FSP to Greece: Fantastically Sensational Period to Greece

 

Coming into Dartmouth I was pretty convinced that I would never take part on an FSP, thinking that it was too much of a hassle to live out of a suitcase across the world for an extended period of time.  Over time, my ideology changed, and thank goodness it did.  This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

 

The FSP was a truly mind-blowing experience.  I learned much beyond history and archaeology; I experienced an entirely different culture from my own.  Being able to submerse myself for 77 days in a foreign place is a once in a lifetime experience for me.  As such, I attempted to put as much into the program as I could, and I tried to receive the best experience that I could from it.  I think I was pretty successful in doing so. 

 

Everything about the trip was amazing.  Even though the many days were long, it was an amazing feeling to actually see everything that I learned about in a textbook or through little black and white pictures from Jerry Rutter’s CLST 20 and 21 classes.  Some days I did not feel like working so much, but I would immediately take a step back and think, “Hey! I am in Greece.  Professors Christesen and Faro are standing up in front of me with ancient artifacts and huge mountains behind them.  This beats the cubic classroom any day.  Snap out of it!”  That thought always helped and I plugged through the day with much curiosity and awe of the history that surrounded me.  I am completely in awe of all the sites, especially those sites still intact which allowed me to understand how people lived and the collaboration of the ancients to form such a great society.

 

Watching the Greek way of life was another eye-opening experience.  Most of my interactions with the Greeks were limited to the dining experience rendering me conversational in Greek dining experiences.  Aside from that, it has been a truly eye-opening experience to see how people across the world can still share similar habits and customs as we do at home while still being culturally unique.  Greek leisure time is incomparable to the absence in America.

 

Interaction with the Greeks was limited to primarily the cafes and restaurants since the time around the FSP crowd had been paramount.  I appreciated the people on this trip, and I am amazed at how our interactions remained great even until the last day.  Being with such a great group of people has made the experience even greater than it would have been otherwise.  I learned much from everyone and learned much about everyone.  An opportunity to get close to people like this is rare, and I am happy that I have had this opportunity to spend with them.  This holds true for the professors as well.  I have never gotten to know those in charge of my education as well as I have gotten to know Professor Christesen and Professor Faro.  It definitely urges me to get to know my professors better in the future when the opportunity presents itself.  I really appreciate what they have done for us.  The TA, Ms. Sarah Murray, has also been an invaluable part of the trip.  Her great personality, love for the subject, and understanding of the material really formed the trip to make it such a well-rounded experience.

 

I would not trade this experience for anything else.  The people I met along the way, the culture I experienced, and the material I have learned has satiated my intellectual appetite and really left a sense of fulfillment within me.  All I can say now is that I cannot wait to be back in Greece!!

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