When Lydia Bernard found out about the Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA) at Otago, she thought it was a great opportunity to build on what she loved doing at school.
Lydia has been involved in performance and dance from early on, taking classical vocal training from the age of seven and doing tap-dance, ballet, jazz dance and aerobics. Being involved in stage challenge and drama was what she most enjoyed doing at school.
"The BPA is the perfect course, it's a mix of the practical and the theoretical. You get the opportunity to perform, and you're also part of the university, learning and studying academically. There’s not really anywhere else in New Zealand where this kind of course is offered.
"I was terrified, scared about leaving school for uni and about not making friends. With the BPA I’m part of a close-knit community of students and staff. You have to get to know people in order to perform with them, and I now have a whole lot of friends.
“The papers in first year all complement each other very well, for example, what I learned in my dance paper is helping me with my voice and movement paper. This year I have learned more about myself than I ever have before. I’ve learned about performance, and about how I can better express myself in music, theatre and dance.
“This is the perfect course. Everything I loved about school is here, and I have friends with the same interests and helpful, friendly lecturers. It’s hard going, but it doesn’t feel like work, it’s what I want to do.”