As a student in the UE Department of Theatre, it would be easy for Olivia Hebert to say the program’s stellar reputation is what brought her to the University of Evansville. But Olivia said that wasn’t the only thing she was looking for when she visited campus.
“The theatre program at UE is phenomenal,” Olivia said. “However, the prestige was not what captivated my attention; it was the community. As a prospective student, I was treated like a potential family member.”
Olivia visited UE during Road Trip, an experience that allowed her to live like a UE student for a weekend. She stayed in a residence hall, ate in the dining hall, and took part in other events that gave her a taste of what it would be like to be a UE student.
A Good Feeling
“UE wants their students to have a meaningful and authentic connection with the school,” Olivia said of her experience at Road Trip. “My admission counselor, the faculty of the theatre department, and my host – the student who let me in on her life for the weekend – knew my name and were invested in me.” The professors and students she met encouraged her to consider UE, only if she felt it was the right fit for her. “I followed my gut feeling, and I have never regretted it.”
More Than Just A Professor
The personal experience Olivia had during Road Trip only grew when she became an official UE student. She began having many meaningful experiences in the classroom with professors from all across campus, including in her First-Year Seminar course with Katie Mullins: “Katie was a person, not just a professor – a quality I notice in several of my favorite professors at UE,” she said.
Olivia appreciated the open and comfortable atmosphere Mullins maintained both inside and outside the classroom. “I found myself going to her office to discuss a paper and staying for an hour to talk about life,” she said. After the semester ended, the two kept in close contact. “We mostly kept up through coffee dates until I became her teaching intern. Then we were back to the classroom, opening up exciting conversations and watching the dusty gears start turning in all of our creaky minds.”
Opportunities for Students
Among the many opportunities that Olivia has taken advantage of is study abroad at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England – the #1 study abroad program in the US. “Going abroad and staying in that gorgeous manor house was a dream come true. Sometimes I look back and can hardly believe it happened!” she said. “The time I spent with my Meet-a-Family and the amazing friends I made at the school are priceless, but what really made it the best experience of my life was the travel I did on the weekends.” With four-day school weeks, students have ample time to explore the surrounding countries, whether on trips organized through the college or on independent trips with their friends.
“I went to Denmark, Portugal, Scotland, Prague, Ireland, London, and at the end of the semester traveled all around England, France, Germany, and Switzerland,” said Olivia. “I grew to be even more independent, and saw so much beauty and culture.”
Glad to be at UE
Olivia has also been fortunate to expand her experience through multiple internships. “The head of the theatre department hooked me up with the New Harmony Project, where I worked with other actors, directors, dramaturgs, and stage managers on new play development, a strong passion of mine.” She said these experiences and others like them will help her be successful. “My internships have helped me speak the language of theatre professionals and expand my network all over the country.”