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Living in London was everything I’d hoped it would be

Why Did you choose Roehampton specifically?

I chose Roehampton because of the stellar reputation of its faculty in the Department of Dance, who are all leading scholars of dance studies. I wanted to continue my study of dance history with specialists in the field, and many of the best dance researchers in the world are at Roehampton.

Why did you want to study in London/UK?

I had never studied abroad during my undergraduate career, so the opportunity to spend an entire year in London was very appealing to me.  

What is your current occupation?

I am currently my second year as a Ph.D. student in the History department at Columbia University, where I study 20th century U.S. cultural history, with a particular focus on dance and the performing arts.

Did you ever envision this career while studying at Roehampton? 

Yes. I knew as I was applying to Roehampton that I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. after getting a Master’s. With that plan in mind, I knew that getting my Master’s degree at Roehampton would show a deep commitment to my subject, since the university has an international reputation as a leading institution in my field.

Do you think your degree at Roehampton help elevate your career? If so, how?

Certainly! It is difficult and probably not advisable to enter a Ph.D. program immediately after finishing a Bachelor’s Degree, since graduate school can be intense work. So, I chose to pursue a Master’s degree first before committing to a five-year Ph.D. program. Completing my Master’s in Dance History at Roehampton confirmed my interest in the subject and in continuing my education, while also signalling to prospective programs that I was serious about conducting research at the Ph.D. level. 

What was your most memorable moment at Roehampton? 

My most memorable moment was the Thanksgiving that I celebrated abroad. I lived in a flat with seven other women – one American, two from the U.K., and four from Greece. The other American and I decided to throw a full-fledged Thanksgiving celebration for our flat to give the others a taste of a true American holiday. All eight of us went grocery shopping together and crowded the kitchen for a night of cooking, eating, reflecting, and bonding. To this day, all eight of us keep in touch and have even visited each other on both sides of the pond since graduating!

What was it like living and studying in London?

Living in London was everything I’d hoped it would be. Roehampton’s area is a beautiful place to live, and the campus itself is like a park full of plants and animals. Yet, the city of London was just a short bus ride away. Sometimes, I would go and walk along the Thames in central London just to remind myself that I was living in one of the greatest cities in the world. I learned just as much from living in London – observing the culture, politics, and societal norms of another nation -- as I did from my coursework.

Emily  Hawk

Roehampton, University of