The Study Abroad Experience That Changed the Trajectory of my Life Past Review

By (Creative Writing, Chapman University) - abroad from 03/01/2013 to 06/01/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Greece

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Study abroad through Athena and with HISA was the best thing I could have done for myself. I gained an understanding of another culture and discovered a passion for meaningful travel that I will pursue for the rest of my life. I learned so much about the world, life, and myself.

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.

The classes I took at HISA challenged me both academically and creatively. I grew as a student immensely.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration and faculty of HISA are outstanding. Everyone is extremely personable, going above and beyond to help you achieve all of your study abroad goals.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartments are beautiful, spacious, and clean; however it is a bit of a trek to get into town & to school.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

It is possible to live on Paros on a budget; however, as a student who wanted to experience as much as possible in a limited amount of time, I spent a decent amount of money going out and socializing.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $125
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Saving money is definitely do-able if you're willing to grocery shop/cook all of your meals at home.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Take advantage of the language courses offered! And practice with your local friends!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • classes
  • local culture/lifestyle
  • inspiration provided by faculty
* What could be improved?
  • location of housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how possible it was to learn the language while being abroad. I wasn't focused on it during the program and now wish that I would have made more of an effort.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'