My name is Tasia Gaddis, and I am a senior in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. From mid-June to late July of the summer of 2021, I was privileged with the ability to study abroad in Athens, Greece. During this time, I took courses in Introduction to Modern Greek and Modern Greek Cinema. As a Greek American who has never been to Greece, this program was such a life-changing opportunity and allowed me to explore my culture much further.
Once we got to campus, we found out that our classes had been changed from in-person to online because of COVID-19. This ended up not being all bad since it provided a greater opportunity for us to travel. I was able to visit places like Milos, Nafpaktos, and Corinth. Although I knew that Greece was full of ancient and magnificent ruins, it was completely breathtaking in person. This includes sites like Ancient Delphi, Ancient Corinth, the Castle of Nafpaktos, Acrocorinth, Cape Sounion and, of course, the Acropolis which includes the Parthenon. I was also able to go to a variety of more modern places like Allou! Fun Park, Lake Vouliagmeni, various beaches, Aegli Zappiou, the Plaka, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, and the National Observatory of Athens.
Some of my favorite sites were all the small villages on the sides of mountains. Although the drive up there was on small winding roads with questionable paving and stability, the views from each village were so unique and beautiful. Each village also had its own beautiful, little church. Plus, being able to see mountain goats, sheep, and boars was a fun experience while traveling the mountains. The main exciting feature that I experienced in the villages was when I got to visit the village my Yiayia’s (grandmother) family is from and got to meet two of my dad’s second cousins that my family did not know about.
Overall, I visited a diverse set of famous and popular ancient and modern sites. I ate some of the most amazing Greek food. I made lifelong friends from places all over the United States, Greece, and other countries. I learnt much more about my culture from both my classes and being in the country. Most importantly, I was able to have an unforgettable and matchless experience in Greece.