When I was initially looking through the study abroad website and searching for possible Maymester programs I was immediately drawn to the Pitt in Greece program because it is so mobile in nature. Unlike most programs, we have visited several cities in Greece instead of just staying in one place. This in itself makes this trip all the more valuable to me because instead of just seeing what one city is like I am able to experience numerous cities and draw comparisons about how they are similar and different.
Our living arrangements have been different in each city we stayed in which has been a really interesting part of the trip. At our first stop, Tolo, we stayed in a beautiful hotel right next to the sea. My room had a balcony that overlooked the sea. From there we went to Kaifas where we stayed in a small family owned hotel. This experience was my favorite thus far for one reason- dinner. Each night they served us an amazing five course dinner and after dinner we sang and danced to Greek music with the family. It was awesome to bond with them and learn about their lives and Greek culture. I am now in Athens and we are staying in a more commercial hotel. It is very nice and is only a five minute walk from the sea. Each place we have stayed in has had its own charm that has made it unique.
For each hotel we stay in, our roommates are the same. Luckily my roommate is my best friend! Athens has been great because I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of Greeks that are similar in age to me. It is really interesting to discuss things like school and politics with the locals here. Everyone I have met in Greece is so laid back and friendly which I love.
In terms of challenges that I have encountered thus far, a few come to mind. Athens is a great city but the crime rate is high and they are known for pick-pocketing. Local taxi drivers have also tried to scam my friends and I multiple times. Being an American tourist in Greece sometimes makes me an easy target but I have learned to always be alert and stay one step ahead. When it comes to what I love about this place I could go on and on for hours. The culture here is so inclusive and welcoming. I love that the idea of family is so important to everyone I have met here. The physical beauty of this country is another thing. From the turquoise beaches to the Acropolis, the beauty of this place does not seem real at times. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am treasuring every moment of it.