Words cannot describe how much of an amazing time I am having on my trip. I am so lucky to have gone on a UA faculty led trip with a good size group of students. There are about 30 of us, which is a great size because we can all really get to know one another. So far this trip has exceeded my expectations greatly. Dr. Lopez, who is our professor, has planned so many great trips for us so far. We got to go on a catamaran on the Aegean Sea and got to go to the Delphi Ruins, all in Greece. My friends and I on one of our free days also planned our own trip to Santorini which was amazing.
As fun and exciting as it has been so far, there have been some challenges and culture shock that we have faced. It took a lot for me to get used to the fact that Greece does not flush its toilet paper, instead they throw it away in the trash because their plumbing system is different than ours. I was also very shocked to see the hundreds of stray cats roaming the streets of Athens. For the most part, all of the cats were very friendly. We also lucked out that many people there spoke English and many Greek Menus were also translated to English for us. A problem that faced us was navigating public transportation. It took us a couple of times to figure out the routes and stations in and around Athens. It was well worth it though because it offered us the opportunity to explore the area beyond the city of Athens. I also found out that Americans tend to talk extremely fast, this was difficult for the local people of Greece who knew English, but not super well. I found that they kept on asking us to slow down as we spoke. I also noticed that in Greece, they let you take your time while you eat, they are not rushing you to get out of the restaurant. While in America, they want you in and out as quick as they can. Everything seems to be more relaxed and slowed down in Europe compared to the United States.
When we first arrived in Greece we had our three days of class which were super informative in learning all about IFRS and the issues and benefits that come along with it. For the class I had to deliver two 45 minute long presentations on articles assigned to us. It was super fun getting to work in a group with three other people because it gave me the chance to make new friends.
Overall, this trip has been amazing and we are now finishing up our time in Paris. Although I am sad to leave Europe and to leave all of my new friends, a small part of me is very excited to go back home to the States… I miss my iced coffee!