My time on Paros was one of the best times of my life. There was never a dull moment in the trip and it was full of adventures. Because of the small program size I was able to bond with my classmates and get to know all of them on a more personal level. I made some lifelong friends on the trip and that’s something that makes me very happy. The professors are very chill and want you to do well. They are open to suggestions and are very understanding. They are willing to work with you to make sure you get the most out of the program. Throughout the program you have 24 hour access to the studios and classrooms. This was very helpful when there were late night and early morning work sessions. Greek people are very curious about art and would often stop and watch us as we painted or drew.
The walk to school is right along the water. This gives you a front row seat to the ferries coming and leaving the port. You can watch shops start to open up around Easter and as the summer season comes closer. The island has no shortage of things to do. There are plenty of beaches to walk to and cafes to chill in. The night life on the island is very relaxed and bars are open until late in the night. The local shop owners quickly recognize you as a regular and are incredibly friendly and start conversations. It wasn’t long before my favorite coffee shop knew my order as soon as I walked in the door.
Over a month into the three month program my phone fell off the ferry into the Aegean Sea. Because of this I was able to immerse myself more in the culture and program than I would’ve if I was still connected at the hip with my phone. Instead of taking pictures of everything I saw, I focused on the beauty of what was in front of me. Every time I was waiting for food or coffee I would look out at the sea instead of playing a game of solitaire on my phone or texting. It provided a refreshing detox for me.
I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a semester on Paros. My confidence grew and I realized that I am capable of more than I thought. This trip was very inspiring for me and it showed in my artwork and writing. Paros really became a second home to me and I can’t wait to plan my next trip back.