When I reflect back upon my time in Greece, I truly see it as one of the most vivid, mind opening and purely rich experiences of my life. I had initially chosen to apply to this specific study abroad program due to the fact that I had never actually been outside of the United States before, but I had learned a lot about Greek mythology and art throughout elementary school.
When I saw that Maryville College was going to have a faculty led, study abroad class that would allow me to not only travel but also receive credit and learn about the art and culture of the country, I was very intrigued and knew that it was something I had to apply for.
As I applied, I was very worried about the financial component of the trip, but the International House was very generous in providing me with a scholarship and educating me on the other ways I could fund my abroad trip. This was super helpful because cost did not become a deterring factor. The only thing I had to worry about was how to handle my excitement for all of the amazing things on the trip itinerary!
As I prepared for the trip, I became more and more interested in learning about the social and political situations of Greece, as it relates to my major in Political Science. I wanted to see what daily life was like there, including the economic, political and social factors that were unique to that nation.
I hoped that I would be able to finally see the place I had been imagining in my head all of those ancient Greece was discussed in history class! I was able to accomplish all of these things and so much more.
My most memorable experience was making amazing friends throughout the trip and sharing incredibly memorable laughs with them and the faculty. We all became one big family, which really helped the trip become even better.
My favorite places that we went to include the island of Crete and the Parthenon in Athens. In Crete, we toured an olive oil farm and learned about the methods of cultivation that farmers have used in that region for centuries. We also took a cooking class there, which was super yummy and full of lots of laughs as we learned how to make traditional Tzatziki sauce.
The Parthenon was a very interesting place. We were able to see the temple that the people of Athens would come to as a place of worship. It felt incredibly awakening and spiritual to be in such an important and famous place with a group of students who felt the same way about the experience as I did.
We also had amazing local tour guides throughout the trip who allowed us to ask many questions about a wide range of topics — really anything that came to our minds! I learned so much about the political and economic structure of the country and what daily life is like for those who live there.
It was an experience that was incredibly fun and life changing, yet it was relevant to my academic career. I would argue that one of the most influential and important things to do while at Maryville College would be to embark on some form of study abroad, such as this one, because you will truly be surprised at just how much you will learn and grow.