“I am from Saloniki. It’s in the north of Greece [and] it’s the second biggest city of Greece, but it’s still rather small. I grew up in the suburbs of the city so it was always pretty quiet. Saloniki is by the sea which is something that I really miss because I really love seeing the sea … I kind of always wanted to leave Greece as a kid. I liked [the idea of studying abroad] so I always … knew that I would leave at some point.
I went to this high school that had a Study USA program, which is like an extracurricular after school where we would go through a bunch of things. It started mainly as a way to improve your English. We did a lot of essays and readings, then after our first year we did a study abroad program in the U.S. I went to Northfield, Massachusetts, for a month or so, and I really liked it. I liked the structure, and I liked being alone. I liked the fact that I was independent and that it was a new building block in my life. Then, senior year came and I applied to a lot of schools and ended up here. A lot of people from my high school [did the program] and I didn’t think much about it — it just seemed natural to do.”