The start of a new semester abroad is such an exciting time, and I was so fortunate as to be with yet another fantastic group of Berklee students embarking on their study abroad program last week.

Semester in Athens student Zach Baldwin-Way takes in the majesty of the Acropolis by night.

Semester in Athens student Zach Baldwin-Way takes in the majesty of the Acropolis by night.

One evening, after a mouthwatering traditional “taverna” dinner, complete with the tenderest lamb and hearty quantities of tzatziki (a dip of cucumber, yogurt, and garlic) and saganaki (fried cheese, enough said), we made our way up toward the Acropolis.  As awe-inspiring as the Acropolis is during the day, I have to say that it is perhaps at its most beautiful at night.  Rising above the city lights, the monuments and the hill itself are majestically lit, and the result is breathtaking.  We kept pausing on our way up the hill to marvel at the 2500-year-old structures rising above us—it’s pretty astounding how ancient these monuments are.

This spring’s Semester in Athens students have really jumped in head-first: they’re practicing their Greek alphabet with every passing sign, walking all over their new neighborhood discovering their surroundings, even scaling hills to overlook the sprawling city which is their home for the next four months.

The Berklee room at Nakas

The "Berklee room" at Nakas

And they’ve settled in at the school, Philippos Nakas Conservatory, right away—hanging out in the offices where director Leonidas Arniakos and administrator Maria Papadopoulou work, frequenting the café, and testing out the new Yamaha N3 series hybrid piano set up in the lounge.  At Nakas, the Berklee students have their own designated room with lockers, where they can do homework, practice, store their materials, hang out between classes, etc.  They’ll share ensembles with the Nakas students, and otherwise have small classes taught in English specifically for them.  This kind of learning is a great opportunity for a very personalized classroom experience.

Read about last spring’s students in Athens.

This group of Semester in Athens students has an amazing semester ahead of them, and their energy and enthusiasm for the experience is going to make it that much more rewarding.

Check out more photos from the first week on the Berklee Flickr page.

Interested in having your own study abroad experience?  Applications for Berklee Study Abroad Fall 2010 are open! Click here to apply now!