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Study Abroad in Athens, Greece
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Sarah Ann Kovalesky

Majors: History and Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Hometown: Collegeville, PA

How Did You Learn About This Opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from Anne Killebrew during my first-year seminar, where she encouraged us to keep the program in mind. I was then reminded of the program by Mark Munn during my sophomore year in class and he answered my questions and played a large role in my interest in the program. I actually ended up not applying for the program because I had other plans for my junior year, but when those plans fell through, Christopher Moore and the Study Abroad Office let me apply late.

My semester abroad in Athens, Greece was hands down the best three months of my collegiate career.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My semester abroad in Athens, Greece was hands down the best three months of my collegiate career. Immediately upon arriving, the Athens Centre made us feel right at home and prepared us well for living in Athens for the coming three months. They provided us with maps, tips, and much more in addition to the immediate tour of the neighborhood and a tour of downtown Athens. Almost every weekend was filled with travel as part of our program and the weekends were flawless, exposing me to all the major sites in Greece and some that I had never heard of. Trips included places like Crete, Olympia, Sparta, Mistras, the Argolid, Delphi, Meteora and day trips to Marathon, Sounion, and Corinth. I also had the opportunity to do a little traveling on my own to Istanbul, Santorini, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. This trip provided me with the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, learn a new language and see parts of the world I had only ever dreamed of. Classes were just like any other class for the most part, my favorites being Greek and Byzantine History.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience had an incredible impact on me academically. It was actually my best semester in terms of academic success. I was constantly motivated to get my work done ahead of time because I was in a huge, history-filled city that was waiting to be explored. However, after studying Greek history for so long, the most impact probably came from finally seeing the places I had only ever imagined I would see in textbooks. Also, being abroad made me realize the importance of knowing other languages, which is something I plan on working on now that I have returned home.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goals or plans are to go into the field of higher education and work in student affairs. I would like to work in admissions or study abroad programming. Originally, I had never thought about working with students who like myself find themselves in the situation of studying abroad, but after being abroad twice (Rome - Summer 2013, Athens - Spring 2014) I could definitely see myself looking into a job doing programming for a program like the one I participated in.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

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