Exchange students take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford Upon-Avon

PHOTO BY: BAILEY MCINTYRE

On Feb. 28, a trip from the University of Birmingham to Stratford Upon-Avon for the English literature department left with two full buses of students.

This trip was planned by two coordinators from the student exchange advisory and involved a jam-packed schedule in Stratford Upon-Avon where students were able to meet cast members of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the bard’s hometown alongside watching the play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

When asked how beneficial this trip was to their exchange experience, students Paul Weidmann from Germany and David Nicolet from Switzerland both said they looked forward to it from the date it was announced.

It’s one thing to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream in school, but to see it performed in the town that Shakespeare lived in is something I’ll never forget.

Paul Weidmann, Exchange Student

German student Annika Barthel echoed similar feelings: “[The trip provided] a great opportunity to meet other exchange students in the same position as I am. I even met fellow Germans here which is a nice connection to home.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was truly a marvel to see in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

With all students getting free admission and being seated in the lower first three rows, the view of the stage was impeccable.

“When the confetti started, some of it landed on my feet – that’s how close I was. I was so immersed in the play the whole time that I almost jumped when it happened,” said Nicolet.

While the play was performed in English, most exchange students in attendance spoke a different primary language.

“When they spoke fast, I would look to my English-speaking friend to ask what they said. Reading it in English and hearing it performed is two very different things when they talk so quickly.

It was a bit of a struggle, but I think it also helped me pick up the language more,” said Barthel.

While only one trip was planned for this cohort of exchange students, the large turnout led to the event organizers asking to keep in touch with students to plan more trips in the future.

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