OKAY sorry this took so long, I haven’t been at a computer and didn’t want to type it out on my phone. But my semester in Greece was the best 3 months of my life.
I went with a group from my school, 8 other students and two professors. We stayed in a suburb of Athens as our “home base” and did lots of travelling. We stayed in a place that’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s kind of like an event center/camp/something and three wonderful families live on the compound. So we had our own space, but still had the benefit of home-cooked meals and a real family vibe, without feeling awkward about living in someone’s guest room or something. It was really cool because, since the professors came with us, we had a lot of flexibility in terms of when we did class and things like that. My college was a pretty small one, so it wasn’t as weird as it might seem to have that small of a group and professors and whatever. We spent the first half-ish of the semester doing a lot of classwork and learning the language, while the weather was still not great, and traveled on the weekends. Then, toward the end of the semester, we did a lot more travelling. Aside from day or weekend trips to various historical sites, we spent a week in Thessaloniki and five days in the most beautiful place I’ve ever been—the island of Patmos (for Easter, which is, apparently, every Greek’s dream…I can see why!). We had the most incredible guide, who was so sweet and completely brilliant. He has a photographic memory and has an amazing way of connecting all sorts of different details to completely blow your mind when they all come together. Honestly, being in Greece and with Costas (our guide) was the first time I really appreciated and enjoyed history. Now I think it’s really fun, and I like to learn about different parts of history and philosophy and religion and how they all come together.
It was also a very healing time for me, personally. I went to Greece needing to get far, far away from a lot of things going on in my life, and hoped that a change of pace and change of place would help me. It was more beneficial than I can even begin to express. It was truly amazing, and I had the BEST time.