This past summer I spent three weeks in Greece. It was my first time visiting Europe and it left me breathless. Not only did I gain a new set of eyes to peek over the horizon and see a brand new sunset, I also gained new friendships that will last a lifetime.
Being able to relate our mythology course to real places was incredible. It draws the knowledge into a reality that you can hold in the palm of your hand. Seeing the Parthenon in person was larger than life, and being able to look over the city of Athens really put you in the perspective of what the ancient Greeks saw. Walking through the narrow streets of Naxos with its maze-like structure made the experience feel magical. The culture is warm with its friendly manners and hospitality. I felt like it was a home away from home.
The sights of Delphi captivated our attention as we peered over the mountainous terrain. Weaving through the pillars at the Olympian archaeological sites inspired our group to recreate the Olympic race. We laughed in harmony and cheered each other on; I felt like a kid again as the wind blew through my hair with a smile on my face. The camaraderie our group shared was a pleasant surprise as none of us really engaged with each other in class; we became a family as we traveled to foreign waters. We tried new foods and enjoyed the fresh gyros on the street. It was not only affordable but also flavorful fresh ingredients.
I was surprised of my endurance walking endless miles throughout Greece while site seeing. As cliché as it sounds, my favorite part was my Greek romance as they gracefully placed flowers in my hair and whispers of sweet nothings.
After the last three years of struggling, this experience captivated in three weeks, was worth all the pain. I want to thank the study abroad office for making my dreams a reality. Also, a special thanks to Professor Buzbee for his extraordinary knowledge over classics. He prepared a well thought out plan for his students to enjoy the Greek mythology we learned during the spring semester and tying it all together in real time. His enthusiasm was shared amongst the entire group.
The reality of this trip has encouraged me further to continue learning about other cultures with an open mind and heart. I would be very lucky and grateful to continue my study abroad adventures, especially since there will be a trip exploring Rome! I am eager to get back into foreign places with new faces, set of beliefs, and of course the food. I will never forget this experience and will be forever grateful. My friendships at UTC are now better than ever because of this experience and have aided in myself confidence. I fell in love with the culture of Greece and hope to live on one of the islands after I finish my education.
Ash Peppard (BS Psychology, BA Art – Studio) spent part of May 2023 participating in a faculty-led trip to Greece with the Classics department. Ash had the following to say about studying abroad, “This eye opening experience was something that inspires me to follow my dreams.”
Share this post: