My semester spent abroad in Athens, Greece was the most formative, eye-opening, and character building experience that I had at USC. While most people who go abroad, this time is one they fondly look back on as an adventurous vacation from school with more freedom then they have ever had. For me, however, this experience was the foundation for my future career path. It not only gave me a new perspective on the world but on my own dreams and goals as well. From my political science classes to my Ancient Greek sports class, I learned how interdependent our world is and how essential is it to have a global mindset with a broad awareness of those outside our own country or culture. It was refreshing to learn about history and current international policy decisions through the eyes of the Greeks, the founders of Western civilization, who are often forgotten in the international sphere.
Through participating in the Greek holidays, festivals, parades, and protests (accidentally) I saw how amazing Greece is as a country and if it wasn't for CYA supporting us to participate in the greek culture I don't think I would have been as in love with the country as I am today. CYA also offered weekly marble carving classes through a family run organization that was the most welcoming group of people I ever met. They fed us wine and dinner every night after class and really wanted to get to know you as individuals. This class also gave me a more personal understanding of the local culture and sprouted my artistic confidence. The most valuable transformation that occurred during my time in Greece was that I stopped only being a citizen of the United States, and became a citizen of the world. CYA provided everything I could have ever wanted in a study abroad experience and every day I wish I could go back and do it all again.