Greece is everything I thought it would be and more! Past Review

By (Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication., Syracuse University) - abroad from 09/21/2012 to 12/21/2012 with

Webster University: Athens - Odyssey in Athens

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I saw all the sites and learned all the history exactly like I wanted but I also found something I didn't know I was looking for, lifelong friends. The UINDY Athens campus is a school for international students, many students are the children of diplomats, and there are few who were born in Greece. When I was there the Odyssey program was smaller than usual (6 compared to 30+) but the small size was a welcome change to the 16,000 students at SU. I got a lot closer with the local students than I would have in a bigger program and our group integrated really well with them. We (the Americans) didn't just hang out with each other and we learned more about living in Greece and other cultures around the world because of it. It was one of the best semesters I have ever had and I have never been sadder to leave school in my entire life. I encourage anyone thinking about this program to go. Greece is beautiful and so are the people.

Review Photos

University of Indianapolis: Athens - Odyssey in Athens Photo University of Indianapolis: Athens - Odyssey in Athens Photo University of Indianapolis: Athens - Odyssey in Athens Photo University of Indianapolis: Athens - Odyssey in Athens Photo University of Indianapolis: Athens - Odyssey in Athens 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.

The classes were very informative and the teachers were laid-back which made it really easy to travel and explore Greece. The computer lab and library are open pretty late because the school is mostly for commuter students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Admin offices were right across the street from my apartment and the doors are always open for anything you need.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Having lived in off-campus student housing before, I know how crappy it can be but my apartment was great! It was a huge balcony and heaters in each bedroom. The kitchen was a bit small but it had two refrigerators which was nice since there were 5 of us. There were also two bathrooms and a laundry/shower room. Greece doesn't have driers though so be prepared for that. The apartment had wifi but with everyone logged on at the same time sometimes it was slow/kicked me off. The best part was the location, two doors down from the school building. It took less than five minutes to get to class. <3

* Food:

The food in Greece is amazing and just down the street from the school/apartment is a bakery (where I got breakfast everyday). There are places you can get American food if you want it but I usually ate gyros, Greek potatoes and something called a floyera which was like the freshly made version of a hot pocket.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Athens is very Westernized. They go clubbing (but don't really dance). They have a Mall. They dress up to go out. To get more of feel of the traditional Greek culture you need to get out of the city. On the islands and in the outer Peloponnese you see more of the local culture but pretty much everyone speaks English so you're never too far from something familiar.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health care in Greece is free. For everyone unless you get a private doctor, which the program will call in if you need it but there are pharmacies everywhere where you can find anything you need. Pharmacies in Greece are not like the pharmacies in the US, you don't need a prescription or insurance to buy anything.

* Safety:

Greece in general is very safe. The people are not violent but with the influx of illegal immigrants and the political turmoil in Parliament, attacks on immigrants, and people perceived as immigrants, are rising. The riots you see in the news where there are fights with police and fire bombs are dramatized to appear worse than they are. A small group of young people attack the police and the police retaliate with tear gas but this didn't affect me or the other students in the program. As long as you don't go to the protests or unfamiliar parts of the city late at night you will be perfectly safe.

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)

I had a really tight budget so I couldn't travel around Europe like the rest of the group but with food, local travel and all other expenses I managed to spend between 100-200€

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100€
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pull out several hundred at a time from the ATMs. The conversion/ATM fees will cut into your budget if you're not careful.


* 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

The program gave us some basic words in Greek to use and I took the Greek Language course but because most Greeks speak English it was not necessary to speak Greek.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Modern Greek Language
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? Knowing another foreign language, Spanish, helped me a lot in picking up the grammar rules of Greek.

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

  • 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?
  • Small Size
  • Excursions
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Greece is safer than it looks. "Protests are the national pastime of Greece," they are nothing to worry about unless the public transportation staff strike then you have trouble travelling.