gone greece

Our guest contributor shares a day in the life of a study abroad student.

By Shelby Sanford | Photography (Provided) | Published Aug. 16, 2019

Studying abroad for six weeks in Greece may seem like a far-fetched dream in many cases, but for myself and fellow College of Informatics student Danielle Mays, it became a reality. 

Danielle and I are both studying Public Relations and Pre-Law, but we met through our sorority, Kappa Delta. We were incredibly interested in studying abroad and, knowing we had the same major, sat down to decide which country and classes would be the most beneficial to us. Soon into their search, we found a trip to Greece that offered, according to the listing, “Travel Writing” and “Ancient Political Thought” and knew it was the destination for us. 

And let me tell you—a study abroad is both everything you imagined and everything you thought it wouldn’t be. It allowed us to immerse ourselves in an entirely new culture and push past our comfort zones.
“This experience also offers professional benefits,” Danielle says. “It’s a great talking point for graduate school and job interviews, as it shows that you’re adaptable.”

People tend to have a common misperception of studying abroad and how much “studying” actually occurs. However, to gain credit for the classes students take while abroad, students have to complete a minimum number of instructional hours. Our typical day began with class with our professors, followed by an educational group field trip. What’s so fantastic about studying abroad is that you get hands-on experience with the subjects you’re interested in.

When we weren’t studying, we had plenty of time to explore on our own and learn about the culture first-hand. We even took a weekend trip to another island—without professors!

“This experience also offers professional benefits. It’s a great talking point for graduate school and job interviews, as it shows that you’re adaptable.”
—Danielle Mays

Exploring on your own is, in my opinion, just as educational as classes are. Danielle and I quickly learned things like basic Greek phrases, the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants and spots where all the locals hang out. It’s easy to feel uncomfortable when you don’t understand a new culture, but you quickly come to love and appreciate it.

This trip took students to Athens, various locations on mainland Greece and several of the Greek Islands. 

“All of Greece is beautiful in different ways, but I loved the island of Milos,” Danielle says. “It hasn’t been commercialized to tourists, so you see authentic Greece. It also has the most beautiful rock beaches and crystal-clear waters I’ve ever seen; it was a perfect spot for cliff jumping.” 

Neither Danielle nor I have anything negative to say about our Greece experience, and we encourage other students to take advantage of the study abroad resources that NKU offers. Honestly, without the financial and logistical help of NKU’s study abroad office, I would have never been able to take this opportunity.

Both of us are already thinking about where we want to go next—possibly Australia or Africa this winter. But for now, we say, yasou (“well wishes”)!