A Zeta’s Guide to Studying Abroad: Greece

Who: Kylee Shanaghan
Where: Greece
When: Jan Term
Course: Greece: The Crucible of Civilization

The Class:  “This was an option for me to take as a humanities course, it was actually less expensive to take the abroad class than take a humanities class on campus during Jan Term (plus I wanted to go because of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!). The actual course material gave a lot of backstory to the places we were going, so we knew what we were looking at. One thing that is really amazing about this particular trip is that you get to see so much of Greece. In many abroad programs, you are living in one place for the duration of the class, but with this course, you are only in one place a max of two nights. For us, we started in Athens (which is kind of like a REALLY old New York City), and after that we constantly moved around to new places. We split our time between the main land locations and the little islands off the coast.”

 

Greece

Favorite Spots: “My two favorite places by far were the little island of Aegina (pronounced egg-in-a), and the seaport town of Nafplion. These two places are both quaint little locations that have less tourists and lots of breathtaking views of the water. In Aegina, you MUST try the pistachio butter that the venders are selling at the port. I was apprehensive and only got a small jar, and now I’m crying because it’s all gone and it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life (so get the big jar). In Nafplion you should wander around (it’s small and very safe) to see what fun things there are going on. After dinner one night we stumbled upon a street carnival and played bumper cars! It’s one of my all-time favorite memories, but you won’t find that in a travel brochure so you need to explore in the places you go! Another really fun thing we did was eat at this family-owned restaurant where they taught you all the Greek dances. We ate incredible food family style, then we danced for hours as everyone smashed plates and yelled “OPA!”, there are lots of these kinds of places in Greece, and you should definitely do some research to find one while on this trip!”

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Best Foods: “My top favorite foods I ate while in Greece would have to be the Pistachio butter, the fried feta cheese, and the gyro sandwiches. Let me tell you, if you are a fan of Greek food, after this trip nothing in America will ever measure up to the real thing. Some tips I would give about going on this trip is to pack layers, it’s hot during the day and super cold at night! You also need to be prepared to hike up a mountain one of the days (don’t wear a wool sweater like me). If you are worried about looking cute in pics on days where hiking is involved, bring some extra stuff in a backpack to put on for the pictures! You need to be prepared with cash as most places do not take card, you also need to keep in mind that you cannot split the check when eating in groups at restaurants. One person will need to pay the bill and the rest of the group will pay them back, so keep groups small! In general, I did not have to pay for many meals, we ate as a group most days and that fee is paid with the program tuition. I paid for maybe 8-10 meals on the 3-week trip. Technically they say you can get away with bringing no cash on this trip, which I guess is true, but you want money for souvenirs and last-minute things (like bumper cars!).”

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“Overall, this trip was the best experience of my life. I went into it knowing absolutely no one, and came out with some of the most meaningful friendships in my life.  So, whether or not you know anyone on this trip, or know anything at all about Greece, this trip is sure to be one of the most incredible experiences of your life!”

 

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