Every Day I Wish I Could Go Back November 01, 2017

By (Webster University) - abroad from 08/19/2016 to 12/12/2016 with

Webster University: Athens - Odyssey in Athens

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There is nothing like being on a 4 month long vacation! Virtually no responsibilities, minimal worries, just constantly trying new things, meeting new people and living life to its fullest every day. I have tried to emulate that same mentality while back in the States. Continue exploring - never settle and don't forget what you're capable of. "If you always do what you can do, you'll never be better than you are now" -Master Shifu, Kung Fu Panda 3

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.

I was grateful that the classes were more flexible and less demanding than I am used to, to allow for free time and exploration!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Every staff member/person that I met at Webster Athens was absolutely incredible! They are all so accommodating and Dina really went the extra mile to make sure that everyone felt safe and comfortable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were only disappointed with the wifi issues! The connection wasn't strong enough to hold for 8 people and their devices.

* Food:

EAT EVERYTHING! I was nervous going to Athens as a vegetarian but there is always something incredible to try! Had no issues :D I loved the cooking classes, and always crave some spanakopita from Greggory's!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was difficult living with all American students and attempting to use/practice the language. I tried to make friends with as many other students as possible and embrace the Greek culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never went to the doctor, but Dina made sure that we were cared for and attended to anything that we needed or were unsure about.

* Safety:

I felt more safe as a young woman in Athens than I do in American cities. However things can happen anywhere and at any time so always be aware of your surroundings and beware for pick-pocketers!

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

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)

I budgeted 50 euro a week, dipping over and under depending on what we did that week!

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Work as much as possible, save as much as possible and indulge! I didn't have any financial help from my parents and was able to save $3,000

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

I could have taken more of an initiative to practice the language but I would have liked if the language course was more intensive.

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? Download DuoLingo/Rosetta Stone or just learning the alphabet before coming would help. I picked up the essentials very quickly though. Some people got around without using Greek at all, just depends on what you're interested in and what your goals are.

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
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?
  • People that I met
  • Excursions with the classes
  • Free time to explore
* What could be improved?
  • Wifi Connection
  • Size of Classes/ Diversity
  • Length of time on excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Your attitude makes the experience, if it is your priority you will have an amazing time. You are more than capable of doing this study abroad experience AND YOU SHOULD!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'