Location: Paros, Greece
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Term: Summer 2017
Program: Greece: Documenting Historical Cultural Artifacts & Traditions
Major: Media Arts and Science (focus in 3D modeling and animation)
The experience I had abroad was something that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do. Being able to get out of Indiana, let alone the country was something that I had not thought I would be able to do before, and it was worth the work in order to be able to do it. I would love to go abroad again someday and maybe even retire to Paros later on.
While in Paros, we created documentaries on 3 different archaeological sites on the island. I helped create some 3D renders of a reconstruction of the Ascleppion, which was a sort of ancient hospital/hot spring that was dedicated to the god of healing, Asclepius. On top of that, I helped with some very basic scriptwriting in the initial stages of creation. This is the video my group made. If you’re curious, the rest of the videos are on that channel.
How did studying abroad impact your experience at IUPUI?
I think seeing my work being put into a much more professional composition, as opposed to a bunch of unrelated projects, gave me much more perspective on how my field is expanding and what my skillset can be used for. It also helped to see how to best utilize everyone in the group’s skills to create a full piece.
What's your best memory from your time abroad?
We had many nights where we ate out together, one night we even went out to the villa patio area and grilled. Every week, we grouped up and went to a quiz night at a local café (we typically didn’t do too well compared to the locals, seeing as the trivia was much more focused towards local facts and European current events, but we had fun anyway).
Getting to see the historical locations that we were there to document was also a pretty fun and interesting experience. The Dellion Temple of Apollo in particular was a fun place to visit. It is situated at the top of one of Paros’ mountains, and due to the lack of vegetation or high rubble/rocks, it gave a completely 360 degree unblocked view of the island. Apparently on a clearer day, we could have seen across to one of the neighboring islands. It’s difficult to narrow down to one specific thing, but I think the thing I miss the most is the cool sea breeze we got every day, as well as the absolutely GORGEOUS scenery.
- Look around for opportunities for fundraising and scholarships, it can end up being a lot easier than you might first think. If nothing else, save early and save frequently. (Don’t forget to bring some fun/spending money!)
- Make sure you bring something to do on the flight over, it’s going to be a lot longer than you think (on that note, make sure you bring whatever you need to sleep well too. You WILL fly overnight, and getting sleep on a plane is difficult, especially if you’re used to things being silent at night. Earplugs are a must)
- Try to get to your location a few days early. It won’t hurt to get familiar with the area you will be living in for the next few weeks.
- Get a little bit familiar with the culture beforehand (especially little things). What is it like eating out there? When is it common to eat? Is there a sort of “break/siesta” time during the day? Do they practice a Sabbath? How do you ask where the bathroom is? What is the climate towards tourists? Small things like these can make your life a lot easier abroad.
- Enjoy it! You may be there for classes, but you’re spending time in another country, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people. Most if not all of the professors who lead these study abroad opportunities will likely build time into the schedule for you to enjoy your time there. When you get that time, don’t stress about class, enjoy that time and make memories!
What do you think you gained from studying abroad?
A portfolio piece for starters (as well as an impressive-looking resume point). Experience in working in a much more professional and fast-paced environment. Experience in how the pipeline of a full production works, as well as how to better work in groups. The people I was with, I will hopefully stay friends with for a long time, and we are constantly trying to get together as a group despite the trip being over (though that’s easier said than done during classes!). I gained a bit more perspective on my place in the world and in a production, as well as experience with a different culture.
On top of this, I think that it allowed me to sort of break out of my shell a bit. Though I’m not a particularly adventurous person, it allowed me to break out of my daily grind, and see a world outside of my class projects and homework, and give me a better idea of what I can do with what I’m learning. So it also gave me some motivation to do better and push myself harder than I have before, so I can get to the point that I can do things like this for a living after college.