South Africa | Interning at TCS Health Clinic


A few weeks before heading to Cape Town, I learned about a health clinic being run in Cape Town at a location called The Carpenter’s Shop (TCS). A previous UCLA student had visited the shop a few times when he studied abroad in Cape Town, and was awarded a grant to set up a clinic that tested locals for STD/STIs in Cape Town, given the high rate of said diseases in the area. Knowing this, I decided to apply for an internship at TCS.

Luckily enough, I got the internship, along with three other UC students. Within a few weeks of arriving in Cape Town, we met the head of TCS, Ian. We were given a 12 week plan with different goals each week, ranging from literature research on STDs to conducting a health clinic in the last week. Since this was also Ian’s first time doing this program, we were all in the same boat and often collaborated on our assignments. We went to TCS once a week and met on Fridays near our residence to discuss our findings.

At TCS, they provide a range of services to homeless people. They house multiple residents of the city of Cape Town, provide people with access to showers, toilets, and sinks, and serve them food at different points during the week. Some Swedish girls also handed out porridge to the homeless population during the week and that fostered a sense of camaraderie amongst us internationals, which was nice. Our clinic, however, was different to the aforementioned projects. Starting in September, we went to TCS and started surveying the homeless population, inquiring about their sexual health and determining who needed testing. After doing this for a month, we compiled the results and handed out appointment cards to those we felt needed further testing and possible treatment.

As with any new project, there are ups and downs. We handed out about 13 appointment cards, and only seven people showed up. Out of those seven, only four actually went for testing. We are currently still waiting for the results. Although our turnout was lower than expected, I still think the clinic was a success. As our time in Cape Town came to an end, we gave TCS and Ian feedback and they plan on continuing the project in the future, with adjustments made here and there. In a country with an extremely high HIV rate, initiatives like this could be what save many people from premature illnesses and death, and it is because of this, that I look at the project with hope. Furthermore, getting to speak with locals at TCS and collaborate with other UC students on this new and ambitious clinic, was an immersive experience that taught me a lot about Capetonians and myself, and I am all the more grateful for it.

Kelli Hamilton studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018:

South Africa | Adjusting to Cape Town


Living abroad is an experience that is comparable to an adrenaline rush. Surrounded by new experiences, people, and landscapes, it is a unique and fascinating experience. However, one must acknowledge that no two locations are the same and adjusting to life in a new place can be a challenging, yet informative, experience. Nothing is more true in regards to adjusting to my new life in Cape Town, South Africa.

I would not say I experienced culture shock in Cape Town. The reason for this is because it is quite Western. From the cars, to the architecture, malls, and restaurants, it has a very American or European feel. Furthermore, English is the predominant language in the country and Cape Town is known for its’ beaches, which is something California, specifically, is renowned for too. However, this may be may the similarities end.

One stark difference between America and South Africa is the high threat of crime. Everywhere in Cape Town you see electrical fences and barbed wire, as well as bars on windows. South Africa has a high crime rate, mostly consisting of robberies. Upon arrival, safety at all times is stressed, from keeping your phone in discrete locations to never walking alone at night. I personally never felt unsafe, but being aware is always a must (As It should be everywhere in the world). On the brightside, urban renewal is happening across the country in an effort to clean up cities and make them safer!

When living in Cape Town, the local lingo becomes a part of your vocabulary too. Words such as ‘braai,’ ‘just now,’ ‘now now,’ and ‘lekker,’ appear in people’s vocabulary quite often. Braais are essentially American barbeques and they happen A lot. So before coming to one, make sure to bring your own meat, because I made that mistake once and then was taught how to ‘braai’ properly by South Africans. You must also have fire starter if you host a braai, another mistake I made, but I am all the better for learning from it (lol). Lekker means a good or fun time, so it is quite common to hear that too. Furthermore, time in South Africa is different. Between just now and now now, one means immediately and the other means in the near future, the distinction of which I have not yet figured out to be completely honest.

Overall, living in South Africa Was a blast, but it Was not without its challenges and difficulties. Nonetheless, IDACA, the group in South Africa which the UC’s work with, provided an excellent support network, including young and older South Africans. I want to take this time to extend a special shoutout to Shannon and Isabella, our South African IDACA coordinators, who were nothing short of an absolute treat to be around! Local Capetonians were also quite welcoming and more than happy to help us out. Knowing what to expect when you arrive is important, but it is also essential to know that nothing ever is exactly the way you think it will be, making the experience all the more interesting and exciting.

Kelli Hamilton studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018:

Ghana | Ghanaian Culture: A Collection of Useful Pointers!


When going abroad, one will most likely find themselves unaware of certain social customs that are unique to their host country, or that do not exist in their home country/ the United States. Certain patterns of speech, hand gestures, and actions can catch visitors off-guard and leave them amused, confused, or maybe even frustrated. In Ghana, I have certainly come across situations where I am not sure how I should respond to someone or what reaction I should have towards something they have done. In this blog, I would like to share a few of these situations as well as some other things that are useful to keep in mind, so that others can be prepared if they ever encounter a similar circumstance!

Common Phrases and Their Meanings/ Appropriate Responses:

– “Am I invited?” – Once, some new Ghanaian friends came to my room to say hi. At the time, I was eating dinner, and one of them asked me, “Am I invited?” I did not know how to respond – I was not expecting them to stop by and I did not have any food prepared for them. What I have now realized is that this is considered a polite gesture, and no one actually expects to be invited over. A polite response is to the question is, “You are invited.” Alternatively, one can sidestep the question a little and offer the person something else, such as a sachet of water. [Below: Some Ghanaian meals!]

– “Can I have it” or “You can have it” – While visiting her department to register for classes, my roommate was asked by an administrator in the office, “I like your earrings, can I have one?” She was completely thrown off and did not know how to respond. On another occasion, when telling someone we liked their dress, we were responded to with, “You can have it!” Again, we were surprised and not sure how to respond. Turns out, these comments should not be taken literally. Rather, they are just polite sayings that indicate a compliment (“Can I have it?”) or kindness (“You can have it”).

– “Will you marry me/ Will you be my bride?” – If you are a woman in Ghana, be prepared for regular marriage proposals. Sometimes, the individual is seriously looking for a relationship with the intention of marriage. Other times, this is a less serious comment, but the individual is still interested in some sort of romantic relationship. Good responses to such questions include: “I have a boyfriend, ” (even if you don’t), and “Sorry, but I am not interested.”

– “What is your number?” – Many, many people will ask for your number. I once was even asked for my number during a morning run – the individual proceeded to run alongside me, introduce himself, and ask for my number. The best way to deal with this is to just let the individual know that you do not give out your number. It may be necessary to take their number just to be polite.

– “I am coming.” – Ghanaians will say “I am coming” as they are leaving or walking away from you. This actually means that they are going, and that they will come back later.

– “I will flash you” – “Flashing” is the act of calling someone and then immediately hanging up, with the intention of getting that person to call you back. With the Ghanaian phone system, the one who initiates the call, pays for the call. Thus, people will “flash” each other to avoid using their phone credits.

Hand Signals and Body Language:

– The placement of the back of one palm on top of the inside of the other palm means “I beg,” or “please,” and is usually accompanied with such a phrase or the Twi equivalent.

– Always shake hands and greet groups from right to left, or counterclockwise.

– Receiving items, giving items, or gesturing with your left hand is considered rude. For example, in class, you must always raise your right hand to ask a question. Raising the left hand is a sign of disrespect to the lecturer. [Below: Feeding monkeys bananas with our right hands – coincidence? I think not]

Other Things to Keep in Mind:

– “Time is time.” This is a phrase used in Ghana which is well juxtaposed to the American phrase, “Time is money.” This outlook on the nature of time and the laxness around meeting with others and getting things done can come across as rude and be frustrating if one is not used to it. Just remember, time is time, and patience is key.

– Ghanaians (especially vendors at markets) will make what resembles a kissing noise to get your attention. This is not, I repeat, this is not, a catcall.

– Restaurants often do not have menu items available and can take a very long time to prepare food. My friend once had to order five different items! It is useful to ask if any menu items are not available before setting your mind on something only to find out it is not available. It is also useful to go out to eat before you are actually hungry, so that by the time you get your food, you are hungry.

– Lastly, appreciate cultural differences! If you travel to Ghana, or anywhere in the world, learn to enjoy those things that are new and surprising! Experience the culture, engage with it, and take the best of it home with you! Why not?



Complimentary Twi Lesson!:

Mesua Twi daa/ pii (I study Twi everyday/ a lot!)

Mekasa Twi (I speak Twi)

Wokasa Twi? (Do you speak Twi?)

Ashley Young studied abroad in Accra, Ghana in 2018:

Cyprus | Final Thoughts! Physics is Over Forever! No More Gyros!


Physics is over! The program just ended yesterday and I’m currently on a flight out of Nicosia and to Naples. Yesterday we took our last exam, which was extremely hard, and submitted our last lab reports! The last couples of days were pretty stressful since we were finishing up our final lab reports and trying to cram in as much information as possible. It was also incredibly bittersweet and filled with goodbyes and lots of hugs. A couple days ago we had our farewell dinner with everyone, including Global Semesters and the program coordinators. It’s so sad to think about how we’ve all split from Nicosia, but most people are traveling around Europe afterwards and we’re all trying to make plans to meet up.

I’m really happy to be done with physics but there are several things from this summer that I’m going to miss. I’m going to miss Cow, the dog that lived next door to us, and all of the stray cats on the island. Cyprus is almost overrun with stray cats, and it’s really easy to get attached to all the neighborhood cats. I’m also really going to miss daily gyros and fries, late night runs to the bakery, and most importantly the milkshakes from Pieto’s.

The absolute best part of this summer were my two best friends and roommates. I’m so lucky to have spent the last couple of weeks with two of the most amazing people in the world. My roommates are so incredible, they made studying physics nonstop almost entertaining and are the only two people who could make me laugh when I wanted to throw my notebook across the room. This program really provided me the opportunity to create some a significant and meaningful friendship that I will cherish forever. In a program that’s this intensive and small it’s hard to not make life long friends. We all go to the same classes, eat meals together every day, live in the same apartment buildings, and study together. When you’re in close proximity with the same couple of people every single day they all become really special and so it was a little heartbreaking to have to say goodbye.

Would I recommend this program? Before going on a physics intensive program I would advise that you really assess what you want out of your study abroad experience. If you are looking for a fun study abroad experience to get a couple credits, and to relax I would definitely NOT recommend this program. The physics program has a reputation for being an easy way to get the physics series completed, but in reality it’s pretty difficult. Most of our time and energy was devoted to school since there was an insane amount of material to learn and understand in just a couple of weeks. I WOULD recommend this program if you’re looking for a practical way to get through the physics series, but you really have to keep in mind that this program isn’t really about “being abroad” and more about studying. It’s a really practical way to get through Physics but definitely not the easiest. Overall I really loved my time in Cyprus. I shared it with the most amazing people, had French fries for almost every meal, got to visit so many beautiful beach towns, and learned so much about an island I would have otherwise never visited on my own. I’m so excited to go back to UCLA and reunite with everyone, even though I’ll probably wait a year before having another gyro.

My friend Grace made a YouTube video documenting the last half of our trip!

Arisa Dhiensiri studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, in summer 2018:

Cyprus | Favorite Restaurants and Food Hot Spots


Food is the most important part of any trip, especially when you’re studying abroad. In this post I’m going to introduce you to my favorite restaurants and food spots in Nicosia.

Cypriot Cuisine

Cypriot cuisine is pretty similar to other Mediterranean food, particularly Greek and Turkish food. There’s a lot of fresh produce incorporated into dishes, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. One of the most popular dishes is the Village Salad, which incorporates cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, olive oil, and tons of feta cheese. Since Cyprus is an island, seafood is also very popular. Cyprus is also well known for Halloumi, a special Cypriot cheese that’s usually served grilled. In my opinion, Halloumi kind of tastes like an elevated, more sophisticated string cheese. More Cypriot staples are gyros, hummus, and most importantly meze. Meze is an eclectic assortment of small dishes, with multiple courses. Meze is my go-to meal when going to a restaurant, and the amount of food borders on overwhelming so I usually split it between 2-3 people. Meze starts with a Village Salad, pita bread, grilled halloumi and a sampling of spreads such as Tahini, Hummus, and Tzakiki. Throughout the meal various kabobs, specialty meats from the restaurant, and sheftalia- Cypriot sausage-, are brought out. My personal favorite dish is Loukanika, a type of sausage marinated in wine.

Best Nicosia Restaurants

I have three restaurants that are my go-to for meze. They’re all very reasonably priced, and serve an absurd amount of food.

My absolute favorite restaurant is Piatsa Gourounaki, or “The Little Pig”. This restaurant is definitely the touristiest of the three, but is such a stand out. It’s located in the Old Town area of Nicosia. I love this restaurant because the atmosphere is really modern, albeit a little touristy, but the service is amazing and the fries are to die for. They have the best honey mustard and insanely good rosemary herb fries. In Cyprus I’ve had fries served with almost every single one of my meals and none of the fries have come close to The Little Pig’s.

My second favorite restaurant is Estiatorio Euroullas. Estiatorio Euroullas is a really quaint and cozy restaurant in the Old Town and was the first place that I tried meze. It’s in a little alley off of Ledras Street, the main street in Old Town, and is almost hidden. I love this restaurant because everything seems home-y and authentic. Of the three restaurants this place has the best Tzakiki, a yogurt based dipping sauce.

The last restaurant on this list is To Anamma. This is the restaurant we went to for orientation dinner. Like the other restaurants it’s in Old Town. I love this restaurant because the seating area takes you to a different place once you enter. Tables are laid out under a canopy of green vines and it’s so quiet it’s like you’ve left Nicosia and you’re eating in a garden. The chef actually lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years, and so he came by and explained the background and inspiration behind his dishes, which added to the experience.

Arisa Dhiensiri studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, in summer 2018:

South Africa | Spring Break in Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe


Since the seasons in Cape Town are the opposite of those in America, it was winter for most of my time in South Africa. Therefore, our week off of school was called spring break or as the locals say, “short vac.” For our short vacation, my housemates and I decided to travel around southern Africa. My housemate, Matthew, lived in Africa for a number of years and said he had always wanted to go to Lesotho. Thanks to him I now know how to pronounce the country too. It is Leh-sue-to. On September 7th, me, and my housemates, Ekshika and Matthew, began our amazing spring break trip.

A common thing in Lesotho are blankets, which often have cultural and personal significance. Additionally, horseback is the main mode of transport and the country is filled with scenes that take your breath away (video on the left). We hiked for 3 hours to Maletsunyane Falls, which was huge and beautiful. We had a local 12 year old boy lead us there!! The next day we rode horses through the mountains and Ekshika bought a blanket of her own! WE ALSO GOT TO PLAY IN THE SNOW FOR MANY HOURS ON SATURDAY, WHICH WAS SO COOL (no pun intended). On Monday, we started our drive back to Bloemfontein and met up with some friends from UCT which was extra special. I could hardly wait for the rest of the trip!

The last two days of our trip were the perfect ending to such a great vacation. On Friday we went to high tea at the oldest hotel in Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls Hotel. The Hotel is beautiful and offers a nice view of the bridge near the falls. The best part of the day was the high tea, however. We were able to get iced tea due to the 100-degree weather and we had pastries and finger sandwiches. We also took the time to have a little photoshoot because, how could we not in such a beautiful establishment? On Saturday, we went white water rafting on the Zambezi River, the 4th longest in Africa. It was my first time rafting, and it was tiring, but great. Our raft of seven capsized once and it was scary, but we got back on after rearranging ourselves. It was an amazing experience that culminated in a 30-minute hike to grab some lunch with our fellow rafters. On the way back, we got a flat tire, but a bus quickly rescued us. Sunday morning marked the end of our vacation, and we flew back to Cape Town with the lovely Kenya Airways. I think I can sum up my experience in four words: BEST SPRING BREAK EVER.

Kelli Hamilton studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018:

Ghana | Manhyia Palace, Adanwomase Village, and Ntonso


Another weekend trip coordinated by our UCEAP staff was to Kumasi, which is the capital of the Ashanti Region in Ghana. While there, we visited the Manhyia Palace, Adanwomase Village, and Ntonso. We also went shopping at a local art market, went swimming at Lake Bosomtwe, and had some awesome group meals. Below, check out some descriptions and cool pictures of our adventures!

The Manhyia Palace:

The Manhyia Palace is the seat and residence of the Asantehene, the traditional ruler, or king, of the Ashanti Kingdom and the Ashanti Region. We visited the Manhyia Palace Museum, which has been converted from the original palace and is directly adjacent to today’s Manhyia Palace, where the current Ashanti King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, lives.

Visiting the palace was very interesting, as we were able to learn about the traditional systems of power in Ghana. The trip was also relevant to one of the classes I am taking while studying abroad: Issues in Africa’s International Relations. Just last week, my professor spent a portion of the class discussing how traditional and modern political systems in Africa interact, and how their relationships are largely a result of the European scramble for Africa and colonization. All over Africa, there are systems of power layered over one another – systems that existed before colonization, based largely around ethnicity and historical power – and systems that came to be as a result of colonization – those determined, sometimes arbitrarily, by European powers as they divided and occupied Africa amongst themselves. These overlapping systems constantly wrestle with one another, and this has many implications for African nations. For example, while the sovereignty of African states is recognized externally, it may not be recognized internally (by the people living within it). This can lead to a variety of issues, such as irredentism, low resource mobilization, ethnic armies, and dependency on external governments. All in all, visiting the palace was a great way to engage with my academic learning on an experiential level – something that I have really enjoyed about studying abroad.

Adanwomase Village and Ntonso:

Adanwomase Village is a small village near Kumasi where kente cloth, a type of fabric made of interwoven thread, is made. Kente is native to the Akan ethnic group of Ghana, and it is very important in the local culture. Many of the various patterns that can be seen in kente cloth, as well as the colors of the threads themselves, have symbolic meaning. The cloth was traditionally worn only by kings, but today its use is more widespread. At Adanwomase village, our group watched locals weave kente cloth, and we even got to try our own hand at the craft!

After learning about kente, we drove to a nearby town – Ntonso – where we learned about adinkra. Adinkra are symbols, each with a distinct meaning, that encapsulate messages, or proverbs, concerning traditional wisdom and aspects of life. The symbols are often carved onto furniture and into buildings, painted on pottery, and stamped onto fabric to be worn or decorated with. In Ntonso, we each picked out adinkra symbols that resonated with us, and then stamped them onto pieces of kente cloth, making our very own pieces of art. This was a great way to learn about some of the philosophies and perspectives of people living in Ghana, and allowed us to understand the culture a little bit more.

All in all, the weekend was great fun! I can’t wait for what’s next!



Complimentary Twi Lesson!:

Wo ho te sεn / εte sεn? – How are you? (Literally: How is your body?)

Me ho yε / εyε – I am good (Literally: My body is fine)

Yɛfrɛ wo sɛn / Me din de sɛn? – What is your name?

Yɛfrɛ me … / Me din de … – My name is …

Ashley Young studied abroad in Accra, Ghana in 2018:

Cyprus | Our Last Midterm and Limassol Weekend Excursion


This past week we took our last midterm of the program and we’re officially 3/4ths of the way done with physics! It’s kind of amazing how much physics I’ve managed to cram into my brain in the past month and a half. It’s also unbelievable how much more physics I have to learn before our final in a week and a half, but I’m remaining positive and stocking up on coffee.  

We just got back from our last weekend excursion of the program! This weekend we went to Limassol, Cyprus a metropolitan city on the southern coast. A bus picked us all up in front of the apartments Friday morning. The tour guide that took us through Nicosia during our orientation came along with. Before arriving at Limassol we took two stops and our tour guide explained the history of two historic landmarks.  

The first stop we made was at Kolossi Castle. Kolossi Castle is the most well preserved castle on the island and was used as a Crusader stronghold. It was first constructed in the 13th century and overlooks Kolossi village, a couple of miles outside of Limassol. The castle looks like a tower, and the rooms inside are all identical to each other. After exploring thcastle we went to the rooftop to take pictures and take in the view.  

After Kolossi Castle we went to Kourion, an ancient city-kingdom, where we explored the architectural ruins of a Greco-Roman theater. Kourion borders Kouris River and was the site of an ancient Greek city-kingdom. The main attraction is a Greco-Roman theater that is still used for live music and art performances today. Next to the amphitheater is a villa housing mosaics similar to the House of Dionysus. The tour guide explained the mythological significance of the scenes depicted in the mosaics. 

Once we finished touring Kourion the bus dropped us off at the Kapetanios Odyssia hotel. We spent the weekend exploring Limassol and enjoying our last free weekend. Limassol itself is mostly known for being a tourist area with nightlife attraction. During the day on Saturday we went to the Limassol Pier and walked along the boardwalk. Like the rest of Cypriot climate Limassol was extremely hot and humid so we stopped at a Haagen-Daz shop to cool down and have some ice cream and milkshakes. Afterwards we walked around the Old City area of Limassol, which was very reminiscent of the Old City in Nicosia. 

Limassol has a really broad range of Mediterranean restaurants but after a month of gyros I was really craving pasta. My roommate and I went to a TGI-Fridays right across the hotel for dinner. This weekend was kind of bittersweet since it’s the last weekend we’ll all enjoy relaxing together. This summer has gone by so fast and I already dreading having to say bye to everyone, but I’m happy we still all have a week left together. 

Arisa Dhiensiri studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, in summer 2018:

Cyprus | Structure of Classes / An Overview of Our Day-to-Day Schedule


Last week we wrapped up Physics I and right now we’re just getting the ball rolling with Physics II. Most of our time here in Cyprus is mostly spent in lecture, lab, or the coffee shop studying. Since class takes up the bulk of our trip I thought I’d break down our class schedule and take you through what it’s like to be a physics student at UNIC.  

Our week is made up of three different schedules, lecture days, lab days, and a combination of the two. We have lecture days every Monday and Wednesday, lab days on Tuesday, and on Thursday we combine the two 

Lecture Days 

Most of my days begin at 9:15 am when my alarm goes off for class. We begin lecture every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 am, and even though it doesn’t seem early it feels super early. When we were staying at the Altius hotel we would all convene for continental breakfasts in the lobby. However since we’ve moved into the apartments most of my breakfasts consist of yogurt, granola and some cereal. Since UNIC is only a five-minute walk from the apartments forty-five minutes is plenty of time to prepare for the long day of physics ahead. 

Breakfast at Altius

After breakfast we make the short trek to class. En route to class is everyone’s favorite dog, Cow. Cow lives in an apartment near the university and mostly everyone stops to say hi to her before we get the day started.  

We begin lecture at 10 am and end around 1 pm. We usually get a ten-minute break in between the hours depending on how quickly we’re going through material. Lecture is very similar to lecture at UCLA, except the classroom is more intimate and there are only 30 other students. The low-key setting is really nice since the pressure that comes with asking questions in class is alleviated. The hardest thing for me was getting adjusted to such a long lecture and learning how to stay focused but right now I think I’ve somewhat gotten the hang of it.  

After lecture we have a one-hour lunch break until workshop. Most of us get lunch at the cafeteria right underneath the lecture room but some groups make the journey to the restaurants on our meal vouchers. After lunch we have a two-hour Workshop until 4 pm. Workshop is dedicated to problem solving and asking the professor application or theory related questions. It’s similar to a discussion at UCLA, except it’s led by the professor. During workshop we work on Problem Sets, go through confusing concepts from lecture, or finish up whatever material we didn’t have time to go through earlier in the day. Workshop is nice because it has the one on one elements of a discussion but the feedback is directly from the professor. I’ve learned that stamina is the most important part of these days, it’s hard to be involved with the material after 5 straight hours of class, but paying attention in Workshop is a really integral part of tackling the Problem Sets.  

Insert pic of classroom  

After workshop we’re finally free from classes! Except we’re not. Since each day is dedicated to absorbing new material it’s really easy to get behind, and so after class most people head to the library or Coffeeology, the Kerckhoff of UNIC. The library closes at 6 pm, so only two hours after class ends but is a really ideal place to sprawl out and study. Lecture days usually end with dinner at a meal voucher restaurant, and then finalizing the lab reports due the next day.  

Lab Days  

Tuesday is Lab day and is the most relaxed of our week. Labs take place in the RT building, a little off campus, and so Global Semesters has arranged a bus to take us back and forth. Lab lasts about three hours and is led by a TA and two lab assistants. Each lab consists of doing experiments and projects in small groups to apply the concepts learned in class and develop a better understanding. It’s usually set up so that different groups do different experiments within one lab section, and so the lab assistants really bounce around trying to explain each experiment to everyone. Performing labs are easier when we’ve learned the concepts in class beforehand, but sometimes we have to do labs on material we haven’t touched yet. Initially it’s pretty tricky, but it helps when the professor goes through the material later in class.  

Lab Days and Lecture Days 

Thursday is when our long week concludes and our long weekend begins. It also happens to be the hardest day of the week. We have two hours of lecture in the morning before heading off to lab in the afternoon. Time in between is usually spent eating, cramming in the library, or trying to fit in a quick nap. Even though Thursdays are stressful, we end the day preparing for the long weekend which makes it all worth it.  

Right now we’re prepping for our last midterm next week! See you soon! 

Arisa Dhiensiri studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, in summer 2018:

Cyprus | Physics 1 Over! Moving into Apartments, Halfway Done with Physics Forever!


This week we took our first final exam and we are officially done with Physics I! This week was pretty stressful since most of us were holed away in preparation for the exam. However this weekend is a free weekend with no excursions or day trips. Most people in the program are traveling but my friends and I decided to stay in Nicosia and catch up on some much needed rest. We had our last class with Dr. Anastasia Hadjiconstanti, which was very bittersweet, but we met our new professor this week and he seems just as nice. We’re already learning material for our second midterm in a week and a half. Even though the physics seems never ending at least we get this weekend to sleep it off.  

Our last class with Dr. Hadjiconstanti (bottom row, white shirt). We’re going to miss her so much! 


Last week the apartments were finally ready for us to move into! As soon as we finished our first midterm we bussed back to Altius Hotel, got our stuff, moved into the apartments, and headed straight back to lecture. The apartments are about all condensed within 5 minutes of the University and surrounded by the restaurants listed on the food vouchers, which is very convenient. Most apartments are set up suite style, two double bedrooms complete with a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom, and a furnished living room. Most of the girls and the guys live in separate buildings but they are all within walking distance of each other. The apartments are pretty spacious and since they come with air conditioning I couldn’t ask for anything more.  

My friend Grace made a video documenting the first half of the trip, which you can view below! 

 See you next week!  

Arisa Dhiensiri studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, in summer 2018: