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Gage Ulery ’18 – My Summer in Athens

My Summer in Athens 

Gage Ulery ’18 — Wabash College and the Rudolph Family have provided me with an experience that I will be forever grateful for. I was given the opportunity to expand my education, not only in different parts of the country, but in the beautiful city of Athens. I was able to do this because of the generous acts of the Rudolph family’s summer study abroad scholarship.

My summer was filled with plenty of ferry rides, tastings of new and delicious food, while meeting some great, new friends, and enjoying the beautiful, warm weather Greece had to offer. While I was abroad, I studied ‘Sustainability Across Time and Spatial Scale in Greece and Urban Islands’ and ‘The Anthropology of Food: The Mediterranean Diet.’

One of my favorite activities while in Greece was walking around the city.  With the Acropolis being only a five-minute walk, I made several trips to awe in the architecture crafted by the early Greeks. The National Garden, which was right across from the Presidents House, was a great place to exercise and gaze at the beautiful trees, which provided much needed shade from the hot sun. Museums, such as The Acropolis Museum and the Athens War Museum, provided us with plenty of new information and pictures about Greece’s history.

‘Sustainability Across Time’ allowed me to visit some of the most beautiful islands in the world and gave me time to take in the beauty of the ocean. Hydra and Santorini, two of the most popular islands off the coast, had an amazing view that cannot be forgotten.  One of my favorite events from the ‘Mediterranean Diet’ class was when we toured to a private fish market. The class was introduced to the owner, George, and he gave us a full rundown of the fresh fish he catches every day for the shop. George let us smell his odorless fish so we can compare his fish to the other fish markets we have visited.  The workers would bring in these huge creatures and put them on display until the buyer came and picked them up. One of the fish that was brought out on display was a Libyan Swordfish.  George asked me, “Can you lift 120lbs?” I responded, “120lbs? Absolutely!”  I was lucky enough to attempt to hold the fish that weighed every bit of 120lbs.  After putting the fish back on the ice, I was covered with fish juices, and was given a company shirt by the owner himself.

Athens opened my eyes to the vast diversity in this world. I became friends with Americans, Greeks, Albanians, Australians, Germans and Syrians all because of this amazing opportunity. Studying abroad in Greece not only allowed me to meet people, it also allowed me to grow as a man. I joined a group of people who believed in completely different subjects such as politics, religion, and education as me. From there, I learned to be more understanding of others and more respectful of each of their ideas. I also learned how to “fend” for my own and more independent. I would make frequent trips to the grocery store in the hopes of recreating the delicious meals we would eat from the night before. I am and will always be forever grateful of the Rudolph Family and Wabash College. Thank you for this great opportunity!