POS E LENNE Past Review

By (HISTORY., University of Northern Iowa) - abroad from 06/08/2013 to 06/29/2013 with

University of Northern Iowa: Capstone in Greece

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Aside from the actual class, I learned a ton about international/European culture, and it was very worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program itself was very well constructed. Sites we visited followed a chronological timeline which was reflected in the lectures we had. Expectations were very clear, I was fully aware of where I stood in the course the entire duration.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Study Abroad Office was less than satisfactory. On multiple occasions they merely acted as a hindrance to my classmates and I's preparation for our trip. Greg and Isabella (our instructors) were not allowed to aid us or interact with us prior to landing in Greece. They did host a preparatory class for the trip, but this was on their own accord, not through the Study Abroad program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

On the whole the places we stayed were great! some were extremely nice (our hotel in Olympia in particular), whereas some were of lesser quality, but none of our hotels were in any way dangerous or unsanitary (for the most part).

* Food:

The local food was great! the hotel food was not so great. At times it was repetitive, over seasoned, or over cooked. I would probably have preferred to not have had that included in the cost and merely found a place in town to eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Most of the places we went were dominated by tourists, but nevertheless I got very accustomed to a lot of Greek public life, such as the heckling, bartering, and dealing with gypsies.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I suffered from second degree burns on my trip, and my instructors did more than enough to aid me in my recovery process, and all of the healthcare was subsidized, so aside from the purchase of the pharmaceuticals (pain killers and bandages), everything was free, which was invaluable to me to be able to afford the care i required. No vaccine issues occured.

* Safety:

most of the places we went were very safe, aside from a small risk of pickpockets. Any potentially dangerous areas we might have wandered into we were warned about much in advance by our instructors.

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)

Much of the cost was from the travel company, which was severely over-priced. Another student saved about $800 on the plane tickets alone, simply by ordering the tickets himself getting to and from the country. $800 is a lot of money, especially for students living paycheck to paycheck. as far as the course is concerned, I felt that we paid moderately more than we needed to as well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $150 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go through the travel agency for tickets. that will save you a huge chunk of money. Also for lunch gyro/souvlaki places are your best best for delicious, fast, and cheap meals that will fill you up.


* 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

They were very active in teaching us prior to departure, and many basic phrases (thank you, please, excuse me, etc.) were ingrained into our daily interactions.

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Review what Greg and Isabella give you and you'll be more than fine.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • My fellow students
  • The locations
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • The pre-depature preparation
  • The cost
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? WEAR MORE SUNSCREEN

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Greece Capstone

Course Department: History/Study Abroad
Instructor: Gregory Bruess and Isabella Varela
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Both instructors were very well prepared. Greg covered the lecture section of the course, covering the social, political, economic, and cultural events that occurred throughout Greece's long history and the ramifications of these events in modern times. Isabella covered the physical history, acting as our tour guide to the myriad archaeological sites we visited throughout the 3 month period.
Credit Transfer Issues: no