Expectations Vs. Reality

Before my study abroad experience, I had a lot of expectations based upon the initial study abroad meetings that we had. At our meetings we learned about the culture of Cyprus, prominent Cypriot companies, and got to know each other. 

 We were assigned group presentations about companies in Cyprus such as Medochemie, Wargaming, and various shipping companies. Listening to and making these presentations gave me the expectation that these companies were respectable and would provide us with great information and advice. Specifically, my group did our presentation on Medochemie which is a pharmaceutical company. We learned that Medochemie has offices in several different countries around the world and prioritizes their efforts in sustainability. After learning more about each company, it made me more eager to interact with their employees and visit their facilities. 

Furthermore, we were given a lecture by a representative of the University of Nicosia regarding what to expect when we arrive in Nicosia. She touched upon the fact that Americans tend to dress more casually than Cypriots. She also mentioned that you do not need to tip at restaurants in Cyprus. She told us that eighty percent of Cypriots can speak English and that Cyprus is one of the safest countries for young adults. These facts gave me positive expectations about Cyprus and eliminated some of my fears about being in a new place. In general, Cypriots are not all that different from Americans.

Lastly, everyone in my study abroad group was split into five groups so that we could complete assignments together. Working on these assignments allowed me to get to know a few people from my group before we departed. This also calmed some of my nerves about travel and gave me the expectation that I would continue to interact with my teammates once we landed in Cyprus.  The leaders of my study abroad group are Karen and Frank Bursic.  From the moment we began out meetings they made it a point to get to know each one of us individually and always treated us with kindness. Going into the trip I expected them to lead us responsibly but also find ways to make the most boring parts of travel fun. Overall, my expectations have not wavered upon arriving in Cyprus. 

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