Stephan Brown, Study Abroad-Nicosia, Cyprus

“You got to lose yourself in order to find yourself” -Stephan Brown

Hello my name is Stephan Brown and I am a sophomore digital communications major at Albright College. I am currently studying abroad for a semester in Nicosia, Cyprus through Global Learning Semesters and attending the University of Nicosia. On campus, I am involved in Eco Club, member of the International student association and I play the guitar for the Albright Big Cat Jazz Band. I was born and raised in West Philadelphia and now it’s time to take on the world.


I have to say that this week has been one of the best weeks of my life. I took a plane for the first time, I left the country for the first time and I ultimately got to live for the first time. Everyone who traveled abroad and my international friends from back home always told me that in order to change the world, you have to experience the world and now I am starting to understand what they meant by that.  This week alone I met people from almost every part of the U.S, I met local Cypriots and I even became great friends with a guy from Venezuela!


(This is Miguel and he is from Venezuela!) #THUGLIFE

Well I will try my best to summarize the highlights of this week because I literally had an awesome adventure every day (Best orientation week ever!). My first adventure began when I boarded the plane for the very first time in New York. I almost missed my flight by 10 minutes because I was at the wrong terminal; my bag was overweight by over 10 pounds and I was terrified of flying (As I mentioned above this was my first time flying as well as going to an airport). Once I cleared everything with the airline, they let me on the plane where I met my first Global Learning Semesters friends, Meghan and Selma. Our first conversation felt like I known them for years and they helped me overcome my airplane fear. Thank god that they ended up flying with me for the rest of my flight!

FRIENDS11(Meghan to right and Selma’s in the middle)

Once we arrived at our first Layover in London, we ended up at the wrong gate and had to run across the airport and take a train to get to the right gate (London Heathrow is a huge airport, I never would have imagined seeing a train inside an airport). As soon as we got there, we ran into more Global Learning Semesters students, Ashlee and Hogan, and once again our conversations felt like I’ve know them for a long time.  As soon as we arrived to our apartments and I opened the door, I was shocked at how nice my apartment was. The rooms are nice, the three balconies are amazing and overall the look is very modern.


After running around the apartment like a kid in a candy store, it hit me that I am actually here in Cyprus for four months and that I am really about to embark on the biggest adventure of my life (That feeling of realization was one of the greatest things I ever felt in my life!). Since there were still more students coming in the next day, we had a free day to do what we wanted so my new friends and I decided to eat at El Clasico(Our first Cypriot restaurant). I ordered a sandwich I cannot pronounce and a frappe and they both were really good. The weather was in the 60’s, the sun was shining, the air was fresh and the atmosphere was perfect for our first day in Nicosia.


From left to right: Meghan, Myself, Alana, Hogan and Ashlee

By the end of the night the majority of everyone else in the program came and we all met up to meet each other! I love how easy it was for everyone to bond; it really helped with making our experiences awesome.


(Miguel, Myself, Veronica, Hogan and Joey)

On day three we took our first group trip to old town were we got to go to the Museum of Cyprus,  go to the buffer zone and we did walking tour of old town.  It was really great learning about the history of Cyprus and discovering new places around town. There was so much to see and so much going on that I briefly lost my group, but I met an Egyptian….



He pulled me in, then my friends in and then he asked if we could take a selfie with him…Yup he was pretty awesome to meet. By the end of our tour, a group of us decided to stay back in old town and we ended up eating at a random restaurant outside. While we all were trying to be cultured eating different Cypriot foods, one meal that caught everyone’s attention was the Pigeon that was on the menu. At first we all joked around about eating it but then Caleb ordered it…Then we all tried some it…It was actually pretty good…I still cannot believe I ate Pigeon.


On day four a group of decided to go on a walking adventure to find a park that we saw on the map. We saw some really awesome houses, lemon and orange trees and an amazing view of Nicosia.  We never found the park and we got lost but eventually we found ourselves (Throughout this semester get prepared to see that slogan a lot because I used it a million times already).


(Our walk was very successful in the terms of finding ourselves☺)

Later that night the whole GLS gang got to try a Meze (A collection of food) we all got pretty fancy and the food that was served was very filling. The rounds of food kept coming and by the end of the night I am pretty sure my belt buckle was going to pop. Halloumi cheese is also in the list of my favorite Cypriot foods, every bite is amazing and you feel really sad when it’s gone!



We also got a chance to check out the Kykkos Monastery Gardens which is filled with beautiful sights that takes your breath away instantly when you look around.  When you climb to the top the monastery you can see most of Nicosia and even into the north side.



On our last trip of the week, we decided to travel to Kyrenia which is in the northern side of Cyprus. This trip was my favorite adventure so far because you really notice the change of atmosphere once you arrive on the other side. I personally thought that most of the people here are a lot more welcoming and everyone talks to you. The view of the ocean was beautiful and blue, the Castle of Kyrenia was amazing to see and the food was perfect…..Oh yeah let me not forget to mention that Miguel slipped into the ocean while trying to take a picture of it and ended up breaking both his cellphones…It was also his birthday as well and it took us a good twenty minutes to search for cheap clothing but in the end it was a memorable experience that we all enjoyed.


Kyrenia Harbor

It’s crazy how over a week ago I didn’t know anyone in this program and now it feels like I’ve known everyone for a very long time. Thanks to everyone in the Global Semesters program for making my first week of studying abroad one of the best weeks of my life and cheers to many more awesome memories over the next 4 months!

Ask me any questions on my email and follow me on Instagram through my journey here! Instagram: epic_steff

P.S. Get ready for the global semester’s album coming soon, it’s going to be the most fire study abroad album of 2015


Shout out to Caleb Kissiah for all the awesome photography this week as well! And for being an awesome roommate! His photography is perfect.

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