food, big cities & little towns, mountains, ancient blended with modern, friends Past Review

By (MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES., University of Northern Iowa) - abroad from 06/08/2013 to 06/30/2013 with

University of Northern Iowa: Capstone in Greece

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a comfort with being in a completely unfamiliar place. My interest in and understanding of Ancient Greek history and modern Greek issues has increased in many ways and only just begun in other ways. It was worthwhile because this experience has permanently made Greek history and culture a personal part of my life experiences, something I'll always be thankful for.

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.

The instructors did an excellent job of giving us breaks in between our 2 maximum lessons each day. Our exam days involved only an exam. We were free to explore the cities with at least one other person. It was much easier to focus on e lesson content while standing in the location of the place or object being discussed. The instructors were friendly and helpful, both as instructors and as tour guides. Because I was staying in Greece after this trip I found he course an especially helpful primer for my experience alone in Greece. So far, I have enjoyed acting as a tour guide for my wife and for strangers we have met during our time here.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Rooms were always air conditioned, we were always served two excellent meals (often 4 or 5 courses). Staff at our hotels were very accommodating. A couple hotels even had pools.

* Food:

Amazing. I learned that I love souvlaki, spanaki, gyros, saganaki, feta, Greek salads, and even Greek frappes, cappuccinos & coffees. The food here is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

With our Greek guide/instructor and her Greek speaking husband, we never failed to participate respectfully in the cultural norms where we were.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Wonderfully. One student insisted on going out without sunblock and got blisters from his sunburn, but the instructors were quick to seek medical attention and to get him the treatment necessary to minimize his discomfort and prevent infections.

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 40€ if you include souvenirs & gifts for family
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat lunch, they feed you enough for breakfast & dinner. Don't buy gifts the first time you see them. Say no to an item the first time you see it and wait for someone to offer a bargain price. For instance, I once had a taxi driver cut his price in half when I told him no.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Fun people
  • Good food
  • Firsthand exposure to ancient historical sites and artifacts
* What could be improved?
  • Preparation for each new experience
  • Discussion of experiences after they happen
  • More emphasis on what information is most beneficial to focus on and what is just background knowledge
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I know that it is cheap to stay in Greece and how to arrange hostels, car rentals and such to get around affordably. If I'd known this before my trip, I might have budgeted more effectively for my adventures after the completion of the course.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!