Monday 26 January 2015

Celebrities who studied abroad


Texan native Matthew McConaughey spent a year on an exchange programme in Australia as a teenager. 'I always had a wanderlust for travelling and I wanted to take a year off to go take an adventure, and it was,' he has said of the experience
Penelope Cruz left her native Spain to spend several years studying theatre at Cristina Rota's New York school
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem spent two years in India as a Chester Bowles Asian Fellow. During this period she wrote her first book, A Thousand Indias
Vanessa Redgrave's daughter Joely Richardson was born in London but at the age of 12 was enrolled at a boarding school in Florida on (believe it or not) a tennis scholarship
British actress Kristin Scott Thomas's love affair with France began when she moved to Paris in her late teens to work as an au pair. She studied acting at the Ecole nationale superieure des arts et techniques du theatre, and has lived in the country ever since.
Another celebrity with a soft spot for France, Tim Rice, arguably the world's most famous living lyricist, spent a year at university in Paris
Years before she dreamt up Harry Potter, JK Rowling spent a period studying in France as part of her degree in French and Classics at Exeter University. Here she is being awarded the Legion d'Honneur by Sarkozy
It's no surprise that adventurer Ben Fogle has studied abroad, splitting his university years between the University of Portsmouth and the University of Costa Rica, where he took Latin American Studies
American actress Gywneth Paltrow is famous for having made London her home, but when she was 15 she spent a year as an exchange student in Spain. She believes the experience 'changed her life', and has said she regards Spain as a 'second home'
Bill Clinton famously 'did not inhale' while on a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in the 1960s.
Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, star of The Motorcycle Diaries, learned to tread the boards at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He was the first Mexican to ever win a place there
Hangover actor Bradley Cooper spent six months studing French in Aix-en-Provence as a student, and is supposedly fluent. 'When I was a kid, I remember watching Chariots of Fire. And French is the official language of the Olympics,' he remembers. 'So there's a scene where a guy was speaking French and I thought, 'Man, that sounds so cool. I want to learn French'
South African activist and retired clergyman Desmond Tutu earned his Bachelor and Master's degree at King's College London in the 1960s. He says that studying there 'opened up a whole new world to me'
Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, spent a year studying art history in the University of Seville, Spain. Sadly, he can't have very fond memories of it: Seville received a serious drubbing in his book Digital Fortress, prompting the city to politely invite him to return and 'revise his opinion'
The fashion designer Vera Wang was brought up in New York, but spent a period taking art history and language courses at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. According to a biography by Katherine Krohn, 'the architecture, fashion, and design of Paris inspired her, and reawakened her lifelong love of art'

All photos: Getty Images

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