My name is Audrey Jones. I know, sounds very English. It is, but part of me is also from Switzerland, and that’s where I grew up.
I was born and raised in Geneva, although no actual blood connection ties me to the town, my dad being from the West-Midlands near Birmingham and my mum from Lugano, in Ticino, Switzerland.
They moved to Geneva before I was born, and so that’s where I grew up, speaking French at school, Italian and English at home. I took drama classes from the age of seven, and never stopped, all the way from primary school to college, during which time I was also part of a few drama Troupes.
After I graduated from college (and got my Matu as we call it in Geneva), I went on to do a year of full-time drama training at the Conservatoire Populaire in Geneva. I learned a lot, but felt out of place – I knew I needed to get to the UK, I knew that that was where I’d feel most at home, and also where I’d get the best training.
I am currently on my first year of the BA Acting course at GSA – Guildford School of Acting – although this is actually my second year here at Uni of Surrey, because I was on the Foundation Acting Course last year.
It had been my dream for many years – to get into drama school, to move to the UK … I just had a gut feeling that this is where I had to be, however distant and impossible it felt. And I kind of had a feeling – a weird feeling – that somehow, sometime, I would get there.
When it came to auditioning for UK drama schools, I was incredibly daunted, partly because I was the only one in my surroundings doing it, but also, coming from Switzerland and its small-scale drama schools, it felt like a huge huge world. It took a lot of courage to think Do it! But once you start, you’re on the runway, you’re off, and it starts to feel less scary. The more auditions you do, the less daunting they get.
I auditioned for four drama schools that year (2021-2022) and got to some second and third rounds, but unfortunately didn’t get offered a place on a BA. But I didn’t give up – I then auditioned for the Foundation course at GSA, and got offered a place there.
So off I went across the channel, with two big suitcases and the unknown. I moved to Guildford in September 2022, with no clue what campus life in the UK would be like, no clue even what Freshers’ was.
During my Foundation Year, I auditioned for nine drama schools, got through to multiple second and third rounds …
And in the end, GSA offered me a place. So here I am. I feel very lucky to be here, and am loving it so much. And so that’s my journey, this is how I got to Uni of Surrey and GSA.
My aim through these blog posts is to give you an insight into what day to day life at GSA and Uni of Surrey is like, to share my experience with you and hopefully make it all feel a bit less daunting, and a little closer to home – wherever you are across that cold English Channel. I hope to make Uni of Surrey and GSA feel more accessible to you – more of a possibility than a dream.
More specifically, I will be writing about daily life at GSA, the audition process, campus life (accommodation, services etc.), student life, social life at Uni of Surrey, the Ballroom and Latin dance society I’m in (competitions and all). I will also be writing about Guildford and London too, and will share some tips I wish I’d have been given a year ago when I moved here.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more Uni life content 🙂