One of the most daunting parts of studying abroad is the fear of not settling in. Everything is a little different: the food, language, and pace of life. However, I am so thankful that I have easily transitioned to seeing Cyprus as my home.
The University of Nicosia is located in Nicosia, Cyprus. Nicosia or Lefkosia as it is known by the locals, has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th century. It remains the largest city in Cyprus and interestingly is the only divided capital in the world. Needless to say, the city provides a diversity of Greek and Turkish Cypriot culture and customs. The “Old City” boasts amazing Venetian walls, an archeological center, and tons of little cafes. Truly, you feel like you are getting the full Cyprus experience in Nicosia.
The housing accommodations provided by my program are quite nice. Everyone is placed in a modern single apartment in a building filled with college students. Just going up and down the elevator, I have met students from all over Cyrpus, Europe, and the Middle East. We are extremely close to campus and only about a ten minute walk away from the closest mall. This has made it really easy to get groceries and meet up with friends for shopping. As a student, we have great access to the city buses and the closest bus stop is probably no more than 300 feet away from my front door.
Something that really surprised me was how much a few of the European students are into American Football. We have all bonded in the TV room watching late-night games on Sunday. With Nicosia’s amazing summer weather still in full effect, it has been awesome playing games and exploring our surrounding neighborhoods.
I can also attest that my cooking and the diversity of my cuisine have increased here. For starters, there is not much of a cafeteria located on campus, and you can only find a few pastries or quick bites in the campus coffee shops. There is definitely no all-you-can-eat dining hall. So I and a lot of residents have been sharing recipes and expanding our go-to easy meals. In fact, I wish my kitchen space was just a little bit larger, but I can definitely manage.
Most importantly, Cyprus has become home because of the people. Everyone is welcoming and genuinely appreciates your willingness to learn about their amazing nation. I cannot wait to continue to explore!