UWTSD BA Acting student studies in the USA with the help of Taith Funding.


A BA Acting student from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has had the opportunity to travel to the USA  to spend a semester studying at California State University, Fullerton.

Fullerton University College

Celeste Turnbull decided that she wanted to study for a semester at the Department of Theatre and Dance after hearing about the experience from other students at UWTSD. Celeste applied for this opportunity after attending an informational meeting, and after that, she found herself on the phone with her mums telling them that she wanted to go to America.

For Celeste, moving to California has helped her personal development as she has become more independent.

“Stepping into a different culture has been truly eye-opening. It opened my mind to new traditions and activities that I would not have had the opportunity to explore before. From food to sport to cultural celebrations, there are a variety of things that would be of interest to anyone. I have developed a huge amount of respect for people and their interests more so than before, and have enjoyed getting to know the history behind it all.”

Since arriving at Fullerton, Celeste has felt,

“welcomed as part of a wide community that extends further than my major in theatre. I have met a large number of people who have all been accommodating and understanding of me, who have encouraged me to step beyond my comfort zone to see into a bigger world.”

This experience has helped Celeste to understand the difference in culture within the industry between both countries:

“The biggest comparison to UWTSD is the culture. This became more so apparent in my playwriting class as I tried my hand at comedic writing. After submitting the first draft of my play, I learned that what I find to be comedic is different because of my upbringing and the people around me. I grew up watching Gavin & Stacey, where I had most of my inspiration for my play. During the first read-through of my play, the class struggled to understand a lot of the comedy. This taught me that not only is the culture different, but as an actor, I must be more attentive to the setting and location of a play, so that I can encapsulate and portray the culture as accurately and appropriately as possible.”

This journey has enriched Celeste’s studies as she now has a broader experience beyond just acting. She has learnt what it takes to write a play, direct a play, and perform in a play, as well as how these transfer to the camera and to musical theatre.

“ I have developed skills in working with a company and gathered a deeper understanding of what it takes to produce a successful piece of theatre. I have had the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals such as Broadway Director and American Playwright, Luke Yankee, as well as Actor and Director, Mark Ramont. This experience has now opened me up to more opportunities within the acting industry as I have personal connections with industry professionals.”

Fullerton University College

UWTSD BA Acting Programme Manager Lynne Seymour said:

“The partnership with Fullerton in LA has been so valuable to our staff and students and is a wonderful opportunity to build skills and confidence in our students as well as those students from Fullerton who are able to study with us in Carmarthen for a semester.

“Celeste has really embraced the experience and has grown as a performer as well as in personal development. In our weekly check-ins it has been wonderful to hear about her adventures, making new friends and travelling around LA and the surrounding area as well as seeing her academic and practical skills growing and maturing.  I can't wait to welcome her back to campus after Christmas and see her thrive in her new found confidence and outlook.  I am so proud of her and all the students who decided to take the leap and apply for the Study Abroad programme. It is definitely a life-changing experience and our students always return culturally enriched and with a new found thirst for knowledge and adventure!”

UWTSD has established a link with California State University, Fullerton since 2001, but with the help of Taith funding, the university hopes to provide this global mobility opportunity to other students in the future.

Celeste adds:

“What really helped to make this journey possible was Taith. The support offered with additional funding cut the stress of costs early on. I was repeatedly reminded of the support available to me, and the process of applying for funding was mapped out clearly, which also made the process more of an easy and achievable one.  With this support in place, I have been able to explore California during my free time, which is something I would not have been able to do as much before.”

Kath GriffithsUWTSD's International Regional Manager (North America and Outward Mobility) said:

“It's important to note that the benefits of studying abroad can vary depending on the destination, programme, and individual goals. Before deciding to study abroad, it's essential to research and plan carefully, taking into consideration academic and career objectives, financial considerations, and personal interests.  

“We’ve been delighted to exchange with the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). It is a well-known and respected institution that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in theatre and dance. CSUF is located in Fullerton, California, and the Department of Theatre and Dance is a part of the College of the Arts at the university.”

Hannah Clayton, UWTSD’s International Mobility Officer said:

“The opportunity to study for a semester at California State University, Fullerton is incredibly valuable for the BA Acting students of UWTSD. It offers the chance for the students to gain the true ‘American University’ experience whilst furthering their acting skills alongside a new cohort of students, deepening their understanding of other cultures, and gaining essential life experience.

“UWTSD supports its students throughout the entire process of their semester abroad to Cal State Fullerton, which includes providing them with funding through the Welsh Government's international learning funding scheme – Taith. The funding will not cover all costs, but really helps to supplement students’ personal savings, loans, and other financial sources to go abroad.”

As Celeste enjoys her time at Fullerton, she’s looking forward to coming back to UWTSD and to reflect on what she has learned.

“What I will be taking back with me to UWTSD are my collaboration and enhanced productivity skills. I know the importance and therefore the benefits of finding motivation and getting work done in time. I will also value my free time more, and dedicate it to revisiting some of my favourite places in the UK.”

For more information regarding Go Global opportunities, visit: Go Global with UWTSD | University of Wales Trinity Saint David or email  goglobal@uwtsd.ac.uk



Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476