Studying abroad is the best thing I have ever done in my life. I got on a plane for the very first time back in May, and it was to travel to another country– who would have thought! Greece was a fantastic option to choose for studying abroad. This location and school were perfect for me.
I attended Deree- the American College of Greece located in Agia Paraskevi, Greece. Deree is an amazing college with very personable professors; both of my professors were so kind and willing to help if I needed it. Being able to live in a very local area was one aspect of my study abroad that I enjoyed the most. I was able to see just what typical life in Greece was like. One of my favorite places in Agia Paraskevi was Erurido, a coffee shop with the best vanilla latte! Big Spoon was another favorite. It is a restaurant where I would go to do a lot of my homework and enjoy some great food; they had the best breakfast burrito!
The Greek islands are a big attraction to Greece, so I took advantage of my time there and visited seven different islands. I visited Aegina, Agistri, Hydra, Spetses, Naxos, Paros, and Santorini. I took some day trips and some overnight trips to these islands. We took ferries to get to and from the islands; this was a fun new experience for me!
Public transportation was also new to me. Using public transportation to go everywhere was something I had to learn and ended up enjoying it. We often had to wake up at 5 AM just to get somewhere by 8 AM because that is how public transportation works, but I was in Greece, so it was worth it!
AIFS was the program provider that I used to make my trip happen. I think that using a program provider was a much better option than going solo and doing everything on my own. They were super helpful and were able to assist me in multiple ways. For example, while I was abroad, I needed to go to the doctor; AIFS helped me get reimbursed for all my appointments and medicine fees.
The best part of going through a provider was having a program director in person in Greece with us! Her name is Alice– she was very nice and always ready to help! She took our group of students out several times to different places. She took us out to eat a few times to get to try traditional Greek food; she also took us to the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum. She took us on a tour of downtown Athens and watched the sunset in a beautiful area. Through AIFS, we also took several excursions that included visiting Mycenae and Nafplion, and we also went to the Temple of Poseidon. Going through a program is something I am thankful for since most of the other students did not have this opportunity.
Considering I do not think I would be back in Europe in a very long time, my friends and I booked a short weekend trip to Italy. While in Italy, we visited Milan and Venice! We took a gondola ride through the canals of Venice and ate plenty of pasta while in Italy.
Some of my favorite memories are getting to pet all the cats that roam the streets, bike riding in Spetses, cliff jumping in Santorini, and attending the Greek Wedding Show! Looking back, I am very fortunate to be able to study abroad while in college. This was the great experience of my life, and it made me very excited to travel the world some more!
Scarlett Bell (BS Management and Entrepreneurship) spent Summer 2022 studying abroad in Athens, Greece through AIFS. Scarlett had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad might seem scary at first, but you realize it is SO worth it the minute your plane lands!”
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