I discovered my first week recap never made it out of my drafts. The following is from my first week abroad:

As my stay in Athens, Greece and the first half of my study abroad class come to a close, I can confidently say it will be one that I will always look back on fondly. I was not sure how much I would enjoy being out of the country for the first time, but I ended up loving it beyond my expectations. A tiring first day fighting jet lag faded into an awesome seven days. 

My presentation group completed and gave both of our presentations, tying for 3rd place in the class. We discussed the differences and pros and cons between the international and United States accounting standards. Then, my classmates and I ventured out into the world. We explored the streets of Athens, where it seemed like small shops and restaurants decorated every turn. We climbed the Acropolis, went to Acropolis Museum, waded in the Aegean Sea, hiked to the Delphi Ruins, ate delicious gelato, and even played pick-up basketball with some locals. 

However, I think the little things are what I enjoyed the most from the first half of my study abroad trip. I knew virtually none of my 30 classmates prior to this course, and now I have had a blast exploring Greece with them for a week. The views in Athens were stunning. I had no idea it was so mountainous! On top of a hill and viewing the rest of the city and mountains miles away, I felt like I could sit there and look at it all day. The food was strange to me at first, but I grew to really like it. I had some outstanding gyros and really good souvlaki (seasoned pork or chicken on a skewer). The weather was perfect nearly the entire trip too! Sunny and not too hot or cold made you forget that weather even existed on some days. Most of the dining areas are “tavernas” where the majority of the seating is outside. Enjoying a gyro while sitting in the sunshine with friends is a pretty great combination. 

Last but certainly not least, I really enjoyed interacting with the locals. It was fascinating to be immersed in another culture. They were very friendly, and they would always smile when I tried to work in an “efcharisto” (thank you) or “kalispera” (good afternoon) into the conversation. For most of my classmates and me, this was our first time in Greece, so getting to discover everything together helped us grow closer. Even the not so good moments, like getting sunburned/windburn, were not so bad because I got to do it all alongside some great friends. I’m almost sad to see my time in Athens come to an end. 

Paris is going to have a tough act to follow.