FOR many people, the glamourous life of an actor is a dream career, but one that is notoriously expensive and difficult to train for. There is no sure route in, and nowadays courses range from the more theoretical options available from most universities to the practical options at specialised drama schools. If you are considering drama training, the cost might be a major consideration in your choice. Here are five courses around the world that offer acting scholarships for international students.
Yale School of Drama: New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Yale is a world-renowned institution, and the drama school has a number different specialties. Courses include Acting, Theatre Management and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, so students can go into great depth in their preferred specialism. The school has core values that include ‘Diversity’ and offers financial aid to all students on the basis of need. Currently 93% of students receives some form of financial aid, but the school also boasts the lowest tuition fees in the country for the type of courses they offer.
How to apply for aid: When applying for a course, international students must fill out an online application via the university website by the deadline (usually the February preceding enrolment.) Signed copies of tax documents and income evidence will then be requested from the applicants and their parents, to be assessed.
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: Glasgow, UK
Graduates of the Royal Conservatoire include James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and David Tennant (Doctor Who) but around 20% of their current students come from outside the UK. Anyone who auditions for a place at the Conservatoire will be considered for a scholarship automatically, and these will be awarded to about a third of students, based on a mixture of talent and financial need. For students from Canada, China, India and the USA, there is also Scotland’s Saltire Scholarship award (SSS). This scheme is designed to encourage people to live, learn and work in Scotland, and gives 100 awards across the country each year of £4,000.
How to apply for aid: For the Royal Conservatoire scholarship, you will be sent an application form automatically when you apply. For the Saltire Scholarship, you must have a conditional or unconditional offer to study at a Scottish university, and then you can submit an application form (available from the website).
Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA): Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
The CCPA focuses on offering practical training coupled with industry preparation (with a focus on the industry in Canada.) The CCPA is supported by the Canadian Heritage Arts Society, so all students may request a subsidy from paying the actual per-student cost (currently $3425 discount per year for international students.) There are also bursaries and scholarships, which are offered as both need-based and merit-based. Students are also encourage to seek-out their own funding, with guidance offered at the careers department.
How to apply for aid: Application varies by bursary, but the need-based will often need to be applied for before starting, whilst the merit-based will be available during the course. Information will be given in the Financial Information Package when you apply.
Monash University (Clayton Campus): Melbourne, Australia
Monash University is a very large university (there were around 62,000 student in 2013, and about a third were international) and offers a large number of courses across numerous disciplines. As such, the courses offered are more academic than some practical drama schools. There are three Bachelor’s degrees in Theatre that fall under the Faculty of Arts. In 2017, the university will offer scholarships worth $10,000 to 31 international students. Scholarships will be awarded on academic merit to those who have been offered a place across a range of subjects.
How to apply for aid: You must have received a full offer of study at Monash, and then you can apply using the application form on the university’s website, including a 1000 word supporting statement, by 15th March, 15th April or 15th May 2017. Preference will be given to those who have the potential to become a Monash University ambassador.
The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art: Dublin, Ireland
The Lir was created to fill the need for specialised drama training in Ireland, and began teaching students in 2011. It has connections with Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London and Trinity College, Dublin. The courses are very competitive (the Acting course has an intake of less than 16 students) but there is a lot of funding available. The Irish Exchequer is (currently) paying tuition fees for Irish and EU nationals, meaning they only have to pay a Student Services fee (€3000), a Sports Centre Levy (€120), and a USI levy (€8.) The Lir also offers means tested bursaries of up to €5000 for all elligible students on all courses.
How to apply for aid: Free fees will be applied automatically according to nationality. Non-EU nationals may be eligible for a reduction of the full charge (from €9,678 to €19,823) if they have been resident in the EU for the past three years. They will also be eligible for the LIR Bursary.
This article was written in the school year 2015-16 and updated for the school year 2017-18.
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