Performing Arts Abroad
17 New South Street Suite 303B Northampton, MA, 01060 United States
Jump in to this intensive program and train in London’s West End in musical theater with some of the most accomplished actors, dancers, stage combat instructors, and directors...
Train with esteemed instructors at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London’s finest school for theater! Performing Arts Abroad is teaming up with the prestigious...
Best Experience I've Ever Had
Submitted by diana7863 - University of Massachusetts Amherst | July 29, 2016
I had a great time in Costa Rica! Everyone there was super supportive and responsive when we needed help with anything, from lesson plan ideas to weekend travel. The other volunteers were also wonderful and I loved that there were other volunteers at my placements, and I was still able to teach my own classes and have my own experiences.
Program: Music Volunteering in Costa Rica
BLAS with PAA
Submitted by rapid8rafter - University of Nevada Reno | July 27, 2016
Although PAA makes this sound like a fun introduction to traditional Irish music/dance, this summer intensive is anything but. Most non-PAA students in the program have been immersed in training for several years prior, and the program really jumps into the deep-end. That said, if you're a good student and willing to work hard to catch up it is an AMAZING experience. You work with some of the biggest names in Irish music, sitting across from and learning from people who are international music stars. The living and social situations are supportive, fun, relaxed, and great for building new long lasting friendships. I wish we could have seen more of the local culture and environment, but most of our time was dedicated to learning, and you learn A LOT. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in buckling down to learn about Irish traditional music and jumping in headfirst.
Program: Blas Summer Music Program in Ireland
An Italian adventure
Submitted by Sophie - - | July 23, 2016
I spent the last 6 weeks completing a dance administration internship in Florence, Italy. Florence was such an incredible city and had so much more to offer than I ever expected. I made some incredible friends and visited so many amazing places - I have no idea how the time managed to pass so quickly.
Once of a lifetime experience!
Submitted by Jun | July 20, 2016
It was amazing!! I was part of Performing Arts Abroad for summer internship in Florence. Everything from start to finish was perfectly organized and thoughtout. The staff were very helpful and friendly and always there for me when I needed them.
I feel lucky I got to live, study and work in Florence and absolutely recommend this program to anyone looking to grow personally and professionally!
Expectations not met
Submitted by alannamcn - Boston University | July 20, 2016
Unfortunately, my experience was tainted by lack of preparation and inadequate information about the program. I definitely take responsibility for not asking more specific questions about before going, but I was disappointed to find my experience much different than advertised. I knew that I should be as confident in Spanish as possible, but was not expecting that absolute fluency would be necessary. A previous participant told me that she needed no previous Spanish practice and that she always had English support, so I was expecting the same. At CRLA, this was true for the most part, especially in the course of Spanish classes, but my volunteer experience teaching kids relied solely on Spanish fluency, making the classes in which I was trying to teach theatre skills incredibly difficult.
When I arrived in San Isidro to work with the Circo Fantazztico, my assignments were given to me entirely in Spanish with no English translation, both from the program manager, Roland, and from the volunteers at the circus. While I would identify my Spanish at being at an intermediate level, I was often left with more questions to clarify in simpler Spanish. After my first day, Roland was not there for the remainder of my program, making my only “local” program contact in San Jose, a 4 hour bus ride away. Throughout the three weeks, my Spanish did improve, however, not having anyone to speak to in a language of which I could communicate clearly was extremely isolating.
One awesome thing about Circo Fantazztico is that it is run almost entirely by volunteers in university or older, which provides an awesome opportunity for young people to have leadership roles. In my case, I was greeted by a group of German students who had all already been at the circus for months, and who spoke German to each other, and Spanish to any native Costa Ricans. This also left in me in the awkward position of being unable to join an established social group in addition to speaking their language. I very rarely spent time with the group of volunteers that I was there with, and they were also surprised at my short time (3 weeks) spent with the Circus.
Finally, my program was also scheduled for the week after a culminating festival, Brinca Brunca this year, which meant that as I arrived, volunteers were starting to go on vacation, classes had less of an end goal, and the volunteers were generally tired and preparing for their trips home coming in August. This also changed the mood of the volunteers and the classes we would be teaching, in one case leaving me in a position to teach a class of older students alone. Had I been prepared for these factors, I would have found a way to succeed, but it felt as though I was never established as a valuable member of the volunteer team and that my role was dispensable. I felt as though it would have been better for the group and the students that I got to work with for me not to have been there at all, since relationships with the students had already been established with other teaching artists and my role felt more to my benefit than to the benefit of anyone I worked with.
Had I been more prepared for my lax schedule (I only worked about 3 hours, 4 days a week, I had to ask for more opportunities to train and work at the circus), foreign volunteers with little to no English experience, and need for advanced Spanish skills, this program would have been amazing. If you feel comfortable with these skills and a lot of free time, the circus itself is a valuable and impactful organization for the community, and San Isidro itself is a small, but very cute town. The artists at the circus were incredibly talented, and I attended every training session offered to me. I hope that future volunteers are better prepared to teach a specific skill, in Spanish, and feel comfortable and confident communicating so that they don’t feel as alienated and unnecessary as I did.