Names: Kayla Jefferson and Greg Stewart
School: North Carolina A&T State University
Majors: Kayla-Supply Chain Management, Greg- Finance
Greg and I met our Freshman year. We talked about our future goals, as new couples do, and studying abroad was something we had in common; however, we did not expect to do it together, let alone for an entire semester. I originally wanted to study abroad in Spain, and Greg was going to study abroad in Cyprus. As we talked about the location more and more, we both agreed that experience would be better together. We tried to keep open minds about locations to study, however, Greg had his heart mind and soul stuck on studying in Cyprus, the beautiful country in the Mediterranean.
We noticed how many business students from A&T studied abroad in Cyprus, so we reached out to them and asked them why Cyprus? They, along with a Global Semesters representative (Matt Sborz), convinced us that Cyprus was for us. Cyprus is the 5th safest country in the world and has a rich history of the Greek and Turkish culture, knowledgeable teachers in the Business department, and beautiful beaches incomparable to other locations. Greg and I were sold! It was official. We were going to embark on the study abroad adventures we both longed for and were lucky enough to be going together!
Although we had each other, we both feared leaving home. We both knew we would miss family, friends and major events. I was also afraid of the unknown. I’m glad to report from Cyprus that our fears are gone now! I am reflecting on my life to be a more refreshed Kayla. Greg is traveling to London this week, and he’s found an easy way to communicate with family members through technology. The truth is, you have to live life. We realized that it would be doing us more damage to stay home rather than venture out to see the world that God created for us to see.
Believe me, Cyprus is a part of the world you want to see! The school we attend, The University of Nicosia, has a smaller, more diverse population than North Carolina A&T State University. The class scheduling is much different. Instead of having class three times a week for 50 minutes, we have class once a week for three hours. Some classes only give midterms and finals, excluding projects and homework from the total grade. The differences in classroom procedure took some getting used to because we’re both accustom to having multiple criteria (homework, quizzes, test, projects, exams) that make up our final grade.
We haven’t seen much PDA at school, however, at night-clubs and other events in the area, it is seen more often. Valentine’s Day is not celebrated heavily here in Cyprus, but balloons, cards and flowers are displayed in the windows of stores. Greg and I will celebrate by going out to eat during the day because we have class from 6-9 p.m. Greg will not tell me the rest of the plans because it is a surprise, but I am looking forward to it!
Moving forward, we are excited to travel to more countries in Europe together. We both do not have class on Fridays and flights are much cheaper here than in the U.S., so we plan to take full advantage. Reading three professional books, exercising 4-5 times a week, trying tasty foods, and traveling is all a part of our self-growth. We also want to meet as many other students in our classes that are from other European countries and African countries, too. It is interesting to hear different viewpoints in classroom discussions because the diversity here does not compare to classrooms in the states. It is imperative to branch out and gain friends with different cultural backgrounds. The world continues to evolve and we need one another to make it a better place.