Over the past two years, the two of us had somehow never crossed paths on Northern’s campus. Then all of a sudden, we were assigned to be roommates in Athens, Greece.
Being plopped into an apartment halfway across the world with complete strangers was scary, but on the first day we met, we knew we were in for an amazing adventure together. Even though our experience was cut two months short and going abroad brought with it many uncertainties, we would not change it for anything. So, here is a day in the life of Liv and Kit. On any average day, we enjoyed exploring different towns and neighborhoods around Greece. The American College of Greece, where we went to school, organized excursions for us to visit new sights every few weekends.
On Saturday, Jan. 18, we, along with our new friends and peers, traveled by bus to Delphi, Greece. Here we were led on a quick guided tour through the Delphi Archaeological Museum to learn about the Oracle of Delphi and the important historical events which occurred at the site. The museum was built next to the ancient ruins of Delphi, that were upon the slope of Mount Parnassus.
We hiked through the rows of ruins to see the Temple of Apollo and the remarkable view of the Greek valley and neighborhood below. Upon departing from Delphi, we stopped in a mountain village named Aráchova for some traditional Greek lunch cuisine.
We then had time to explore the narrow streets riddled atop the mountains. The town was filled with cafés and gift shops and churches and the most incredible view we had ever seen. Looking over the village, we saw the rolling mountains consumed in clouds just as the sun was starting to set. This is what we had come to Greece to see. By the time we all loaded the bus and started to head back to Athens, we were exhausted, impressed and ready to go home and experience the famous Greek nightlife.
On a more serious note, our Greek experience ended suddenly and in a flurry of emotions: fear, sadness and anger. On the morning of March 13, we were informed that Greece had been raised to a level 3 country by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our program was cancelled.
In a state of panic our friends and ourselves quickly changed flights and packed all of our bags to evacuate the country as fast as possible. Without the opportunity to wish our friends and professors goodbye, or comprehend that our study abroad travels were over, we rushed to the airport and left Athens.
We then returned to our respective hometowns and participated in mandatory self-isolation for 14 days as we had come in close contact with several people who were diagnosed with the Coronavirus.
Fortunately, neither of us started showing any symptoms and we have now completed our isolation periods. Looking back on our past few months, our study abroad experience gave us the opportunity to submerge ourselves in a new culture, travel around Europe and meet new friends from around the world.
Although the idea of studying abroad may have seemed daunting, we pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones and made memories that will highlight our college experience.