Throughout my two weeks abroad, I learned a lot about traveling in a group that I wish I knew earlier. One big aspect of the trip that I wish I knew beforehand is how exhausting it can be to study abroad! I truly have loved every single detail about my time abroad, I just wish I had even more time to fully explore the entire country. Because of our short time in Cyprus, everyone tried to make the most of each day which, in turn, resulted in a prolonged lack of sleep. To combat this problem, my peers and I took this as an opportunity to try different Cypriot coffees and teas. I learned that Cyprian forest fruit iced tea is my ideal drink to wake me up in the morning. Another lesson that I learned is that I did not pack enough casual clothes. When packing, I made sure to pack business professional clothes for the days that we had scheduled lectures at the University of Nicosia or company meetings; however, I did not take into account that I would want to change out of my professional clothes in the evening.
Personally, the cultural tours were the highlight of my study abroad experience. Because of this study abroad opportunity, I had the privilege of seeing beautiful historic sites that I probably never would have seen on my own. For instance, we were given a walking tour of Famagusta which is a city in Cyprus that has been abandoned for over forty years because of a Turkish invasion. The buildings were left in the same condition as before the Cypriots fled the area and the city is considered a ghost town. This was an eye opening experience that I will never forget. Furthermore, I was able to climb Aphrodite’s rock, walk through the tomb of the kings, and see the house of Dionysus in the Paphos archeological park. Being able to see history come alive in these places with my new friends is a feeling that I will always cherish.
If I were to set a new goal for my next study abroad program it would be to be more inquisitive. Each tour guide that we had throughout the program was very knowledgeable and willing to answer any question we had. Although I asked a few questions throughout the tours, I certainly could have asked even more.