The trip was an experience I’ll never be able to forget. As a first-generation student from a low-income family, this was something I thought I’d never be able to do during college — yet alone my freshman year and during my birthday! I’m deeply thankful for all the people and programs who made it possible for me to be able to experience this.
Leading up to the trip I was very anxious because I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to be able to attend due to conflicts with the Financial Aid Office’s scholarship-awarding process, plane tickets, and trip date. Fortunately, I was able to get a plane ticket in time with the help of the SPEA in Athens program directors Paul Helmke and Lauren Krznarich. However, I still didn’t really know what I was getting myself into or to expect — in regards to the trip. All I knew for certain in this study abroad experience was that there were classes, excursions, and leisure. After spending three weeks across Greece (primarily Athens), I can say that this study abroad experience was much more than this!
I’m so glad I was able to take this class and go on the trip. My favorite part of the class was learning about the politics of ancient and modern Greece. I feel like I gained valuable insight that I can use in my political career when I get older. My favorite part of the “trip” side of the study abroad experience was going to Santorini, Greece, during free time the day before my nineteenth birthday. I enjoyed sailing on a boat, climbing volcanoes, and meeting nice people the whole day! There was nothing that could have prepared me for the awesome time I had for the three straight weeks I was in picturesque Greece.