Never Ending Memories and Lessons

When I was told this journey through Greece was going to be three weeks long, I never imagined how quickly the time would fly. The memories, friends, and experiences, are forever going to be apart of my life, which overwhelms me with happiness just thinking about it. I grew as a student, and as a friend, I learned about culture and theology, and I gained a lifetime of connections.

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As a student, I wanted to expand academically, to improve my abilities outside of the classroom. The objectives I set were aimed towards schedule planning and focus, although I was ultimately unable to achieve this objective, I learned how I needed to improve in order to be successful within and outside school. While our group of students traveled through Greece it provided me the opportunity to observe on a smaller scale what it was like to be a student aboard. As someone who has been considering studying aboard for a semester, this three week course was the prime opportunity to discover who I am as a student in a foreign country. I realized that if I was going to be academically focused while studying aboard I would have to plan out my week ahead of time in order to complete school work, be social so as to meet new people (because I can be very shy), and just like during this course be willing and open to new culture, through a variety of options such as food and speaking with natives. Greece gave me the confidence that I needed to study aboard, and I gained a growing passion for other countries culture that one day I desire to further explore.19250060_1281273918655939_407786434_o

This Greece trip not only gave me the ability to grow as a student, but through theology and this new culture I was able to further develop my faith and world views. Being able to take a theology class, where so much biblical history has occur is just mind blowing. Never before had I realized that the events in Corinthian occurred in Corinth or Thessalonians in Thessaloniki. Just knowing that where I was standing is where Paul stood as he preached to the ancient Greek people is something I never imagined I would be able to experience. As a Catholic it was especially interesting learning about the Greek Orthodox church considering that this denomination is basically the opposite of the Catholic church. Also having the readings for the theology course further supported my learning and understand of Greek orthodoxy. Through the journey of studying theology in Greece, I feel as though my faith was expanded, never before did I question certain things about God, humanity, or creation. I had deep conversations and mini debates with friends that further supported my exploration of my Christian faith. Besides my growth within my faith, I also discovered who Greece is as a culture, I talked to so many locals, and tried new things such as foods and speaking a little bite of the Greek language. From my conversations with the locals I learned that many Greeks love America and actually want to live there, while I’m the opposite and would rather be living in Greece. Also I discovered that many of the natives are upset over the economy and current government in Greece, their government does not support the Greek Orthodox religion even though the majority of Greeks are Christian. For example the Greek government is trying to remove religion from the schools. The Greek’s economy is also very poor with a 24% unemployment rate, it is so upsetting seeing some many people suffering first hand from Greece’s current state. Being able to see this has driven me to contribute within my own community through volunteering in homeless shelters or providing a  meal to someone in need. In the area I live I normally do not see people whom are in need, thus it was mind changing going to Greece and experiencing this on a regular basis.







Overall Greece offered me so much, I grew not only as a student but also a person. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and making memories that will last a lifetime. What I gained from Greece is infinite, I am so thankful for the time I had to travel to Greece and would do it all over again in a blink of an eye.

Thanks for reading,

Mariah Frey

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