Nicole Walters ’19 traveled to Athens, Greece during the 2017 Intersession term. Walters is originally from Cranberry Township, Pa., where she graduated from Seneca Valley High School. At Washington & Jefferson College, Walters is a double major in psychology and gender and women’s studies. When asked why she chose these majors, Walters said, “I have always enjoyed helping people in any way I can and psychology was the best way to turn that into a career.” Heading into college, Walters was eager to experience exciting opportunities. Though this was her first time studying abroad, it was not her first time out of the United States. Walters loves traveling and has previously visited Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and Mexico. She described her study abroad in Greece as one of her best experiences yet. Walters was excited to find a study abroad opportunity last year, but it was actually her roommate who introduced the trip to her.
A key factor in Walters’ decision to pursue the trip was that it was the safest opportunity to travel abroad. The psychology department organized the trip, headed by Dr. Cathy Petchel. Sixteen students attended the trip. They stayed in the Athens for nearly a month. The group worked with refugees for half the time and spent the other half rehabilitating sea turtles. The trip also included a psychology class.
Because Walters has traveled in the past, she did not experience culture shock. She did, though, find life in Greece to be very interesting. Her favorite memory from the trip was going to the Aegean Coast and trying everything with pistachios, including normal pistachios, pistachio gelato and even pistachio Nutella. Her favorite sight from the trip was the view from the highest point of the Island of Hydra. Getting to this point required quite a hike, but Walters insists it was worth it. “Looking down on the village and the sea, it was one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen,” Walters said. The group spent their free time visiting museums and shopping in flea markets. Walters recommends this trip to other students. She believes it is one of the best Intersession opportunities and it is a great trip for first-time travelers.