Photo Essay Contest 2012

Carolyn Steinlage

Essay

Greece Study Abroad 2012

As soon as the option arose for me to go on a study abroad trip with the Kinesiology Department to Greece I immediately knew that I needed to take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity. Little did I know how much fun I could have in such a short amount of time.  We spent a much too short amount of time in the Greek Isles and even made a pit stop in Turkey, but I will never forget the amazing people that I met or the cultural knowledge that I have gained.

Upon our arrival at the Athens international airport, my luggage was missing and I was very much jet lagged. Once recovery with a good night of rest and my suit case finally arriving I felt I could relax and go out for an adventure. Instead of waiting around in the hotel, one other student and I ventured out to have a taste of wine and culture in Athens. So we walked to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed so much more than we had bargained for. I actually ended up playing live music with the hired musician! Then we ended up doing a native line dance with the owner of the restaurant and another visitor from Pakistan. It was one of the most fun nights I can remember in my life. Meeting strangers and having a completely surprising and wonderful night learning and living in the culture of the Greeks.  We were also able to visit the amazing Parthenon monument, and marvel at its beauty and the dedication that went into it.

Upon leaving Athens we ventured onto a cruise ship and island hopped to the various Greek Isles. Upon our adventures on Patmos we visited the Gratto of the Apocalypse where St. Paul heard the voice of God and wrote the book of Revelations. The most memorable island was the island of Rhodes. On this island we visited the ancient track and field that was built in 300 BC, the stadium of Diagoras. This ancient track is still used today by recreational walkers and runners that live on Rhodes. This track is said to provide an enormous energy because of the great athletes that have competed in the ancient games there. I was very compelled and interested to learn more and as I did the knowledge moved me, this was an amazing place of history that is still there today.

We also had the opportunity to visit the first modern day Olympic stadium as well as the Olympic stadium from the 2004 Olympic games held in Athens.  These facilities were very nice and extremely interesting to visit and learn about how much goes into the Olympics. The entire country wanted the Olympics to come there so badly they decided to put as much into it as it required, regardless of the dept it would result in. This symbolized the extreme pride that many Greeks have to this day in their country.

Overall I could not have wanted any better of an experience abroad. I learned about history, culture, and the historical monuments which were all beyond impressive. I would love to go back explore so much more, but like I said, the time was short and we did what we could with the time we had. I will have to go back that is for sure!

To anyone that has yet to travel abroad, you are not living until you have experienced the new world that awaits you. Have an adventure!

Photos

Photo 1
Me and the locals after a night of singing and dancing and playing music.

 

Photo 2
Me in front of the famous Parthenon monument.

 

Photo 3
Stadium of Diagoras on the island of Rhodes.

 

Photo 4
Me on the island of Santorini absorbing the beauty of the Greek architecture.