Studying in Athens: The Best 3 Months of my Life! Past Review

By (Public Relations, University of Oregon) for

GEO: Athens - Study Abroad Programs Athens

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely! I gained an appreciation for other cultures that I didn't even realize I was missing. Connecting and befriending people from other cultures was extremely rewarding, and I can say that I miss my life in Athens every single day!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Workload and grading system are tough, but worthwhile. I felt as though I got a solid education while abroad, and was exposed to both cultural and historical information that I would never have experienced otherwise. I believe that a common misconception among students is that courses in study abroad programs are easy; I can tell you, based on my experience, that this was not the case with the Athens AHA International program. Classes run 5 days a week, and generally last 2-3 hours. A student would, on average, be in class between 5-7 hours per day.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Great location; not in the middle of the city, but a walkable distance from the city center. The apartments were located in a part of the city that felt very small, intimate and authentic, but we were able to easily access the bustling city by taking a 5 minute bus ride, or walking 20 minutes to the city center. The program provided extensive excursions, and we were able to explore what seemed like every corner of the country. I highly reccommend this program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Program did not provide food on a daily basis, but when the program did provide our meals, they were sure to include vegetarian options and many selections which catered to various tastes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The trip to Crete was incredible! Also our first excursion to the Acropolis/Parthenon really got us all geared up for our first week in the country. (It is HOT in September though--FYI!)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safe, but be aware of cultural situations. Riots are frequent, and especially right now, anarchists are active. If you are warned by the faculty or local friends not to venture out into the city, heed their warnings. Anarchists are not friendly towards Americans, and they may get verbal, though likely not violent.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I was able to practice language with my peers (fellow students), the faculty at our school, our teachers, and the locals. Most locals spoke some English, but much preferred communication in Greek. Locals were thrilled when we attempted to speak in Greek.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Everything!
* What could be improved?
  • More relevant elective courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I challenge you to live on a budget! I am not frugal by any means, but I had the opportunity to befriend someone who was. Traveling with her ensured that, in trying to save money, we had some CRAZY adventures! Gyros are super cheap meal options..I probably ate 2 per day. Definitely eat local food. We befriended the locals, took their advice on travel options, meals and entertainment. Traveling cheaply can assure that you will have some memorable stories. Check out couch-surfing and traveling by bus, ferry or train. Don't take cabs if you can avoid it! If you are someone who loves adventure, I recommend the Athens program.