The experience of a lifetime March 22, 2020

By (SUNY - College at Geneseo) - abroad from 01/12/2020 to 05/08/2020 with

Webster University: Athens - Odyssey in Athens

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be self sufficient. How to embrace a new culture and encounter change. How to live a new way of life and love it.

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.

Professors were extremely knowledgeable and always eager to help their students any way they could.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Always extremely eager to help and some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. Dina, the study abroad program coordinator, was the one of the nicest and best possible person to have that job.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment itself was amazing and the location itself was even better.

* Food:

You could not go wrong with any meal in Athens. Pick any place and you will be happy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By the end of my time in Athens I felt that I was fitting in as a local. Greek is a harder language to learn but it was fairly easy picking it up while there. Locals are always eager to help you in English but Greek is the primary language spoken and within the first few days there you will begin learning new words.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health care extremely accessible and Dina, the program leader, was always available to help you make an appointment for the care you needed.

* Safety:

I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe walking down the streets of Athens. All i could advise is the same for any place, just be careful and aware.

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

You could never replace the people, culture, or area with any other program. I’m positive that there are other so many other amazing places in the world, but Greece had with aura that was irreplaceable. It was everything I hoped for.

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)

My friends and I were living on a 20$ a day standard. Many days we didn’t spend 20$ but then we justified the days when we wanted to go out and spend a little more money shopping or on transportation. Most things in Greece were either inexpensive or incredibly reasonable no matter what.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Food was only 25-30 euro a week at the most. Dinner maybe 8-12 euro at most. Coffee around 3 euro. Drinks around 8 euro. Everything very reasonable.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the fresh fruit and vegetable market. There you can buy a weeks worth of produce for less than 10 euro. Also, walking outside of the more touristy areas will save you money on most everything (from food to clothing).

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

The always encouraged us to embrace the language and utilized Greek phrases while they would talk to us in English so we could become acquainted with them.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300 level French
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? Just jump right into it. Greeks love when you try and speak Greek to them and they respect you for it. Even if you are wrong they will teach teach you the right and encourage you to continue. You can see the smile grow on their face when you try for them. Don’t be afraid embrace it and that will be the best way to learn

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?
  • The culture/people
  • The location
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • I really can’t think of anything
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To go do and see everything that you can when you think of it because it the most precious of time and before you know it you will have to go. Also locals wear a lot of black and darker colors if you want to blend in immediately definitely bring some clothing items like that. Also embrace the language immediately.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.