Starting to Become Real.

Twelve days out and I am beginning to feel the reality and excitement of this next chapter. Since this is the first entry it only seems fair for me to share some information about myself: I’m 21 years old, a second semester junior at Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida and studying Theatre Arts with a minor in Creative Writing.  I love Flagler with every piece of me, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a change such as this. After all, everyone needs excitement!

Thus, along came Greece.

What led me to where I am now can be summed up as 5 months of running around my college in an attempt to obtain signatures and the “go-ahead” from just about every office on campus (some more helpful than others). But in the end, whatever led me to pick up Athena Study Abroad’s handbook and figure it out for myself could not have been a better decision.

Out of all the programs and countries, I was immediately drawn to Greece and everything the country and school offered. I thrive best within intimate environments and the school, Hellenic International Studies of the Arts, offered just that. The thought of it alone inspires me and I hope to ultimately concentrate on my minor and grow as a writer during my time on the island.

As I mentioned earlier, Athena has been beyond helpful with making these huge (sometimes nerve-wracking) decisions and I feel like no other study abroad program could have been as involved and personable as they were to me. I will continually recommend Athena to my friends and anyone else interested in studying abroad, you will not be disappointed.

My preparation has consisted of making dozens of little lists that I have scattered around my room… Probably not the most effective way of organizing, but I think I might be onto something because things do however seem to be getting done: What to pack, what to buy, financial plans, copies of Passport and flight itineraries, and making sure to tie up all loose ends before I leave America are all slowly being checked off. Since I am already a generally independent person, I am less worried about how I will cope and more so about the people that I am leaving behind. I think that all amazing opportunities come with sacrifice and this might just be mine.

So about the school! Hellenic International Studies of the Arts is located on Paros Island, which is an island in the middle of the Cyclades (about 5 hour ferry ride from Athens). I have some amazing classes picked out and I really can’t wait to just get to the island and begin my semester.

In only 12 days I will be flying out of Tampa and flying through Atlanta, Paris, and then finally arriving in Athens. It’s going to be a long travel day(s) but I am sure the excitement will transcend all else. All I can hope for now is safe travels and that my next blog will be written from another country. 🙂

μέχρι την επόμενη φορά!
– Hannah


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