For many Wellesley students, the past few weeks have been a blur of adjusting to new classes and schedules. Some, however, are also just now experiencing their first time in a Wellesley classroom after spending the Fall semester abroad. For Hadley Kronick ’25, the decision to study abroad in Athens, Greece was “very last-minute.”
“I had been online for the past two years and I was ready to get out and do things,” Kronick said.
Maya Cowan ’25, who was also in Athens this fall, felt the need to explore the world.
“I wanted to prioritize studying abroad,” Cowan said. “I had never left the country before this experience.”
Both students described their time abroad as an invaluable experience that prepared them for Wellesley both academically and socially
“I got to relearn my study habits; it was a very nice ease-in,” Kronick said.
Cowan found the experience to be one of self-discovery: “I got to recognize myself in this independent position and I left with a greater sense of self,”
Throughout their time in Athens the students had to plan, shop and cook for most of their own meals. Arriving on campus meant a few less living responsibilities to juggle, which alleviated a lot of stress for Cowan..
Both students remarked on the extreme difference in the climate being a major adjustment factor in their transition to campus. Louisiana native Kronick said she was “blown away by the blizzard.”
Despite the change, Cowan found comfort in the commonalities between Athens and Wellesley.
“There’s a stark difference between the center of Athens and the quaint town of Wellesley. But it [Wellesley] shares similarities with Athens,” Cowan said. “The national gardens were very serene, and you can find that nature and serenity here on campus, it’s very peaceful.”
The semester-abroad students were not left to navigate the change alone; they had their own on-campus orientation back in August, and another round in January.
“We’ve been made very aware of our resources here so we can have a smooth transition back into school,” Cowan said.
Both students found the change from being surrounded by a group of 16 to the full Wellesley student body to be the most challenging part of their transition. Kronick felt lucky with her roommate but described making new friends as having a steeper learning curve.
“It’s a struggle, going from a small group who knows each other, but coming to campus I’ve been meeting new people and learning to communicate, and my roommate has been introducing me to people,” Kronick said.
When reflecting on her Fall semester, Cowan had nothing but glowing reviews of the experience, but was excited to finally experience life on Wellesley campus.
“We’ve left that chaos behind for a more organized insanity,” Cowan said.