Looking Back

To sum up my experience in Greece into one word would be challenging but if I had to do it, I would say that it was reinforcing. But in a way that focuses on the “strengthening” and “additive” part of the definition. I think that this trip was a productive and reinforcing one because at every moment I felt like I was learning and using my time productively. Everything I did contributed to my knowledge, experience, and character. As part of our final project we were asked to summarize a chapter from one of our textbooks. The chapter I chose focused on introducing tourism as a subject and asked the question of “through which lens should we view tourism”, mainly focusing on the perspectives of anthropology and sociology. I shared that this chapter was relatable to my trip to Greece because like anthropologists and some sociologists, we were implanted in an environment where we entered as tourists and were viewed as tourists but were asked to think like locals and study from their perspective. I think this mindset contributed to my productive experience in Greece because it more effectively acclimated me to the environment and allowed me to appreciate certain aspects of the country differently. Of course we did participate in many tourist activities as well, but only while simultaneously learning why these tourist locations existed, how they contributed to the economy, and how they influenced their society. There was always context to everything we did, nothing was pointless. I truly believe that this abroad trip reinforced my personal character, my academic knowledge, and my professional intelligence. Through attempting to observe the country from a local’s point of view, I got a deeper understanding of the culture in various villages and cities in Greece and was able to compare and contrast them. With the help of our teacher who is from Karpathos, Greece we had the chance to learn about the purpose behind many customs in Greece and the development behind Greece’s social structure. This experience contributed to my character because it allowed me to acquire knowledge in an unusual and uncomfortable environment in which I was able to grow. Academically, I was challenged to learn in an atypical setting and think about things in a different way, and through this trip I learned a great deal about the sociology of sports and tourism in Greece. The more ways I learn how to learn, the more adaptable and dangerous I will be in a professional setting. That’s why I think this trip also contributed to my professional skills, because the knowledge I gained gives me a competitive edge against people who have not experienced the same thing. I would love to share my experiences as a black male in Greece with the Pitt business school and its students. It was interesting to compare and contrast the different social injustices and discrimination that happens in the US and Greece. I think sharing my experiences and the knowledge I gained will inspire others like me to go abroad and be apart of something great.