Joanna C., Cyprus- Univ. of Nicosia (Biology & Chinese)



1.What types of classes did you take abroad and how did they compare to UCSB?

I completed the Summer Physics Program designed for Biology major while I was abroad. The course was designed to be the equivalent of the entire PHYS 6 series. Since the program had to condense a year worth of material into 12 weeks,  it had an intense and rigorous schedule.

2.What was your favorite class abroad? 

The courses I took were Physics 100 and Physics 200 along with two Physics labs. So, Physics of course!

3.Did you intern, volunteer, or conduct fieldwork or research abroad?  If so, tell us about your experience.

Since the academic schedule was very fast paced, the program did not include any internships, volunteering, fieldwork or research.


4. How would you describe your host institution?

University of Nicosia is a private school located in the capital of Cyprus. It was impressive to see the resources (faculty members, learning environment…etc.) they’ve put in to make UNIC a better place for learning.

5. Are there student clubs/organizations that UC students can join?

Unfortunately, due to time restrains and schedule conflict (school was on summer break), I was not able to participate in any student clubs/organizations.

The aged to join to be part of the Global Semester Social Media Intern team to document their daily life o.


6. Describe your housing situation.

I was very lucky and got to live in the newly constructed dorm — the “U”. I had the whole room to myself with a kitchen and a bathroom included. The room was also fully furnished, and well secured (need key card to get into the building, the elevator, and the room). There was a laundry room on site with pre-loaded detergent, and a gym on the first floor. The dorm was also only a 5-7 minutes away walk from campus.


  1. Where did you eat most of your meals?

For the program, we each got a packet of food vouchers we could use at certain restaurants. I mainly ate at a restaurant called Egnatia. I also visited the bakery Zorbas down the street quite frequently to get some sweets. 

  1. How much was an average meal?  Do you have any budgeting tips for future students?  

An average meal was about 6 euros, but fancy seafood plates could be expensive.

  1. Would it be difficult for vegetarians/vegans and others with strict dietary restrictions to find meals?

There was always at least one vegetarian/vegan dish in the restaurants I went to.

  1. Describe your most memorable dining experience abroad.

My friend introduced me to the Halloumi sandwich from one of the local restaurants, it was stuffed with Halloumi cheese, cabbage, tomatoes, and yogurt-based sauces and it was the best combo for sandwich ever. 


  1. What local food or drink do you miss most now that you are back?

I miss the chicken salad (shredded chicken and Greek salad topped with olive oil and lemon juice) the most.

  1. Describe your host city.

The city of Nicosia has a very rich cultural and historical background. It’s divided into the “old town” and the “new town” and it was interesting and ye-opening to visit some of the historical sites. As for the newly constructed part of the town, you can also definitely feel the energetic vibe from the people there.

  1. Was it easy to get around?

There was bus that took you to the “Old Town” and the European version Uber — “Bolt” get you anywhere.

  1. Did you feel safe in your host city? Do you have any safety tips for future students?

Cyprus is ranked the safest country in Europe, and I could definitely agree on that. Although the city itself is very safe, one safety tip I would advice is to always keep in mind that traffic flow is the opposite, and Cypriots do not yield for pedestrians.

  1. What were some interesting/fun things that you did in your host city?

Every time we finished our midterms and finals, we would gather in the room and hold a potluck together with variety styles of food. I was able to get a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine, Chinese food, Indian food… etc.


  1. Describe any cultural differences you experienced while abroad.

I didn’t experience a huge cultural difference while abroad, I think it was largely due to the fact that the program was UC specific and I only had the chance to intermingle with the UC students across 4 campuses.

  1. How did you handle culture shock?

As mentioned above, since I didn’t really have the chance to interact with the locals, I wasn’t aware of any major culture shocks. Additionally, since everyone could speak a bit of English, it didn’t take me long to adjust.

  1. What is your favorite aspect of your host culture?

It’s very diverse, it contains both Greek culture and Turkish culture.

  1. Tell us your favorite travel story from your time abroad.

The program was able to coordinate weekend excursions for us so we could go explore different cities on the island. My favorite trips would be the weekend trips to Limassol and Aiya Napa. Being able to lay on the beach or get into the warm water of Mediterranean was the best option for study break without a doubt.



  1. What was your biggest fear about studying abroad that turned out to be no big deal?

My biggest concern was the housing situation (would it be far from the classroom…etc.), but it turned out that everyone in the program not only was able to have their own room within a 5 minutes walk distance, the living conditions were super nice as well.

21. What was your biggest challenge abroad?

The academic aspect was definitely challenging, it was very intense and demanding. However, as long as you work hard and do not procrastinate, you will be able to success.

22. have you changed as a result of your time abroad?

 I integrated with students from other UC campuses and I could say that from my time abroad, I was able to gain a wider perspective of what should do and what you are capable of.

23. What is your advice to prospective UCSB EAP students?

Study hard but also remember to make some friends! Your study abroad experience is going to be full of good memories!

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