Make The Connection

April 10, 2023 | By Marcos Crespo ’23

Ava Hurd ’25 is spending the semester studying at The American College of Greece in Athens. (Photos courtesy of Ava Hurd)

Abroad in Athens

Ohio Wesleyan Student Expands Her Horizons During Semester in Greece

Name: Ava Hurd ’25
Hometown: Grove City, Ohio
Majors: Business and Psychology
Minor: Finance
High School: Grove City High School
OWU Connection Experience: Study abroad at The American College of Greece in Athens, Greece

Hurd is spending the semester studying overseas through the AIFS Abroad program. Her Battling Bishop women’s soccer teammate, Ryan O’Neill ’25 of Cincinnati, Ohio, also is spending the semester studying in Greece.

Seeing the World

“I knew I wanted to study abroad and see the world when I chose OWU,” Hurd says. “The study abroad experience drew me to Ohio Wesleyan in the first place because I knew how much they encouraged students to experience the world while in school. OWU also supports and helps its students travel abroad in many ways.

“I chose to come to Greece because I wanted to get away from Ohio’s cold winter and enjoy traveling to parts of the world that are hard to get to when in America. I also wanted to experience other cultures and all that comes with them!”

Ava Hurd enjoys a Moto scooter ride – one of her favorite moments of her time studying in Greece.

My Favorite Moment

“My most favorite memory of Greece was going to Meteora. It was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking! The monasteries were spectacular, and it was so amazing to see how the Greek Orthodox Church works and how the monks/nuns live. I also got to ride on the back of a man’s Moto, and it was truly the most fun I’ve had in Greece thus far!

“I love walking around downtown Athens going into neighborhoods like Plaka and Monastiraki, and immersing myself into Greek culture. I am looking forward to the Greek Easter break that we have in April because I will be going to Sicily, Rome, and Florence with some of my friends for two weeks!”

Lessons Learned

“I learned many things about myself and the world from the experiences I have had in Greece during my travel abroad semester. I have also learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was because I have been able to be on my own in another country, managing my way through learning new cultural norms and transportation systems.”

Grades in Greece

“In Greece, the only grades I have are my midterms and finals, plus a paper if the class assigned one. This means I only have two to three grades. The grading system is also extremely different than back in the States. An A is 100-70% and back home – that is not the same at all!”

Important Experiences

“I am learning to be independent, strong, and courageous. I think that immersing yourself in another culture can let you be more sensitive to other people's situations and learn more about others' struggles. I believe that studying abroad and traveling teaches people to become more passionate, alert, ambitious, and depend on other skills that involve interacting with other cultures.”

Ava Hurd and Ryan O’Neill ’25 explore Greece together as part of their study abroad experience. At OWU, they are women’s soccer teammates.

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose to attend OWU for many reasons including the opportunity to study abroad! I also chose it because I get the opportunity to play college soccer. I also like how close it is to my family and how I get the opportunity to commute and be both a part of college life and still be a part of family life because I have three little sisters that I want to watch grow up.

“Also, I knew how good the business program is, as well as the connections with the alumni they create with the students.”

My Plans After Graduation

“I am not fully sure what my plans are for after graduation but as of right now I am planning to graduate in December 2024 and then in the spring of 2025 do a volunteer abroad program and help children over the world.

“If I do not do that, I am going to join AmeriCorps and spend some time giving back to the community in any way I can. If I do this, I think I will also get my master’s degree. I do believe that OWU has helped prepare me to reach these goals and for the next three semesters will continue to help me to reach my goals.”