This advice was originally written as an eleven page paper, but realizing that nobody would ever read such a long and boring post, I broke it up into smaller sections! I tried my hand at a different style of writing, keep my thoughts and points crisp and at my best attempt, witty. It’s different for me so I hope you enjoy!
Three words to remember Indulge, Appreciate, and Relax
I want this advice to be casual and personal with my best attempt to be witty and entertaining, and though I don’t have a good history with either, I will try my utmost effort! There are many times when I simply wished to talk with a former Greece study abroad student, but never found the means to do so.
Understanding through the eyes of a peer is drastically different than asking a teacher or doing personal research, both are still very helpful, but knowing what to wear and what to expect was a challenge. So, here in this travel guide, my hopes are to pass the knowledge I gained on to the next group of students. I will share my knowledge about the pre-stages of traveling on a study abroad trip, and advice when you finally arrive, all while tangling in my own experiences and stories from Greece.
First, let me explain the three words I attached to the title of my advice; one I learned to do while there, one I still can’t understand fully, and one that is critical for fully enjoying the experience. All of these culminate together to recognize the value of the journey.
I wish for all study abroad students to indulge, for this is a once and a lifetime opportunity, whether you have traveled abroad before or this is your first time. Each experience is unique and invaluable. Now, I said indulge, not be immature or obnoxious. You are American and judgment will inevitably be passed on you, but that is his or her problem and not everyone you meet. You are over the age of 18 and should know how to conduct yourself with composure and humility, while still having a wildly great time!
While abroad, do not forget to appreciate your surroundings and the people who enabled you to be there. For someone who had not traveled abroad before the Greece trip in 2012, I was naïve in my expectations for I had nothing to base them on. Once there, I was like a little kid glued to the TV, completely stuck, captivated by the pure joy of being in Greece. I was grateful for every little reaction to the breathtaking views, interaction with the locals, the knowledge I gained from ancient sites, the incredible art I saw (both ancient and contemporary), etc.
Finally, and most importantly, you must relax, so you can fully enjoy your abroad experience. If you are uptight, worrying, and stressing out over everything you’re vision will become clouded and you won’t be able to see all the potential opportunities for an amazing experience. I will also admit, that this advice is coming from someone who assumes that you have all the technical things already figured out, such as budget, passport, paperwork, etc.