Orientation Week

Hello all! I can’t believe it has been a week into my study abroad! Anyways, here is a rundown of what I did during this past week.

First Impression:

Here was my first sight of Cyprus. I knew from reading many sources that Cyprus is a very warm Mediterranean country. However, it didn’t occur to me until I saw it. There is no need to wear any sweater during the middle of January! Once I got on the ground, I meet some other fellow study abroad students. I knew some of the students from SU, but there was a sizable amount of students that I didn’t know. This predicament for me was like first year again all over. At UNIC, I got accustomed to my new housing and my soon to be friends.

Orientation Week:

Usually for any school, orientation week is coincides with the first week of classes. However, UNIC is different, in a sense by giving a whole gap week for orientation. With orientation week, as study abroad students, they help us to get know; the area; the language; the food; and other related things.

Nicosia:

This past Saturday and Sunday, we traveled throughout Nicosia. Nicosia, for those who don’t know, is the capital of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus. In addition, UNIC is located within Nicosia. On Saturday, we went into the old portion of Nicosia or also known as the old city. Yes, there is a old part and new part. No, not one area is more hype than the other. Both are hype. You can clearly know where the old city begins and where the new part begins by knowing where you are in relation to the wall. The old city is completely surrounded by Venetian walls in a sun shape fashion as shown below.

On Sunday, we immerse ourselves more into the old city. We first went into the Cyprus Museum. In the Cyprus Museum, there was alot to see and I mean ALOT! We are talking about things dating back as far as 10,000 BCE! Here are some things that I saw!

Afterwards, we walked through the old city with an accompanying tour guide and saw some additional historical sites. It’s amazing to see so much history within a concentrated area! Based on my view, the US cannot match Cypriot sites. Within the old city, we saw two impressive churches and some mosques.

These two churches, built around the early 19th century, were one of only a few that had bell towers. Previous churches didn’t have dedicated bell towers given that their previous Ottoman rulers didn’t allow it for religious purpose. I never knew there was so much drama with bell towers! Also, here are some pictures of some quaint alleyways and houses.

Besides the early history of Cyprus, there are other current issues that are currently happening now. One of these issues is the whole dispute between the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Republic of Cyprus. However, this specific issue itself enough for another time. Nevertheless, here were some pictures from the border or also known as the Green line.

Larnaca:

Next day, we went to Larnaca. Larnaca is a beautiful coastal town located south of Nicosia. At Larnaca, we walk along the beach and saw some amazing religious sites. One of these sites, The Medieval Castle of Larnaka, is literally located on the beach!

Here is the Castle in relation to the beach.

The other site, Church of Saint Lazarus, offers an amazing assortment of religious symbols, art, and references. As a matter of fact, this church holds the tomb of Saint Lazarus! Here are some pictures of it down below!

All in all, this is my first week in Cyprus, come back next time!

Going Going Gone

I’m staring at the ceiling.

The clock, it won’t stop ticking.

I feel like I’ve been sleeping for too long now

Going Going Gone by Maddie Poppe

The time has come! This is the week that I will be saying goodbye to close ones, but at the same time, I will be saying hello to a new culture.

I would have never thought that I will be studying abroad. Yet, here I’m bursting with joy and anxiety about my upcoming adventures in Cyprus! For those who might be considering studying abroad or just like to read a good old blog, I will try my best to document my time! For this week, given that it’s the first week, I will be talking about packing information and potential worries.

For some, packing is like second nature, while others come with anxiety. Packing is a simple, complicated idea with one basic principle of putting away clothes and having many variables (e.g. different types of clothes) to deal with. Based on my experience, I will be giving some of the pointers that I learned over the years. Also, I will tell you some things that I learned over that past few months.

For starter, when I travel, I pack very conservatively. What I mean is that I will pack at least 2 weeks worth of clothes for this study abroad. However, you may be asking why so little? The short answer is that I’m a very simple person. The long answer is that I want to have enough space for any additional items that I will need to bring (e.g. electronics, shoes, etc.) and maybe any items that I want to bring back.

An additional tip that I can think of is packing strategically. Strategically in a sense of rolling up any jeans or squeezing as many clothes as possible to conserve space.

The last tip that I can think of is to make yourself feel comfortable while in transit. Personally, when I travel I don’t care about how I look, I just want to feel comfortable by wearing loose-fitting clothes and playing my music to the loudest. Side note, I might occasionally add some song/ modern reference here and there.

As much considered myself experienced in traveling there were some things that I didn’t know and will have probably been stressing out while traveling. The first big thing for me were travel documents. For most travelers, when traveling abroad for prolonged periods, you will need a travel visa. Luckily for me, my program takes care of my visa and any additional travel documents. If I didn’t attend this program, I would have taken time out of my schedule to get a travel visa at my closest host country embassy, which could be as far as few minutes to a few hours. Just food for through, if you’re considering going abroad.

My belongings and my travel documents for Cyprus

One surprising thing that I learned were power outlets. Cyprus doesn’t use your traditional power outlet. In the US, we used the type A and B power outlets. In Europe, most of them used the type C and F power outlet. What power outlet do you think Cyprus uses?

Image result for type c power plug
Type C

Type C? Nope.

Image result for type f power plug
Type F

Type F? Nope.

As a matter of fact, Cyprus uses the type G power outlet. The only countries that use the type G power outlet are former British colonies or Britain.

Image result for type g power plug
Type G

In conjunction with power outlets, some additional things that I learned were from previous students studying abroad experience. I would like to personally thank Hannah, Priscilla, and Cheyenne for giving me an insightful view of Cyprus! Prior to hearing their stories, I basically didn’t know anything about Cyprus. Now I feel more confident in going to Cyprus!

Overall, I do feel excited about going to Cyprus! Yet, there still will be some lingering anxiety that I will have to face. Some of my main anxieties are making new friends, embracing a new culture, getting accustomed to Cypriot clothes standards, and cooking. The whole purpose of going abroad is to immerse yourself into another culture. What’s the purpose of going abroad without taking a chance to embrace another culture? As a result, I will try to do my very best to immerse myself it, even if it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.

Anyways, this is the end of my first entry, I hope you will follow my blog and come back next time on my TANGible adventures in Cyprus! Also, to my family and friends Gung Hay Fat Choy!