In his first post, Christopher shares about his travels to Greece this summer, along with some advice that he received from his friends and family before he departs for London.
Hello, I’d like to start by introducing myself before I go on to share my various adventures this semester. My name is Christopher Halka, and I am currently a junior and accounting major at Siena College, located outside of Albany, NY. However, I originally hail from a small suburban community called Garden City, located on Long Island, which is roughly 45 minutes from New York City.
My decision to study abroad is one that has been in the making for years to come. Being the youngest of three children where both of my older siblings had studied away the fall term of their junior year, I saw that it was fit for me to continue the tradition. My parents have always seen to it, that they enable and encourage their children to go out, learn and experience new cultures in a global setting, just as their parents were able to do so for them growing up.
This past summer my family and I spent two weeks traveling throughout Greece, learning about our heritage, hiking various mountains, exploring historical sites, and enjoying the Mediterranean cuisine. My experiences from this trip opened my eyes to endless opportunities for adventure, and that it is ultimately my decision if I want to be able to experience what's out there. Upon leaving Greece, fully aware that I would be returning to Europe in the fall for my semester abroad, my mind has been planning and coming up with possible scenarios for all the places I’m interested in seeing during the finite amount of time I have here. My time in Greece was very valuable to me, as it was my first real experience managing tension from traveling in a foreign country where English isn’t the primary language. The various intricacies I picked up on will hopefully be useful during my travels this semester.
The support I have received since informing people of my decision to study abroad in London, from both my friends and family, has been almost overwhelming in the sense that people have been giving me boatloads of advice and suggestions before I have even set foot in the UK. My family members have been telling me to appreciate every second I possibly can, go on as many adventures as possible, and truly appreciate what it means to be an active global citizen. The support from my friends, whom as a collective we have shared more of the same experiences together, has been much different. My friends have offered more emotional support and believe that they can best offer help through friendship, by connecting through technology as a viable means to catch up and reconnect as I spend time away from them.
I am very grateful for both my friends and family’s support as it will be very useful come the inevitability of when I’m homesick and miss life back home in the United States. Without them listening to me and help guide me through my decision making process, it is fair to say that I would have never made it to this point without them. I hope that you all enjoyed this first installment as I embark on this semester long journey and I can’t wait to keep letting you in on my adventures! Wish me safe travels!
Christopher's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.