Athens: We Made the Trip Great Past Review

By (Business Administration and Psychology, SUNY - College at Geneseo) for

SUNY Geneseo: Athens - Humanities Course

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The trip motivated me to want to do a lot more traveling and see more of the world. The trip was definitely worthwhile, but that was because the other students and I took the initiative to plan things and make it that way. It helped me realize that there are things going on around the world that can affect us and that we need to be culturally aware in this increasingly global society we live in.

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.

I enjoyed Professor Drake and learned a lot from him, but I felt that the courseload was overwhelming at times. The exams we took while abroad were very difficult, and the amount of studying that we needed to do prevented us from experiencing Greece to the best of our abilities. I would rather have spent time doing things I'll never have the chance to again than studying for tests.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were given a terrible living situation and the things we were promised before the trip were not given to us. While the location of our apartment was convenient and close to the school, it was disgusting. We did not have air conditioning, we experienced multiple insect problems including ant infestations and gnats, our stove broke down several times, our wireless internet connection was very poor, it was extremely ditry when we arrived, we did not have sufficient hot water for everyone to take 5-minute showers, and we had to complain multiple times to get anything fixed. It took weeks for us to be given fans and insect sprays. Whenever we reported anything that wasn't working, we were rudely blamed for causing the problem when that was not the case at all. It got to the point where we stopped complaining because we were met with rude comments and nothing would get accomplished.

* Food:

We ate at a small restaurant's buffet of extremely greasy and unappealing food that was exactly the same every day. We all had open minds and tried everything, but the food was very bad, always cold, and always the same.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went on weekend trips and were able to go to seven of the Greek islands. We planned them all on our own through a travel agent. Our program allowed us to visit many museums and historical sites which we really enjoyed, like the ancient Athenian agora and ancient Olympia.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

We did not have any problems with healthcare. Any unsafe feelings were caused by the frequent strikes and demonstrations done by Athenians and an attempted robbing of one of my classmates by a local.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $200 per week on food and souvenirs, around $300 per week on trips.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? On the weekends we planned individual trips that each were about $250-$300. They weren't mandatory, but they were great experiences and were well worth the money for us. It is very possible to live very cheaply in Athens, but you will miss out on experiences. My advice is to bring plenty of money to make the trip as worthwhile as possible and do as much as you can.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It was an amazing trip, but don't go alone. The people I traveled with made it much more enjoyable that it would have been. Make every effort to stay positive when things go wrong or you're expectations aren't met because it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Take advantage of every opportunity (go bungee jumping in the Corinth Canal!)

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Humanities 1: Western Civilization

Course Department: HUMN 220
Instructor: Dr. Drake
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues: The course was very interesting and Greece was an amazing place to take it in. There was a lot of reading however and the exams were quite difficult.