So far, my time in Cyprus has been out of this world! The individuals at the University of Nicosia and Pitt’s study abroad team have done an excellent job ensuring that the trip will go smoothly. Because of their preparation, I have not encountered any major challenges so far during my time abroad. Furthermore, most Cypriots speak English so I have not had any significant language barrier issues. Every Cypriot that I have encountered has either been very easy to understand or are very kind and will repeat what they are saying.
Although I haven’t had any extreme challenges, I would say that the hardest thing for me is balancing social and school activities with school responsibilities. After arriving in Cyprus, I was exhausted from the two days of travel and had a hard time sleeping the first couple of days. However, the scheduled events began the morning after we arrived. Typically, we have to meet at either 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. which means getting up at either 6:40 a.m. or 7:40 a.m. to get ready, pack any materials you need for the day, and eat breakfast. After flying all the way from the U.S. and adjusting to a new environment it was hard to get used to this routine at first. Furthermore, we typically have cultural or business meetings until 6:00 p.m. each night. Afterwards, we are responsible for getting dinner and writing our blogs. This takes at least two and a half hours on its own let alone taking the time to explore the city with friends. This doesn’t even account for making time to talk to family and friends from home, sending everyone updates, checking emails, and any other clerical work you may still have.
All in all, studying abroad is at times exhausting and requires a lot of internal accountability to stay on track with assignments; however, it is an amazing opportunity that I will certainly be pursuing again during my time at Pitt. The memories I am making in Cyprus far outweigh the lack of sleep!