The Most Amazing Adventure Yet May 14, 2017

By (Saint Louis University) - abroad from 01/09/2017 to 05/10/2017 with

Webster University: Athens - Odyssey in Athens

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was more than worthwhile and I would recommend it to absolutely everyone. The people of Greece are so friendly and welcoming. At the beginning of the program, I traveled around to other countries, but always found myself excited to be going back to Athens. Of course, I loved the other countries that I went to, but there was something about Athens that felt like home to me. This experience abroad taught me to make the best out of every situation that is placed in your life. There is no way to prepare for the unexpected, the good and the bad, but this experience is all about learning how to deal with situations when they come your way. I have definitely become more carefree and easy going because of my time abroad.

Review Photos

Webster University: Athens - Odyssey in Athens Photo Webster University: Athens - Odyssey in Athens Photo Webster University: Athens - Odyssey in Athens Photo

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.

The classes that I took this semester were very easy, making this experience even more enjoyable because I was able to venture off more than I expected. The faculty truly care about their students and make it their top priority to ensure that everyone is having the best experience possible.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Dina Skias, the study abroad coordinator, is one of the most remarkable aspects of this program!!! She truly put her all helping each and every one of us to make sure we were each comfortable and adjusting easily to the Greek culture, in order to gain the most out of our experiences. She did not view us as a group, but rather as individuals. You could tell how much she cared about us. She made the adjustment very smooth and was always my go-to person to talk to, as she was very reliable and just a pure joy to talk to. This program deserves so much recognition for their staff, as they are all caring and genuine people who want you to enjoy your experience. They are one of the aspects that I will miss the most, as I have formed true connections with some of them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Before I speak about the negatives, it should be recognized that the apartments are located in the PERFECT area and could not be improved at all. Besides that, the condition of the apartments definitely need improvement. The apartment was not very comforting, as there was no common-area to just hang out in and there were too many of us living in it for a whole semester. Meanwhile, whenever we had a problem, Tom and Dina were on it immediately to help us out...though this did not happen too often thankfully!

* Food:

You buy your own food, which is an aspect of the program that I enjoyed. The food in Athens is extremely cheap and affordable. We would go to the market and spend under $15 a week there!!!! Dina and Joanna also conducted cooking classes were a highlight of this experience, as I learned how to make traditional Greek dishes that were absolutely delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I completely immersed myself into the Greek culture and am very heartbroken to be leaving it. I became very close to the local students at Webster Athens and gained even more of a cultural experience through them. I would highly recommend befriending the local students, as they will show you around Athens and other parts of Greece from a local point of view.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not need any of the health care during this program (thankfully) but a few of my roommates did get sick and they were helped immediately. Dina acts as your abroad-mom and was there at the apartment right after she would receive a call that someone was sick - with a bag full of medicine and goodies to help aid them back to health!

* Safety:

I was a little worried to come to Greece because of the safety aspect - with the strikes and such that were happening in the area. Once I arrived, I could not have felt more safe. I was not affected by the strikes at all. The apartment and school are located in a very very safe area and even walking home alone at night was safe to me. The neighbors and those surrounding us were very friendly and welcoming, helping me feel even safer.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I would choose this program all over again in a heartbeat and wish I did not have to leave Greece. The people, the atmosphere, the food, the culture...everything exceeded my expectations - which were very high to begin with. I could not have imagined going anywhere else to study abroad and I am ecstatic about my experience. This semester truly changed my outlook on life, in a positive way, and opened my eyes to my surroundings.

Finances

* 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? Food was under $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would recommend coming over with over $2,500 - especially if you are planning on traveling around a lot.

Language

* 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

It was not necessary to learn the language, but I was intrigued by it and chose to take the course. I'm so glad that I did end up going through with taking Greek, as it was fun communicating with people in the language.

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
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? It is not necessary to know any Greek before coming to Greece, as most people in Athens are able to communicate in English. It was very fun to learn the basics during the program though!!!

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
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • Faculty
  • FOOD
  • Immersion into the culture
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
  • Some professors
  • Courses offered
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I would not have been so nervous about going abroad and choosing this program, because it ended up being the most amazing decision that I have made yet.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Scuba Diving

Course Department:
Instructor: Spyros
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Scuba diving challenged me in more ways than I could have imagined. It taught me so much about myself and I am so glad that I took this course. Spyros looks at each student as an individual and truly wants you to achieve. He is an amazing instructor and this course is something I definitely recommend taking. Plus you become a certified scuba diver!!!!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Greek I

Course Department: Foreign Language
Instructor: Joanna Vasiliou
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Joanna is a remarkable professor who made this course fun and entertaining. During this course, she taught us about the Greek culture along with the language. I learned much more than I expected, and she made it very easy. I would highly recommend taking this course, not only to learn the basics of the Greek language, but also because it was the most enjoyable course that I took abroad!!!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Culture and Communication

Course Department: Communications
Instructor: Robert Pefanis
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very easy, but I felt as though I did not learn much.
Credit Transfer Issues: