I had so many experiences that I feel as though I lived an entire chapter of my life in Greece.
My adventure began in Athens. I took a three week class entitled "Discovering Ancient Athens on Site." The professor was excellent, and I was able to visit some of the most important historical sites in the western world. Imagine seeing a machine used to allot fair and impartial juries over two thousand years ago. Or standing in the room in which Socrates drank hemlock to end his life. The foundations of western society, both governmental and cultural, were laid in ancient Greece. I am very curious in the governmental and economic structures in the world today, and I found studying ancient Greece to be helpful in understanding the world as it is today.
In addition to studying ancient Greece, living in Athens for three weeks is also an immersion into modern Greek culture. One of the first things that struck me about Athens (and in fact, in all of the traveling that I have done) is the pollution. I have heard that Athens is considered the most polluted city in the world. I would be surprised if there is a more polluted city on earth. I was slightly depressed when I could not seethe sun on a cloudless "sunny" day.
Aside from the pollution, I loved Athens. I will discuss Greek culture later, but it is worth a mention even in Athens (as are the clubs). The daily life in Athens is at the same time both incredibly stressful and very relaxed. An example of the stress is the traffic, while a great example of the relaxation is that two blocks from my apartment, a farmers' market is held every Friday. Everyone in our apartment loved the fresh fruits and vegetables and the social exchange between buyer and seller. I could not imagine such an event taking place weekly in downtown Indianapolis.
After three weeks in Athens, I spent six weeks on the island Paros taking courses in modern Greek (language). The six weeks I passed in Paros were indescribable. From a large polluted city, I arrived onto a beautiful, peaceful Greek island. Every day would begin with class. The afternoon would be spent studying, eating lunch, and when time permitted, sifting on the beach. More classes were held in the afternoon, and each night held a feast. Some weekends were spent traveling to exotic islands like Santorini and Mykonos. Others were spent on Paros. Along the way, I was able to catch a glimpse of Greek island life.
The culture on Greek islands is such that it must be experienced. Everyone...