Paros Island Harbor

Looking Back at Paros Island Harbor – Photo Credit: Erica Flesher, Athena Alum

In the unique time in history that we are in, I find myself conflicted with the views and ideas being spoken by people of diverse backgrounds. When I think of the establishment of societies and modern day thinking, I find myself trying to pick the brain of both Aristotle and Socrates, who can be attributed to the establishment of Western thought. As Socrates wrote,

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

If you truly want to understand the world, and your place in it, then study abroad in Greece may be perfect for you. Greece is the birthplace of western civilization, after all, so what better place to study abroad then the place where it all began?

If this doesn’t solidify your belief that study abroad in Greece is the right choice, then this list of seven reasons why study abroad in Greece is for YOU certainly will!

1. The History of it All

Whether you are referring to Greek Mythology or the unmistakable Greek Columns of the Acropolis, Greece has it all. Athens, the capital of Greece, is the perfect example of the coming together of the Ancient world and today’s modern society. You cannot walk the streets of Athens without continually being reminded of the incredible history that has taken place on those exact streets. If that fades, a simple turn of the chin and you will catch a glimpse of the beloved Acropolis, the home of the Parthenon since its construction in 432 BCE. Athens is only the tip of the historical iceberg that is Greece! 

2. The Birthplace of Modern Thinking

Ever find yourself daydreaming to the point where your thoughts and reality become blurred? The ancient Greeks took this phenomenon and called it philosophy. Greece holds the title for the birthplace of Western thought, which shaped the landscape of our civilization. There is no better place in the world to investigate and explore the transition that happened within man that forever shaped modern history; this transition is what cultivated Europe into the dominant world power that it was for most of human history.

Stundents hiking in Greece

During a hike in Greece, selfies are a requirement. Photo Credit: Katelyn Janke, Athena Alum

3. I Told You, Athens is Only the Start

If you ask past visitors what their favorite part of Greece was, 99/100 times they will say the Greek Islands. The Islands that shape the majority of Greece’s landscape are not only rich in mythological history, but also provide unparalleled beauty to every set of eyes lucky enough to see them. Whether it is the white and blue stone houses holding onto the cliff side or the turquoise clear water of the Aegean, Greece will take your breath away. 

With Islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, and Crete, which are all very accessible by the intricate ferry system, there will always be more islands and untouched beaches to explore no matter how hard you try! Or, you could always try studying abroad on one of the Greek Islands, so you can enjoy the beauty and lifestyle 24/7.

4. For the Artist in You

Whether you are an art or photography major, or someone who just likes taking pictures as a hobby, studying abroad in Greece will allow you to receive cutting edge art instruction, all while living a few steps away from an award winning landscape. I personally challenge you to go onto Google Images and simply type in “Greek Islands.” If your eyes don’t widen and you don’t find yourself clicking thru more and more pictures, then stop reading this article; study abroad in Greece is not for you!

5. The True Greek Islands

If a foreign tourist asked you where should I go to experience “America” would you stop at simply recommending Manhattan, LA, or Chicago? I would hope not.

In large metropolitan areas it is growing increasingly difficult to experience the authentic culture of the country. Greece is no different, and I am not just talking about getting away from Athens. You probably recognized some of the Islands that I mentioned earlier and that is no coincidence, they are the ones listed on every travel site and cruise ship itinerary. Study abroad programs in Greece on islands like Paros or Delos allow students to be completely immersed in the traditional Greek Island culture that is so vivid and inviting.

Swimming in Paros Island, Greece

Nothing brings (what used to be) strangers together like sunshine, turquoise water, and Greek Islands. Photo taken on Paros Island, Greece – Photo Credit: Lane Tran, Athena Alum

6. Don’t Believe the Location is by Mistake

For most students, the country they choose to study abroad in is not the only location on their desired travel list. Students want to be able to easily travel to other destinations at a relatively low cost. Lucky enough, Greece has that covered for you as well!

Conveniently located in between Western Europe and Asia, studying abroad in Greece will give you easy access, whether you want to travel East or West. The airport in Athens, with thanks to airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet, allows students to fly to any country in Europe at a very affordable price. This type of travel is standard for Europe, but Greece has gone one step further with their extensive ferry options! Picture boarding a ferry in Greece and crossing the picturesque Adriatic Sea to then find yourself disembarking on the shores of Italy or Croatia.

If for some strange reason that doesn’t peak your travel interest you must want to go East. Another quick ferry ride away and you will be walking the streets of one of the most beautiful and historically significant cities in the entire world, Istanbul, Turkey.  This is just a small sample of easily accessible countries; I’ll leave the rest of the exploration to you as you gaze out onto the horizon from the shores of Greece.

7. It’s All Greek to Me

Greece is unique for a variety of different reasons, whether you are talking about the unequaled amount of history it is home to or the Greek language itself, you will never stop discovering new things. One of those things that you will happily discover on a daily basis is something that is so inherently Greek, the food! The food in my opinion is where the modern day Greeks have out done their ancient counterparts. While studying in Greece you will fall deeply in love with the Mediterranean diet, primarily consisting of fresh greens, olive oils, and healthy fats. You also undoubtedly will consume an unhealthy amount of Gyros (typically having French fries inside as well), but who is counting!

Santorini, Greece

How you say “goodnight” in Santorini – Photo Credit: Jasmine Liew, Athena Alum

The Final Word

If you are still wondering whether study abroad in Greece, or studying abroad in general, is right for you, let me bring in my old friend Aristotle in for a closing thought:

“You will never do anything in the world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” 

Some situations that arise in life can be broken down with rational thought and a logical conclusion can be expected. There comes a time though when the thinking must cease and the courage must take over.
Whether you are thinking about studying abroad on a Greek Island or one of the many other exquisite places the world has to offer, there comes a point where you just have to embrace Aristotle’s advice; muster up the courage and just go. 

Will you go for it? Find a study abroad program in Greece now.

This article was contributed by Athena Study Abroad, an international education organization that offers study and intern abroad programs overseas at smaller institutions focused on ensuring true immersion, quality programming, and personalized service.  Athena offers programs in over 12 countries and 20 cities worldwide.

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