Abroad in Athens
Wesleyan student from Ohio broadens her horizons during a semester in Greece
Name: Ava Hurd ’25
Hometown: Grove City, Ohio
Majors: Business And Psychology
High school: Grove City High School
OWU Login Experience: Study Abroad at the American College of Greece in Athens, Greece
Hurd is spending the semester studying abroad through the AIFS Abroad program. Her Battling Bishop women’s football teammate, Ryan O’Neill ’25 from Cincinnati, Ohio, is also spending the semester studying in Greece.
See the world
“I knew I wanted to study abroad and see the world when I chose OWU,” Hurd says. “The study abroad experience attracted me to Ohio Wesleyan in the first place because I knew how much they encouraged students to experience the world while studying. OWU also supports and helps its students travel abroad in several ways.
“I chose to come to Greece because I wanted to get away from the cold winter of Ohio and enjoy traveling to parts of the world that are difficult to access in America. I also wanted to discover other cultures and everything that goes with them!
My favorite moment
“My favorite memory from Greece was going to Meteora. It was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking! The monasteries were spectacular and it was so amazing to see how the Greek Orthodox Church works and how the monks and nuns live. I also had the opportunity to ride on the back of a man’s motorbike, and it was definitely the most fun I’ve had in Greece so far!
“I love walking around downtown Athens, visiting neighborhoods like Plaka and Monastiraki, and immersing myself in Greek culture. I’m looking forward to the Greek Easter break we have in April because I’ll be going to Sicily, Rome and Florence with some of my friends for two weeks!
“I learned a lot about myself and the world from the experiences I had in Greece during my semester traveling abroad. I also learned that I am stronger than I ever thought because I was able to fend for myself in another country, getting by through learning new cultural norms and transportation systems.
Notes in Greece
“In Greece, the only grades I have are my midterms and final exams, plus an assignment if the class assigned me one. This means I only have two or three notes. The grading system is also extremely different from that of the United States. An A is 100-70% and with us, it’s not at all the same!
“I am learning to be independent, strong and courageous. I think immersing yourself in another culture can allow you to be more sensitive to other people’s situations and learn more about other people’s struggles. I believe that studying abroad and traveling teaches people to become more passionate, alert, ambitious and rely on other skills that involve interacting with other cultures.
Why I chose Ohio Wesleyan
“I chose to attend OWU for many reasons, including the opportunity to study abroad! I also chose it because I have the opportunity to play college football. I also love being close to my family and being able to commute and be a part of both college life and family life because I have three little sisters that I want to see grow up.
“Plus, I knew the quality of the business program, as well as the alumni connections they make with students.
My plans after graduation
“I’m not sure what my plans are after graduation, but right now I’m planning to graduate in December 2024, then in spring 2025 do a volunteer abroad program and to help children around the world.
“If I don’t, I’m going to join AmeriCorps and spend time giving back to the community in any way I can.” If I do this, I think I will also get my master’s degree. I believe OWU has helped prepare me to achieve these goals and over the next three semesters will continue to help me achieve my goals.