I went to Nicosia, Cyprus, in Fall 2015. I took a class trip to Greece in high school, and I really enjoyed the Greek culture and atmosphere. Since Cyprus is mainly Greek, I thought it would be a good fit for me and a new adventure. Cyprus is also an SU program, so I went with 13 fellow students. I felt more comfortable traveling with a group. I also got a two-for-one deal, experiencing two cultures at once.Cyprus has been divided between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots since a Turkish invasion in 1974.
Did you have a favorite town or city that you got to visit? Why?
My friends and I would always take the bus to Old City Nicosia, about a twenty minute ride. The homes and buildings there are more historic and less modern than those in Nicosia, where I lived. The architecture of the old city is representative of Cyprus’s many conquerors throughout history, such as Turkey and England, due to its central location near Europe, Africa and the Middle East. There is a main street in the old city called Ledras Street, where shops and authentic restaurants are located. One of the checkpoints of the island is here, which allows you to pass through to the Turkish side of the island. My friends and I explored the Turkish side often, and got to experience the clash of cultures.
I tried snails at a traditional Cypriot dinner. I didn’t like them! My favorite food was the gyro, which I ate almost every day. There was an authentic restaurant down the street from my apartment that made the best gyros. Cyprus also has the best coffee. The country is famous for Cypriot coffee, which is served like espresso, but the grounds are kept in the cup and sink to the bottom. Each cup is served with a glass of water in case you drink any of the coffee grounds.
What kinds of courses did you take abroad?
Some of my courses included a children’s literature class and a world literature class. It was very interesting to see how the study and dynamic of literature in Cyprus differs from Susquehanna University.