Erasmus+ International Mobility, Christina Nathalie Smith, Canada

I can't thank the program enough for opening the academic opportunity, as well as the exposure to the Greek cultural enrichment which I have been receiving. I am so grateful to have been recipient of such an enlightening scholarship which has permitted me to do my research for my Master's Thesis on Olympic Legacy, supervised by a world renowned academic and specialist, Professor Dimitra Papadimitriou in the field of Sport Business Administration. To be exposed daily to the heartwarming and welcoming people of Patra, to the traditions and cultures, have made me feel part of life here in Greece, that I don't want to leave. The students and staff which I have met on campus at the University of Patras have been so helpful and friendly, that it has created an environment which makes a foreigner feel at home. A heartfelt mention and extreme gratitude goes out to 4 hard working women, Maria Kotsari at Erasmus, Iya Marachades at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), my Professor Papadimitriou and her assistant (PhD student) Charitomeni Tsordia, who have put forth tireless efforts, time and energy in order to make my experience here possible! Being the first from Canada and outside the European Union, as well as adding the complexity by being a student at RIOU in Sochi, has not made it an easy feat to be here...but we did it!!!! :) I can't be more proud to represent my country of Canada, RIOU, as well as my International Bobsleigh Skeleton Federation, as they are the primary reason why I have been set on this amazing life altering academic and cultural immersion journey. Upon completion of my experience when I return to Russia to defend my thesis then back to Canada, I will have a camera full of diverse memories and a heart full of stories to share which will last a lifetime and inspire the next generation of academics to apply for your program as well as others to visit your beautiful paradise. Despite the current economic crisis, you would never know because of your deep rooted strength in character and positive determined spirit that the saying which I have learned in Olympia rings true....Greeks are not like Heroes...Heroes are like Greeks!
Thank You!

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