Featured Students

Page Kagafas

Personal Discovery

Cultural Discovery

Page shares what she discovered about being a vegan studying abroad in Greece.

 

Student Name: Page Kagafas

Home University: University of Cincinnati

Host University: American College of Thessaloniki

Major: Health

 

I didn’t really know what to expect being a vegan abroad. Before leaving for Greece, I had been a vegan for about a year and a half. With knowing no Greek beforehand, I knew there

was a pretty good chance I wouldn’t be able to make sure everything I was eating was vegan.

 

Upon arriving, our neighborhood tour of a part of Thessaloniki included the closest supermarkets. I was instantly excited about the fresh fruit outside each market, and was only hoping for more fresh produce. I thought for sure I would be cooking because each of our rooms had small kitchens, and we were taken to Ikea on our second day to furnish them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong.


We were going to a lot of restaurants at first to try things out. My favorite place to eat quickly became a small take-out place down the street from where we were living called Peinerly’s. The man who worked there (and I assumed owned it) was Menelaos. He was the sweetest Greek man I met the whole trip. He would give us free drinks and desserts when we came in, and he always seemed happy even on a monotonous day. As a vegan, this place became my favorite because he made herb pies. I grew up eating spanekopita (spinach and cheese pie) at home, and when I stopped eating cheese, my mom would just make me some of my own without it. In Greece, I found nowhere else that sold spinach pies without a helping of feta in them, too. Menelaos’s pies were thick and flavorful.


When I ate out at other places I would always get the bread with olive oil for dipping. Future Greece travelers, if there is not olive oil and vinegar already on the table for dipping, ask for it, it’s worth it every time. I always hoped we would get a side of olives, too. I would get pastas and salads pretty often.

 

Three things you HAVE to try: yemista (grilled stuffed peppers), koulouri (baked bread circles covered in seeds) and fried zucchini. Also, if you go to any of the islands, try the pistachios (especially Santorini’s pistachios) and the sun-dried tomatoes, often dried earlier that day in the same place you bought them.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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