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My Scholarship entry - Seeing the world through other eyes

WORLDWIDE | Tuesday, 24 April 2012 | Views [519] | Scholarship Entry

When people think of Greece they usually picture beautiful people sipping drinks on even more beautiful beaches. This is a very prominent part of the country’s intrigue, but my experience was much more fulfilling than a bottle of Ouzo. I attended an international study program in Crete. The program included 100 students from 27 different countries in the Balkans, so I got to see the world through 100 people’s eyes. My roommate was from Lebanon, a country I knew very little about, but after hearing about her life there I learned more than I ever could have from reading a book. I learned about the lives of many people in the program, including students from Kosovo, Romania, Israel, Palestine, etc. I got to see how, in world politics, one decision can mean nothing to one person and the world to another, especially in countries like Israel and Palestine. My friend, Spyros, who lives in Athens, let me stay with him after the program. I got to see Greece from the inside out. He introduced me to Greek cuisine including, baklava, gyros, and the freshest fruit I have ever tasted. He toured me through the narrow, graffiti-covered streets and local clubs. He even gave us a look at the breathtaking Acropolis at night, from his favorite local spot. At this harsh economic time for Greece I got to see Athens as a city of history and beauty, rather than a city of protests. After taking a deeper look, Syntagma Square was full of inspiring local people with passion and drive. I met his family and friends; we danced, sang and of course there was plenty of drinking. From cliff diving in the ice blue Mediterranean to going back in time while exploring the Minoan ruins, the part that I got the most out of was the relationships I built with these people and the cultures they shared with me. I want to taste new foods, hike new paths and see everything that I can and share my experiences with others; to open more eyes like mine have been.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2012

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