Why did you decide to study abroad with ACT in Greece?
Taylor: With my freshman program at Ole Miss, (if we get accepted) we have a choice between Edinburgh, Scotland or Thessaloniki, Greece. Greece was the obvious choice for me a.) because of the weather (and close proximity to beautiful beaches) and b.) the city life seemed so new and exciting. It was exactly what I had been searching for.
What made studying in Greece a unique and special experience?
Taylor: The most special thing about my experience so far (aside from being able to spend weekends in cities like Paris and Athens and a week in Rome and Istanbul) has been a night I spent with a Greek friend in his traditional village. It was a spur of the moment trip to see his family in a small village about 45 minutes away from our apartment in Thessaloniki.
I was instantly accepted into the family atmosphere and could not stop smiling. I met some of the kindest, most welcoming people ever. I was constantly being asked if I needed anything. When we left his family's house, we went to an old Greek bar with his village mates and they taught me a traditional dance. The whole night is something I never planned for, but will never forget! Opa!
How did this experience impact your academic development?
Taylor: I had never even flown before heading to Greece (a big leap, I know) so this has introduced me to a completely new way of life! In the back of my mind, I always knew I would love travelling and seeing new cultures, but this confirmed it. More than anything, I want to work for a travel magazine so I can spend my life discovering the secrets and intimate places on the planet.
This hasn't only impacted my future, it has shown me I want it to be my future. And the people I have met! I plan on keeping in touch with them forever, and I mean that. I have gotten a completely new family from this journey. It has effected me in a personal way more than any others. For the first time in my life, I have this constant need to know what is going on in every part of the world (past and present), and not only in my little corner.
I have a new hunger to know everything I can about EVERYWHERE. I have always loved history, but being able to stand in the spot where Marie Antoinette was beheaded? That is such a spark to know all I can about her and her country! It has been like that in all of the places I have visited. I spend days learning all I can on the historic sites. I love it, and would have never realized it if I hadn't come here.