Exploring Greece by Yasmin Vasquez, Veterinary and Biomedical Science


Posted: May 25, 2016

I always thought study abroad was out of my league because I knew I did not want to fall behind in classes. Now that I completed this trip, it was probably one of the best decisions that I ever made.
Visiting Gerovasileiou Winery

Visiting Gerovasileiou Winery

In my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would have the opportunity to travel to Greece.  Greece’s rich history always has intrigued me as I always was big on learning about international culture.  Yet previous to hearing about the experience, I never thought too much about studying abroad.  I always thought it was out of my league because I knew I did not want to fall behind in classes.  When the opportunity presented itself that I take a 10 day trip to Thessaloniki, Greece, I jumped at it.  Now that I completed this trip, it was probably one of the best decisions that I ever made. 

Throughout this trip, I was able to take in all the beautiful scenery that Greece has to offer while still learning about agriculture.  I was able to hike historic Mt. Olympus, visit picturesque beaches, and experience the variations of Greek culture.  Because the class, Ag Sc 499I (Food Systems and Marketing), was related to agriculture and specifically food, it allowed the class to not only view how the food is made but try it as well.  It was interesting to try all the food that they had to offer which was far too much.  By the end of the trip, there was enough meat in the small micro-fridge in my dorm room to last a week.  However, it was interesting to see the differences between traditional Greek food that I experienced in Thessaloniki and the more Turkish inspired food in the eastern city of Xanthi.  I have learned from experience that sometimes it is better not to ask what you are eating because sometimes you do not want to know.  At least, that was how I felt. 

Also on this trip, I was able to scratch off hiking Mt. Olympus off my bucket list.  Although slightly treacherous and difficult, the views along the hike were breathtaking.  It was nice to be a part of a place with such a strong historical presence within history.  Although the hike was a more difficult than I had anticipated, it is an experience that I would not regret having. 

There have been some professional benefits that I have been able to experience from this trip as well.  From being able to see cultural differences to language barriers, I feel that being immersed in a different country has allowed me to adapt better to adversity and change. I am not exactly sure what the future holds for me as a veterinarian but there may be times where I have to interact with clients from different countries.  Traveling to Greece helped shed light to how other parts of the world live and with the future, there may come a time where I am allowed to travel as a veterinarian.  If this becomes a reality then I will have to learn the customs of the country that I will be working in.  I truly believe that this trip to Greece has allowed me respectful insight to adapting to these customs in a professional setting.  With that being said, I believe that this new insight will also be beneficial to a future employer as well.