Before we knew it, Christmas was just around the corner. To get us in the Christmas spirit, the Study Abroad Program provided us with decorations that we used to decorate the lobby of our apartment building. Also, all of the study abroad students got together for a pot luck dinner. We finished it off with a Christmas classic movie, Home Alone.

I can’t believe my study abroad experience has come to an end. Time truly flies when you’re having fun. My study aboard experience far exceeded my expectations. I never expected that I would become so close with other study abroad students and consider Athens a home away from home. I also became close with my family that lives in Greece. In the near future, they are hoping to travel to the States to visit me and my family. While I was in Athens, I had the opportunity to travel throughout Greece with the study abroad program and to travel outside of the country with my friends. I spent Halloween in Copenhagen, Denmark, No Day (a Greek holiday) in Barcelona, Spain, and Thanksgiving in Venice and Rome, Italy. It definitely wasn’t a bad way to spend my holidays. These trips gave me the opportunity to learn more about European cultures. I enjoyed being able to experience firsthand the diverse cultures of Denmark, Spain, and Italy. Even though I had the time of my life traveling, it was always nice to return “home” to Greece. Whenever I got on a plane bound for Athens, my friends and I always felt like we were traveling home.

Leaving Greece and all my new friends was not an easy task. Maybe one day I will be able to again visit the wonderful country that I was able to call home for four months. During my walk to the taxi with my roommate early Saturday, December 17, I could not grasp the idea that I was leaving Greece and returning home to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Even as I boarded the plane in Athens, I felt like my final destination was going to be elsewhere in Europe, not the United States. It didn’t hit me until I reached my parents in the Savannah, Georgia airport that my study abroad experience was over and that it was time to return back to reality.

Despite the fact that it was hard to leave Greece, it was nice to return home with my family. There is no place like home. It is wonderful to be home surrounded by family for the holidays. I was able to share my experience with my family by bringing them back souvenirs and showing them the pictures I had taken while abroad. I will forever cherish my experience abroad.

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