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: