EUROPE / MIDDLE EAST

Studying Abroad In a Country You’ve Never Heard Of

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When I tell people that I studied abroad in Cyprus I often get questions such as, ”What country is that in?” Or comments such as, “I heard you just got back from Greece.” When I first heard of my program, it was from a friend who had previously gone a few years back and I, like many of my friends, had those same questions.

In the beginning, not knowing much about Cyprus made me a little nervous. It was not somewhere you hear of people going all the time like London or Paris, so naturally you start think, well what is wrong with it? But as I continued to look at programs I realized that the University of Nicosia offered classes that I needed, Global Semesters offered an affordable cost, and Cyprus would be the best option for me to go abroad, so I began to do more research.

A few months later after deciding to go to this country that had just recently became a word in my vocabulary, I quickly realized that I had made the best decision ever. Living in a country where I had not grown up hearing and reading about gave me such a large amount to learn and experience first-hand.

While Cyprus is a very small country, it is by no means under-developed and it was honestly shocking to see all that the country had to offer on such a small amount of land. Just by sitting in class and talking with locals I learned so many little facts about the country that are such common knowledge to them, but I was so oblivious to.  Every new thing I saw or experienced in Cyprus became so fascinating because it was something I had never heard of before.

Studying in a country that most people know little about also makes for even more fun stories and interesting facts to share when you get home. While people may get tired of hearing all about your amazing experience, sharing your knowledge about a new place and different culture can always keep someone interested.  Before long you’ll even start to feel like an expert on “your” country!

During my time abroad I was lucky enough to be able to visit 12 new countries and loved every one of them, however I can definitely say that my favorite places, favorite foods, favorite memories, and favorite people were all brought to me in Cyprus and the University of Nicosia.  I encourage anyone looking to go abroad to look outside the “most popular places to study abroad” articles, and find a unique place to make your new second home.  While I know that I would have enjoyed any country I had the opportunity to study, I will forever be grateful that I had the opportunity to live in a place that I get excited about every time I can see it on a map or get to teach someone a little geography.


Macy is a junior studying Accounting and Marketing with an International Business minor at the University of Kentucky. She studied abroad at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus in the fall of 2016.