National Centre for Circus Arts
Direction of Study
My name is Ewa Jankowska and I am 21 years old. At the beginning of last year, I decided to take a big and groundbreaking step in my life, which was to apply to a university in London. When I found out that I got accepted, more doubts and challenges arose related to moving and the necessary documentation.
Of course, fear has big eyes, and he who asks does not wander. The whole process wasn’t complicated or impossible to do. The edu4u organization as well as my university explained what steps to take and what to keep in mind. They were there to help at any time.
Studies at the National Center for Circus Arts in London. Yes, I’m in circus school, and to your surprise, it’s a full-fledged university that involves all the formalities associated with it. Studying in England was one of several options I was considering at the time. The relatively quick recruitment results, my proficiency in the language which was already quite good at the time, and the opportunity to study at one of the best circus schools in the UK all played a role in my decision-making process. Undoubtedly, London is an international city and therefore an international company, there are tremendous opportunities and friendships here. Studying here and being in this , , circus family opens the door to a diverse and colorful artistic environment.
I am in my first year. My course is only two years long and it is a Foundation Degree in Circus Arts.
Like most universities, the year is divided into three semesters and these into two halves.
School classes are held 5 days a week for an average of 7 hours a day. Quite intense, it’s true, but this profession requires it. We need a well-equipped space, access to equipment, and a significant amount of dedicated hours to achieve a high level of technical proficiency. After two years, we should be able to navigate the artistic industry confidently.
We are evaluated for attitude and commitment, attendance, and progress in a particular discipline.
Numerous presentations and demonstrations to outside audiences are part of our evaluation. Written assignments in the form of essays also come up, focusing on the history of modern dance and theater, techniques and methods used in creation, and their analysis.
Let’s say that I am one of the lucky ones, as I have family living in London, and they offered me a safe start in the UK, providing accommodation and meals before I started working and became independent in the new environment. Their help made it easier for me, I was able to focus on getting a job, applying for an Insurance Number, setting up a UK bank account, etc. What to think about first when you arrive in England.
Living in London is expensive, you pay much more to rent a room than outside London, plus the transportation costs. This needs to be taken into consideration, and a tactical approach to the situation is necessary. For instance, if the school is located in the city center, it’s unlikely that as a student you’ll be able to find affordable accommodation nearby that wouldn’t cost you over 1000 pounds per month. However, you could find work near the school or close to your place of residence, which would somewhat reduce commuting time and costs. To reduce housing costs, you need to be ready to possibly share a room with several people. I managed to find a job 10 min walk from my house which is very convenient. For this, I have to commute to school about 45 minutes by bus which is not the fastest solution but the cheapest. Buses compared to trains and subways are twice as cheap. True, the trip takes longer but why not give yourself extra minutes to listen to music, relax, and observe people AND the area? Of course, there is the option to apply for a maintenance loan, which is a loan for living expenses. The application process is relatively straightforward, and it provides you with a significant amount of money that can make living in a big city much easier. The entire loan application process is well laid out on edu4u so it’s worth checking out.
I mentioned above that he works near home. I am a waitress in a restaurant. He works only on weekends. In the beginning, I didn’t earn a lot, as I started with £6.50 per hour, and I continued with that wage for the next 7 months. Tips were a significant help to end up with a bit extra at the end of the month, but if it weren’t for living with my family, I’m not sure if I could have managed on my own.
I am currently in the process of changing jobs to a better-paying one at £8.50 per hour and in a slightly better environment, which I hope will yield results soon. In general, £8-£10 per hour is the standard wage for a student, so you need to work a certain number of hours to cover your basic expenses and not worry about the next month.
The people at the university from my fellow students to the coaches and teachers are great! I feel at home when I go to school every day. The specificity of my university is the very small number of students, as there are only about 60 of us in total. Everyone knows each other, sharing the training space as well as private space, as many of us live together and spend time outside of school together. This is a great feeling. As students, we have support in every possible form from the staff of our school. Being a student comes with many privileges related to transportation, events or social life. The school itself often receives discounts for larger artistic shows, which allows us as students to participate in major events at significantly lower prices.
Moving to England was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. The level of study AND quality is completely different. Is it better? I don’t know because I haven’t studied in Poland anywhere, I can only rely on the opinions of my friends. I would recommend any person not afraid of challenges and willing to take a little more risk to try it. It’s always worth trying! If you’re held back by the fear of dealing with formalities or the fact that you’ll be entirely on your own in a new environment, that’s a completely normal feeling. Our subconscious often tries to keep us away from changes and new challenges. However, embracing change and challenges can lead to growth in the direction of your plans and dreams. There are online platforms that help in this situation, one of which I heartily recommend is Edu4u. Act!