Summer: a glorious break filled with long, sunbathed hours and cool, starry nights. Some of you may be spending your time reclining by the pool, lake, or ocean; others are perhaps filling their weeks with shifts at work or an internship. Some Hoosiers are studying hard for their summer classes, and others are balancing work and play by studying abroad. One IU Jacobs School of Music student is participating in the latter.
Savanna Webber, a talented junior studying Vocal Performance, is spending her summer working at the Berlin Opera Academy in Germany. While abroad, she has been taking German language classes, singing lessons, and rehearsing for the company’s first opera of the season, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). In addition, Savanna has had the privilege of singing in masterclasses in front of famous international performers and has auditioned for multiple opera companies in Germany.
Amidst her busy schedule, Savanna has also been able to explore Berlin and immerse herself in the German culture. “One of the most rewarding parts of being here has been improving my German and actually getting to communicate with the people here in their language instead of English,” Webber exclaims.
Savanna’s summer experience abroad was not easily achieved, however. The program’s application was a two-part process. First, students sent in audition videos of their singing abilities. Then, candidates were chosen to have a Skype interview with the program director. “We spoke for an hour about what I wanted to get out of the program,” Webber states. After waiting for about a month, she received the affirmative response. Now, all her hard work has paid off as Savanna spends her summer in Berlin doing the thing she loves.
Performing in a fully produced opera, visiting Berlin hotspots, creating international friendships, and living amongst the locals sounds pretty amazing; and you could also have a similar experience. According to the IU Office of Overseas Study, 1 in 4 seniors will have studied abroad by the time they graduate. Do you want to study abroad, but you don’t think there will be a program directed towards your major? Look again; the university offers over 380 programs! Some are national, and others take place across the globe.
“Studying abroad is absolutely worth it,” Webber encourages, “You get to experience so many different things you wouldn’t get to see or do in America.”
For more information about the myriad of study abroad programs, check out the IU Office of Overseas Study website.