, and refrigerator.
Information regarding accommodation can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.
BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.