Greece: Visit to Delphi

Submitted by Dara McNally on the 2022 spring semester program in Athens, Greece…

This past weekend was Delphi and another unusual bout of snowfall. This trip was delayed since January due to snow because of road closures. Turns out Delphi and Arachova are still quite beautiful even in the snow! Though, I have been informed that snow and cold this close to spring is unusual. Hopefully, as March wraps up, it’ll get warmer! But back to Delphi… I am constantly reminded that in Greece you are surrounded by history at all times. It is truly something marvelous to walk among the relics. This is absolutely not something you can experience much of back home, if at all. People lived here long ago and used the buildings back in their prime and that’s just fascinating to imagine.

As for foods I would recommend: if you like gyros, try skepasti! It’s got all the elements of a gyro, but rather than all wrapped up, it’s like a panini pizza (strictly in terms of shape, it does not taste like pizza, it tastes like a gyro, but flat)! Perfect for sharing or for leftovers the next day!


England: A Visit to the Olympic Park

Submitted by Caroline Knotts on the 2022 spring semester program in London, England…

One of the reasons I love studying abroad is having the opportunity to visit locations with my classes that I would not normally have visited. For my class Exploring the Global City London, we often have classes on-site in many significant places throughout the city. Last week, my class traveled to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which was the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

I loved learning about the history of the park and all the work that goes into selecting and preparing a city for the Olympics. We saw many of the different athletic centers that were built specifically for the park and learned how they have gone on to benefit the community in numerous ways long after the Olympics have ended. This was a super interesting field study and being able to do things like this as a part of my classes is one of the reasons why I love studying abroad.

The Olympic Park
The Aquatic Center
The ArcelorMittal Orbit

Spain: The Weather

Submitted by Jade Schlegel on the 2022 spring semester program in Madrid, Spain…

This week’s topic: weather. Before coming to Spain, I researched fashion, food and culture to make sure I was prepared to live in this new country for 4 months. You know what I didn’t research? The weather. Don’t get me wrong, I looked at the climate so I knew what the temperature was going to be during my time here. I also planned for the occasional rain because as someone from the East Coast, I knew I didn’t want to have a soggy walk to class, but the weather is something I didn’t anticipate being that different from home. I can tell you now, Spain is dry. My first two months here were clear skies without a single drop of rain. March is different; we have entered the rainy season and it will rain all day. The sky remains gray and it will just drizzle the entire day. Then this morning, we woke up to an orange sky at 4:00 am and later went out to discover everything covered in a coating of dust brought over the Mediterranean from the Sahara Desert. With the worst air quality rating the air can possibly receive and muddy rain, I can tell you, I never expected to see mud fall from the sky or be able to taste the dust when breathing in. Of course, this isn’t a common occurrence, but it’s still something very strange to experience! When getting ready to come abroad, make sure you’re ready for what the weather will throw at you. Keep in mind that you can’t prepare for everything, but at least have enough shoes in case a pair gets wet and has to dry for a bit!

Dusty Car Madrid
Hazy sky after dust storm
Madrid Sky at 1:00 am



Greece: Reunited

Submitted by Hannah Kirby on the 2022 spring semester program in Athens, Greece…

Out of all the weeks I get to spend in Greece’s paradise, this is the one I most looked forward to. My family has finally arrived for their visit, and I couldn’t be more elated. I underestimated how hard it would be to be away from home for so long, but they are a breath of fresh air that will power me through the last month of my studies. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to show them my current home in this foreign country. I’ve created a routine here that hasn’t included them, other than the occasional phone call, and I can only hope that they are proud of what I have accomplished. I know this week will go by faster than I want it to, but I’m certainly grasping onto every second with them.

My sister and I on top of one of the Monasteries of Meteora.
I took my family to Meteora for their first day in Greece.

Spain: Hiccups in Seville

Submitted by Jade Schlegel on the 2022 spring semester program in Madrid, Spain…

A recurring lesson you will learn abroad is that things will go wrong, especially when you are traveling so much. Over the weekend, I and a few friends took a trip to Seville for my birthday which resulted in a few hiccups. When we arrived at our Airbnb, the person who checked us in was going to send us the code to the automatic lock on the door. Long story short, we never got the code. So after 45 minutes of alarms and 2 hours of waiting, we got the code and could finally explore Seville. We were then welcomed to the city with pouring rain. These situations can be very stressful especially when you are learning to travel on your own, but they hold very valuable lessons in how to use your resources and get help to fix the situation you may be in. Although rain isn’t something that is easily fixed, you can still shift plans around to make the most of your time. During the downpour, I climbed La Giralda and saw the gorgeous interior of the Seville Cathedral. I even ventured out into the rain to take some amazing pictures at Palacio de Pilatos. In these stressful times, remember that it will all work out. It may be different than expected (or rainier), but take a moment to enjoy some churros con chocolate, watch for puddles, and remember this is truly a once in a lifetime experience. At the end of the day, you still get to say you saw an amazing city even if your original plans change!

Royal Alcazar
La Giralda
View from La Giralda
Flowers in Casa de Pilatos

Greece: Magnificent Meteora

Submitted by Hannah Kirby on the 2022 spring semester program in Athens, Greece…

This weekend, we visited the wonder that is Meteora. Meteora are the massive rock formations located in Kalabaka, Greece that has been home to hermits and monks alike who have devoted their lives to the Eastern Orthodox church. The monasteries that sit upon these rock formations are now tourist attractions after the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only and the hit TV show Game of Thrones showed the scenery in all of its glory.

While I am truly grateful for the experience to have visited such an extraordinary space, I am also saddened. The largest monastery of the six remaining is The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron. It is truly beautiful and can house a multitude of monks, however, only three choose to reside there for just four days out of the year. Due to the millions of tourists invading their sanctuary, they opt to leave the holy grounds of Meteora and live up North in a male only community. I understand that money makes the world go round, but must we trample on such a beautiful history in the process? Maybe I’m just naïve, but there must be a better way.

A photo of the scenery and four of the still standing monasteries.
Holy Monastery of the Great Meteoron

Austria: Program Visit to Munich, Germany

Submitted by April Pappas on the 2022 spring semester program in Salzburg, Austria…

This past weekend, some other students from the program and I traveled to Munich. We took the train and traveled about 2 hours away from where I’m staying in Salzburg. Once there, we walked to Marienplatz and saw the breathtaking Neues Rathaus. The Neues Rathaus is known for its beautiful Gothic façade as well as the famous glockenspiel show. Marienplatz is the place to be for tourists looking for shopping, sightseeing, and watching the city go by. We walked by Saint Peter’s Church which is one of Munich’s oldest churches first built at the end of the 1100s, but was destroyed by fire in 1347. There are many museums all within walking distance of each other within the city. If you go on a Sunday, many of the museums offer free admission or only one Euro admission. My group visited the Stadt Museum.


Greece: Inexpensive Lunch

Submitted by Dara McNally on the 2022 spring semester program in Athens, Greece…

This week was far slower than the last, but I did try my best to explore some foods! If you’re looking for an inexpensive lunch I would highly recommend gyros! They’re usually between €2.50-€3.00 and they can vary a good bit between shops. It’s very fun to seek out a new shop each time! There are also a bunch of bakeries to check out nearby. A lot of the pastries have flavors like honey and hazelnut and a good handful are made with layered pastry sheets.

However, if you are ordering from a food app, make sure you know what the place has because sometimes the menus are in Greek or partially translated!

Spain: New Study Spots

Submitted by Cameron Kravitz on the 2022 spring semester program in Madrid, Spain…

These past few weeks in Madrid have been more slow-paced and relaxing in comparison to the prior weeks, which was really refreshing especially while studying for and completing our midterm exams. Although, I have dedicated a lot of my time towards schoolwork recently, I have learned that it is important to maintain a healthy balance regarding my academic responsibilities and other activities. In order to make studying more enjoyable, I tried out new cafes as well as the rooftop of one of our study halls – both of which quickly became my two new favorite study spots! I also took the metro to walk around and read at Retiro Park a couple of times since the weather has been so sunny and warm lately. Afterwards, I would go to Mercado de San Ildefonso for lunch, which is one of my favorite food places here. In this market, there are so many different food options and cuisines to choose from, including Korean food, Mexican food, and Japanese food. Last week, we also went to a candlelight tribute concert, which was such an amazing experience! The concert that we went to consisted of four violinists playing Taylor Swift songs, and we are already planning to go again when they have a tribute for another artist.

My time in Spain so far has been incredible and I already feel like I have learned so much. Not only have I been able to balance my priorities more and establish a better schedule for myself, but I have also improved with speaking in Spanish and traveling around Madrid. Before coming to Spain, I did not know any Spanish and although I am still not great, I have definitely picked up on common phrases and am able to get around more comfortably. I also have been navigating the metro better as well as recognizing more and more of my surroundings. As my time continues here, I am looking forward to bettering these skills and becoming even more familiar with this city!

Lunch at Mercado de San Ildefonso
View from my Dorm Room
Candlelight Tribute Concert

Greece: Royalty in Rhodes

Submitted by Hannah Kirby on the 2022 spring semester program in Athens, Greece…

We spent another weekend exploring one of the less famous, yet still highly recommended, Island of Rhodes. The trip started with a bang when we were greeted with a walk through the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes to get to our Airbnb. Surprisingly, walking through this castle is a daily route for a lot of locals – can you imagine? The medieval city was beautiful. The architecture was breath-taking. Lucky are the people who live here year-round.

This was the entrance to the palace grounds that we had to walk through to get to our Airbnb.









We were also able to see where one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World stood in its prime. The Colossus of Rhodes stood at the entrance of the harbor for all to be greeted by. This 105-foot-tall statue of Chares de Lindos was built between 292 and 280 B.C.E., but sadly fell due to an earthquake in 224 B.C.E. Pieces of the statue fell onto land and long ago one was able to see them, but those pieces have since been sold. While we were saddened to not be able to see such an extraordinary piece of history, it was easy to imagine it in all its might. One Ancient Wonder down, six to go.

The Colossus of Rhodes stood with one foot on each side of this harbor’s mouth.