Valpo Voyager

Student Stories from Around the World

Category: Athens

Adjusting to life in Athens, Greece.

Author: Katarina Modrich

Location: Athens, Greece

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I have now been in Greece for three weeks. I am living with a wonderful Greek Family in Iraklion, Athens. This is a suburb outside of the main Center of Athens. In my first blog I would like to welcome you to read about my experience so far in Athens by sharing photos and a bit about my daily routine.

Every morning there is coffee and breakfast provided by my wonderful host mother, Anna. I attend classes in Pagrati which is a 50 minutes’ commute from my homestay. Sometimes I am able to sit and read on the train and other times the train is packed with people and I listen to music or try to pick up some words that I have learned in my Modern Greek Class.

The best part of my commute is the walk from the train station to the school. I walk through the national garden which is a hidden gem for a nature lover like me. After getting off of a crowded train and walking through the busy streets in the center of Athens it’s a breath of fresh air to stroll through the peaceful garden.

After I go to my classes I often go to a café with some of my classmates. The cafes in Greece welcome you to stay for as long as you want. You can order one coffee and work on your homework for the next 5 hours. This has been a very comforting part of my time here so far. The café near my school, called “Kekkos”, serves coffee with some complimentary sweets and a glass of water.

Birthday Celebrations in Greece

Blogger: Alyson Kneusel

Program: Reutlingen, Germany – Study Center

During my study abroad experiences, I have gone to places that I thought only existing in stories, textbooks, and myths. Nowhere was this truer than with my travels in Greece. To celebrate my birthday, my mother visited me, and we traveled to the Greek island of Santorini and Athens. I was impressed by the variety of sites I found in Greece, as some areas were valued for their beauty, but others for their history. Although I have seen many amazing sites during my time abroad, I don’t think I could ever be as impressed by anything as I was by the beauty of Santorini and the antiquity of Athens.

The Greek island of Santorini is recognized as having one of the most beautiful sunsets. When I looked at pictures on Trip Advisor, I thought that there was no way the island could actually be that beautiful. It was. Santorini has all white adobe-like buildings, often with blue roofs. These buildings were almost always built in a terraced style up the side of the cliffs. From our table on the ledge outside our hotel room, you could see an absolutely breathtaking view of the sunset and the surrounding islands. As I looked at this beautiful view (shown below), I remember feeling like I stood alone on the edge of the world.

One of the best things to do in Santorini is to take a Caterman sailboat ride so that you can see the nearby volcanic island and enjoy the warmth. You can also view the red, white, and black beaches (named for the color of the rock). This was quite possibly the highlight of my vacation. At one point, our boat anchored near a natural hot spring, and we were able to swim from the boat to the hot spring. Of course, in order to do so, you had to swim through the chilly water between the boat and the spring!

As if that were not enough adventure, we went next to Athens. Easily the most impressive aspect of Athens was the Athenian Acropolis, which contains the Parthenon along with numerous other ancient Athenian temples and ruins. Perhaps the most enchanting part about the Acropolis was recognizing the part it played in history. If I had not studied Greek mythology, Athenian democracy, the writings of Greek Philosophers, and world history, no doubt the Acropolis would have seemed a lot more like a bunch of impressive marble rocks. However, I was able to imagine what they might have been like during the height of ancient Greece and what Aristotle might have thought as he contemplated his Nicomachean ethics and looked up at the same Parthenon that I, myself, was viewing.

It was a humbling experience. Realizing how long these structures (dating back to nearly 500 BC) had stood in that same place and how many people over the centuries had viewed them made me realize how small a part I really play in the long history of humanity. The Parthenon has stood through numerous empires from the Persian wars, to the Peloponnesian wars, Roman influence, and even later, through the Ottoman Empire. Not to say that my life is insignificant, more that this just provided a humbling experience, which reminded me how important it is to save these antique structures for posterity so that they too can appreciate them as I did. Perhaps in the year 4000 someone will write about how the ancient peoples of the early 21st century influenced and viewed the Athenian Acropolis!

Until next time,

Alyson Kneusel

Life in Greece

Author: Dezzarae Arce

Program: CISabroad Summer in Greece

Taken right underneath the Acropolis, where you can go to find your local foods, clothes, gadgets, and anything else you may need.


The changing of the guard. You can see the guard’s motion, which is ritual.


Views of the town in Delphi

IMG_2516 IMG_2509 IMG_2518

Typical Road Signs


Overlooking the city of Nafplio


Taken in Athens, Greece – a typical view from your home’s window


Overlooking the city of Athens – Taken at the top of the Acropolis.


The Athens Flea Market located in Monastiraki, where you can buy handmade things and antiques


Grecian Monuments – Walking into the Past

Author: Dezzarae Arce

Program: CIS Summer in Greece

This is the Temple of Apollo taken in Delphi, Greece


The first Olympic stadium



The temple of the God of the Sea, Poseidon, in Cape Sounion


The tomb of Agamemnon in Mycenae


An ancient theater used by Greeks for musical and theatrical performances in Epidaurus. It is still in use today as it provides great sound quality. The acoustics are so great that if you drop a quarter in the middle of the stage, people in the very highest seating can hear it drop.


The classic Acropolis in Athens, Greece


The Library of Hadrian in Athens, Greece


The Parliament located in Athens, where there is a change of the guard every hour on the dot



The Food of Athens

Author: Dezzarae Arce
Program: CIS Summer in Greece


These pictures are from your local farmers market in Omonia, Athens. This farmers market has EVERYTHING you want to buy for your weekly groceries. You can find local and imported freshly caught fish, lambs, beef and pork. On top of meats, you can also shop for different cheeses, fresh local fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs, etc. Some foods are imported at the market, but Athenians are true to their country and prefer buying local foods to help their economy. Athenians also buy their groceries every week in order to keep their foods fresh and natural. This market is the second largest in Greece and was the biggest for a very long time.
These photos were taken in a square in Athens Greece. The stand is a local cart stand that sells different kinds of snack breads. The breads look like rings and have sesame seeds on top. These carts are found everywhere in Athens. The display cases with pastry desserts are filled with your daily snacks and pastries. Here you can usually find sandwiches, or pastries with ham and cheese. You could you could also find pizzas that are meant for lunch.  These snacks are typically found in your local cafes and pastry shops in Athens and are usually displayed in this way.


Food Cart IMG_2166 IMG_2167

Graffiti and Political Unrest

Author: Dezzarae Arce

Program: CIS Summer in Greece

These pictures were taken in Athens, Greece, where graffiti is very common. It is also very common in other major cities of Greece. Here in Greece, graffiti is a way to express Athenians’ disagreement with government decisions and rulings. Currently, there is a big a conflict with society against the government of Greece involving the economic crisis and other political issues. Athenians stand up against the government through their graffiti artwork in the hopes of their message getting across. In most graffiti artwork, you will find power struggles and you will find an ‘A’ with a circle around it to symbolize pro-anarchy.

Taken in a neighborhood in Athens, Greece. Here you can see how the people of Athens feel helpless against the government and law enforcement.

Graffiti - 2

Found near a square in Athens right across from a residential area.

Graffiti - man in chicken suit

Here is a picture of a man who seems hopeless and starving. It was found on a side street of Athens close to one of its squares.

Graffiti - Man

Doors of homes covered in graffiti tags

Graffiti 3

The translation of this phrase is “Always contradictory and antisocial.” Right next to the women’s face on the left side you can see an anti-Nazi symbol instead of a traditional A with a circle around it.

Graffiti - woman

Depicted in a boy holding some sort of mask on his face while holding a bottle with his other hand.

Graffiti - child

This was taken on a street right before the main road in Athens.

Graffiti - baby

This was taken in Lykavittou, Athens, which is a mountain/hill. The phrase means “Lawless” which is very interesting because this was found at the top of the hill, and when looking over the city, you feel so free and lawless.

Graffiti 4

Deciding on Greece

Dezzarae Intro

Author: Dezzarae Arce
Program: CIS Summer in Greece


Hi! My name is Dezzarae Arce, and I am currently a senior here at Valparaiso University studying mathematics and secondary education. Apart from academics, I am a a member of the University’s Women’s Cross Country team and a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. Being my senior year, everything is coming to a close, including the opportunity to study abroad. Thus, to fulfill my last humanities credit, I decided to study aboard. After I complete this credit, I will be gradating in August and becoming a high school mathematics teacher with the hopes in coaching high school girl’s cross country.


To fulfill my last credit, I decided to study abroad. In choosing my destination, I wanted to go to a place where no one really goes or thinks to go. I also wanted my experience to be a complete culture shock including the language. So right away I knocked out London, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany. I eliminated these countries right away because I speak English, Spanish, and French and because some of these countries tend to have similar customs to American costums. I wanted to be surround by an unknown language and a culture where I had to adjust. I wanted to become frustrated and learn new ways of living. Thus, I choose to study in Greece. This summer, I will be studying in Athens, Greece and will be exploring different parts of Greece including an island. During my time abroad I will be visiting Delphi, Nafplion, Cape Sounio and the Greek island Crete.


This will be an experience of a lifetime and I am beyond excited to start this new adventure.

© 2024 Valpo Voyager

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑