As I sit in the Atlanta airport after being on a 12 hour flight from Athens, I have had a chance to reflect on the past three weeks. I realize that these past three weeks have been the most exciting, life-changing, and overall positive weeks of my life. I experienced new culture, met amazing people from UA, and visited one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I wanted to reflect on each of these aspects in hopes that whoever reads this will see it and understand just how life-altering studying abroad can be.
To start, I wanna talk about experiencing a new culture. Being in Greece for three weeks and traveling across the country allowed me to experience different aspects of Greek culture. I got to city what city life was like in Athens and Thessaloniki. I saw beach life in Nafplio and Pefkochori. Lastly, I saw small town life in Delphi, Kalambaka, and Litochoro. Each of these cities were unique and offered an experience that showed me a different part of Greek culture. Further, being in each of these cities has made me appreciate what we have right here in the US. I began to notice similarities is my hometown and Greek towns as well as just how different they were. In the end, seeing these cities and experiencing the unique culture they have to offer allowed me to get the full Greek experience and develop a newfound appreciation for what the US has.
The second thing I want to talk about is the other students that went on the trip. These people are the ones that made the trip as fun as it was. From our late night hangouts to the nightly dinners, all of us developed a strong connection that I genuinely think will last back at home. After this experience, I fully believe that the people have just as much if not a larger impact on your program as the content and location itself. I couldn’t have imagined a better group to hike across Greece with.
The final thing I want to reflect on is just how beautiful Greece is. For context, I have been to several different tropical countries as well as mountainous US states. However, in my opinion, none of them come close to Greece. It has some of the most beautiful and vivid sunsets I have ever seen. The landscape itself is a combination of mountains, beaches, and flat land. Driving through the country truly gave me the full Greek view experience. Now that I am back in the states, I am still stunned at some of the amazing sights and scenes that i saw in Greece. While pictures don’t do them justice, I want to show off just a few of the best ones I was able to capture.
Ultimately, as I reflect on the experience, I feel grateful for the opportunity and excited to see how this experience will impact my life. I know that an experience like this is once in a lifetime for many (me included) but I can absolutely swear that it is worth every single dollar, stressful moment, and long flight associated with it. In the end, this experience will be one that will walkways stay with me, no matter what happens.