My trip to Greece last month was the second study abroad trip I have participated in at UTC, and what I experienced this trip is incomparable to my previous trip because all study abroad experiences are unique. They vary for a number of reasons: location, time of year, duration, who you’re with, faculty-led versus through an outside program, and so much more. This trip to Greece acted as a sort of follow up to a course I completed in May: Classical Mythology. The purpose of the trip was to explore the very sites where certain myths from classical mythology were believed to have taken place. We started our trip in Athens where we saw many famous sites including the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Agora, the Theater of Dionysus, the Panathenaic Stadium, and many others. When visiting such a famous, historic city, it can be surreal to be walking and casually happen upon a site that you’ve grown up hearing about but never imagined that you would be standing in front of it.
Some other sites we visited on the rest of our trip were the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, the Archaeological Site of Olympia, the Palamidi Fortress in Nafplio, and the Treasury of Atreus. We saw many more sites than this, but listing them all would take up a whole page due to the high number of places and artifacts we were able to see in such a short amount of time. In addition to the historic sites, we also saw unbelievable scenery from rolling mountain ranges, to serene beaches overlooking the Aegean sea, to the vibrant city of Athens. In each of the places we went, we also had some incredible cultural experiences. We attended two cooking classes (one of which took place at an olive farm), danced with Greek people to traditional music, raced on the original running track of the Olympic games, tried new foods, pet a thousand cats, and became acquainted with the Greek people who are so incredibly kind.
I chose to participate in this trip for a few reasons. This trip was a requirement of this particular Classical Mythology course, which serves as an upper level general education credit. The trip was also faculty-led, which I knew would be a more comfortable traveling experience because I had participated in a faculty-led trip before. This meant that a UTC professor was with us and guiding us throughout the trip, and the class that I had spent the semester in the classroom with were my travel companions, making it easier to relax and enjoy the trip. I also knew that the intent of the trip was to visit the sites of the myths that we would spend the semester reading about, so this was an experiential learner’s dream.
From this trip, I was able to come face-to-face with places that many have only dreamed about, intimately learn about Greek culture, and make friends with people I would have never had a chance to meet otherwise.
Elizabeth Nikhomvan (BA International Studies) spent part of May 2023 participating in a faculty-led trip to Greece with the Classics department. Elizabeth had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad is an attainable experience, and the resources to take you there are all around you. Most people never even start the study abroad process because they do not think they are capable (for any number of reasons) but I am telling you that: if you want to, you can!”
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