Forming an International Exchange Program in Norway

Apr 3, 2018

by Dr. Christianne Roll
Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre

In August 2016, several of our theatre students had the opportunity to perform and study at the Bårdar Academy in Oslo, Norway. From that experience, an international exchange program was formed between Bårdar and Florida Southern College. In 2018, two Norwegian students and two FSC students participated in this exchange.

Tiffany Gentry and Molly Garrett (center) with their new friends Liv (left) and Andy (right).
Tiffany Gentry and Molly Garrett (center) with their new friends Liv (left) and Andy (right).

During the last two weeks of February, two Norwegian musical theatre students, Liv and Andy, took acting, modern dance, private voice, stage movement, script analysis, and musical theatre history courses at FSC. These students were housed by fellow FSC theatre students, Brianna Graf, Tiffany Gentry, Sam Bowling, and Marcos Martins, who quickly became their American and Floridian tour guides. In addition to showing them around the important sights of the FSC campus, these students also made sure to expose our Norwegian guests to other very important aspects of being a Florida Southern student - Disney World and the beach!

In March, two FSC theatre students, Molly Garrett and Tiffany Gentry, returned from their study abroad experience where they enhanced their musical theatre and global education by studying at Bårdar. (Molly Garrett previously studied at Bårdar during FSC’s first visit in 2016 when she was selected to perform in an international musical theatre showcase.) While in Oslo, they took numerous dance classes, attended a vocal master class intensive, and even had the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the students for their industry showcase.

Of course, several aspects of the musical theatre curriculum offered in Norway are unique, but I was happy to learn that Bårdar shares the same student-centered approach of the Florida Southern. According to Tiffany, “the professors knew the needs of each student and what they person-ally needed to approve on, catering to different levels of skill.” Perhaps this shared philosophy will allow our international exchange to continue for many more students!

So many students enjoyed these experiences. Here's more of what they had to say!

I loved learning about cultural differences in film. Andy and Liv talked about how in Norway there is an entire industry devoted to dubbing English language films. - Marcos Martins

I loved taking Andy down by Lake Hollingsworth to show him some typical Florida scenery that seemed so foreign to him. And getting to see him do a voice lesson was great to share his talents with us and getting a new friend! - Sam Bowling

Theater Students
Theater Students.

It was truly an uplifting experience to study with this crowd. Other than classes we had the opportunity to learn a lot about the culture. My favorite moment of my trip was skiing in the mountains of Norway with my new lifelong friend, Liv. - Tiffany Gentry

Not only was I able to experience theatre in another culture, but I also learned about the business abroad, and it has opened another door of opportunities for me upon graduation. I would go back in a heartbeat! - Molly Garrett