Cypriot mindset: Do it Tomorrow Past Review

By (Biokinetics, Bethel University) - abroad from 09/11/2015 to 12/15/2015 with

University of Nicosia - Global Semesters: Nicosia - Semester in Cyprus

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was worthwhile, don't get me wrong, it is just that my mindset was different from many Cypriots, so it was hard to fit in. I gained a broader perspective, but most importantly, I gained gratefulness. I can't even believe how good we have it in the United States. Especially after we had visited Greece and seen all the effects of poverty, was I able to appreciate all that God has/had given me back home.

Review Photos

University of Nicosia - Global Semesters: Nicosia - Semester in Cyprus Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Other than Organic Chemistry, the classes were largely at a high school level. The ways I grew in Cyprus definitely did not include educational. Expectations were largely unknown and minimal. Granted, this made traveling more relaxing with less to worry about, but overall, I did not feel like the courses set us up for future success.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Sakis and Laura were out of this world. They were intentional and relational and always available. I came to Laura on more than one occasion, even if it didn't directly involve school. I couldn't have asked for two better administrators.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartments we were in were very nice. I was informed, through the grape vine, by local students that we were paying far more than they were worth, but regardless, we had everything we needed. We had a great living space with a washing machine right in our kitchen, as well as a stove and oven. Compared to the other two apartment complexes, ours was definitely the best.

* Food:

Though intimidating the first time one walks into Carrefour (because it was all in Greek), the food was awesome. I'm a big fan of Chicken Souvlaki now and everything that we needed was accessible. Produce was extremely low-priced, and that made eating healthy very easy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made a couple of Cypriot friends, but largely felt like a foreigner, outside of a local Crossfit gym. (I recommend Engomi Crossfit Factory for anyone who is looking to stay in shape, while here, as both the community and facility are awesome). I suppose, much of this lack of integration was my fault, because I liked to stay with what was familiar. Don't get me wrong, the people were largely very friendly, but how some of my African-American and women friends felt, didn't sit the best with me.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any major health concerns while over in Cyprus. The only 'scare' I had was a potential staph infection while in a local gym. The only thing is I wish that facilities would have more adequate first aid kits. Neither of the facilities had any kind of sufficient ointment for injuries. Nothing major though.

* Safety:

Obviously, as a study-abroad student, you're not going to feel like "you're in Kansas anymore." There's an element of being on your own in a new country, that is a bit unnerving. That being said, I never felt incredibly unsafe. Stay in groups in populated areas and let your roommates know where you will be at. The party scene in Ayia Napa is one instance where I'm really glad that I had some friends with. Just be smart.

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)

2: There should probably be an asterisk next to mine, because I eat like an animal, but, if one wants to live frugally in Cyprus, it is definitely doable. I never drank or anything so my expenses were limited that way, but as I said, produce was cheap, almost everything is within walking distance, people help one another out, etc. The hardest part was when we traveled. Everyone wants souvenirs and certain countries are fairly expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 100 euros on low-key weeks; gym memberships, eating out, and souvenirs is what got me
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget. Set some standards. At the beginning of my time there, I was eating out quite a bit. Then I decided that I wouldn't eat out more than twice a week, I would learn how to cook, etc.


* 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

People spoke Greek, but they also spoke English. We were taught some basic Greek words when we got there, but they weren't really necessary.

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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 3 years of Spanish (102)
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you really want to learn the Greek language, it's going to be on you. Everyone speaks English and people will know you're American and start speaking to you in English. You would have to be very intentional with learning: surround yourself with fluent Greek speakers, take the course, etc.

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Crossfit Engomi
  • New American connections/friends
  • Personal growth
* What could be improved?
  • Educational expectations
  • Communication
  • Housing prices
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I hadn't jumped into this program and would've studied it more beforehand. I am definitely grateful for all that God has taught me during my time abroad and am ready to incorporate those lessons into my daily life.