Do Not Attend UK Drama Schools - Unsafe and not worth the cost

Do not consider for one more second wasting your money on a Drama School in the UK. First of all, the sexual culture is awful and if you are sexually assaulted or raped your school will do very little to help you, let alone make the assaulter/rapist face any kind of punishment. There’s currently a documentary in the works to expose these schools for covering up horrible assaults and trying to sweep everything under the rug. Sarah Everard was just the latest cruelty happening to women in that country. Also, as a female, you cannot protect yourself over there. You cannot have mace or anything to defend yourself. What is it about a country that will not allow young women to protect themselves? You don’t have to take my word on this. Ask schools what their procedure is? Ask what kind of counseling they have for victims? Ask them how many students reported assaults and how many of those were proven correct and what was the punishment? Don’t believe because the number is low, that is a good thing. They are not addressing the problem and your student will suffer. Also, follow Dr Jess Taylor on Instagram who just finished an amazing study on sexual assualts in the UK. Ok - let’s say you’re not concerned with any of that because it won’t affect you. Why is attending a UK school not worth it? First of all, they want Americans in their schools to pay full tuition to help UK students attend at a much much lower cost. There will be no scholarship support - don’t believe them if they say there will. There are no jobs for international students if they need additional monies. And finally, when you finish your degree, you will not have opportunities to act in the UK - those go to UK students. You will have to return to the US and get connected in the drama community. There are few connections to help you when you come back to the US - and no one will be “impressed” with your degree from the UK. If you still think the UK is the place for you, I would suggest going to an American school and then studying abroad for a semester or two but do not waste your talent, time and money on the UK schools. It could possibly be the worst decision you would ever make and it could change the course of your drama career, forever.

1 Like

Clearly the OP (or based on the user name, the OP’s daughter) had a terrible experience in the UK. There is no doubt that sexual assault is dealt with very poorly in the UK- as it is in the US. I know- directly- several young women who were sexually assaulted during university in both the UK and the US. It is not clear to me that either system is less awful than the other.

As a side note, a comparative study of the sexual assault rates in the US, UK and Canada found that Canada had the highest incidence of less serious sexual assaults and the US had
the highest rate of more severe sexual assaults (note that the study was across all ages, not just students). The UK was in the middle.

@Stage_Mom_In_the_Know is completely correct that US students pay higher rates than UK students- the same as out of state students pay more than in-state students at public universities in the US, and for the same reason: their parents taxes subsidize the universities.

She is also correct that while in most cases international students graduating from a UK uni can stay and work, the rules for hiring in sports and entertainment are different than for other fields. All international students can, however, work up to 20 hours a week during term, and stay on and work in the UK after graduation- just not in some parts of the entertainment field. So, a part time job in a pub or as an usher at a theatre during term? full time for a business after graduation? fine. An acting job? not under that visa (there is a visiting performer visa, but- same as for the US- it is ferociously hard to get).

Allowing for all that, there are still reasons to consider attending a UK Drama school. Even more than following the traditional pathways, you have to be clear about what you are doing, why you are doing it and the pros/cons of the trade off. And, it is even more important than usual not to be swayed by marketing! but imo any theatre career requires being very hard-headed and pragmatic, right from the beginning.

I am sorry that the OP’s experience was so bitter, but do know some much happier stories- most recently from Glasgow and Dublin (not UK, obvs)- but in the past from London as well.

1 Like