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Alexandra Montalbano

Alexandra Montalbano Semester Abroad: Fall 2013, Roehampton University, London
Majors: Dance and Theatre & Communications
Class of 2015 

I had my mind set on studying abroad prior to even applying to college. One of the main reasons I chose Manhattanville is the fact that it is still possible to study abroad as a double major.

When I found the Roehampton Program, I immediately knew it was where I had to be. It is hard to find a study abroad program for dancers so I jumped on the opportunity. I always considered London as a destination for study abroad, but I honestly would have been happy anywhere. I adore traveling. If I could spend every day of my life exploring new cities, I absolutely would. After only being in London a few days, I knew I had made the absolute best decision of my life. I had the pleasure of living with the most amazing flat anyone could ever ask for. It was a fantastic blend of people from the UK, American and everywhere else in the world from Poland to Australia. These people were with me on every single step of my journey. We made London our home together and explored so much more along the way.

Roehampton is known for its incredible dance program. I have never been more nervous to take a dance class in my life then my first class at Roe. The teachers were so welcoming, and every single dancer was a sweetheart. I immediately felt like I belonged with them in the classes. I always thought the styles within modern dance were somewhat universal, but culture creates such a different perspective on dance. I will forever be thankful for the knowledge I gained and I am a much better dancer for being able to experience it.

Although London has my heart, I found it hard to stay in the city for long. During my time abroad I had the pleasure of visiting Scotland, Wales, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. Every weekend we would take off to a different country after class. I have never felt happier than I did exploring these cities with the family I found abroad. Each place was so incredibly beautiful and different. They all had a history that I could not wait to explore. I climbed a volcano in Edinburgh, I got lost in Bruges, and Versailles, got a fish pedicure in Prague, I went to a bath house in Budapest, saw the Pope!, ate escargot in Paris and went to the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, and so much more.

I am still in a state of shock about the entire experience. I look at the pictures I have posted on the walls all around my room and I cannot believe that I was the one to take them. It is still hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I was so incredibly lucky. It truly was the experience of a lifetime, one that I would not trade for the entire world, and would do again in a heartbeat.

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh ScotlandArthur’s Seat, Edinburgh ScotlandTower Bridge, LondonTower Bridge, London