A Bittersweet Goodbye

My past month abroad has without a doubt been one of the most amazing experiences in my life. From being able to travel around to so many places in Greece (Tolo, Olympia, Delphi, Athens, and Karpathos), I feel extremely lucky to have experienced so much. I was fortunate enough to visit historical sites, for example the Acropolis in Athens. An icon of Greece, the Acropolis evoked so much mythology and history that has captivated the world for hundreds of years. Seeing it in person was overwhelming and hard to put into words. I experienced this feeling over and over again every time we visited somewhere new. Once in Karpathos, I had the chance to really get to know people who live on the island and gain more of a sense of what their lifestyles are like. I am so grateful I was able to meet these people and learn so much about their culture. Also, I became very close with the people in my program who I will continue to keep in contact after leaving Greece. I am so appreciative of them and without the friendships I gained, my experience would have been completely different. Leaving my program was very hard for me; I had become so accustomed to the culture, food, and lifestyle I had adapted to for the past four weeks. As I said goodbye, I promised myself that one day I would return to Greece.

            I feel as though as an individual I have become much more independent than I ever thought I would be. I truly began to appreciate times when I was by myself in a new place, and grew the courage to put myself in those situations more often. I also began to improve my time management skills regarding school work. I knew when to take advantage of my time in order to finish assignments, such as when we would be travelling to our next destination by bus. Translating my experiences into the professional world, I have learned an unbelievable amount of things that will benefit me. From experiencing first-hand of the political situations in Greece, I am able to now open my perspectives of what other countries are going through, not just the United States. This will ultimately help me be able to understand and respect on a new level the differing thoughts people have ranging from a personal, economic, and political stance.

            Ultimately, I have taken so many valuable things away from my Greece program. Most importantly, I feel like the primary thing I took away was confidence. I feel less vulnerable in a group of people, and have gained the sense of confidence needed to put myself out there. I will be able to constantly utilize this in the business world, especially at Pitt. I am so unbelievably grateful for the time I have spent in Greece; I wouldn’t trade it this experience for the world.