Why did you decide to earn a degree at Harvard Extension School?

Early in 2014, the harsh reality of Greece caught up with me. The mix was terrible: insufficient funding, nepotism, lack of meritocracy, constant protests, and strikes. To a 20-year-old student (back then) this meant one thing: in Greece ambition is punished.

Hence, I had to decide how far I would go for my dreams and aspirations—whether I would stand up and claim a better future, or yield to my country’s malaise. After a brief search, I decided to take a year off and make the necessary steps to get admitted at Harvard Extension School.

What types of student resources did you take advantage of as a student at Harvard?

In addition to Widener Library, I constantly used the online library catalog, HOLLIS. As a biology major, I had access to every scientific paper I needed.

What was the most challenging aspect of your time at the Extension School?

Taking web-conference courses was probably the most challenging aspect of my time at Extension, due to the 7-hour time difference between Boston and Piraeus. The solution was a proper schedule and good coffee (a lot of it!).

What was the most rewarding?

The most rewarding aspect was the great variety of courses. Taking courses—such as RNA Biology, Genomics, and Bioinformatics; and Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology—allowed me to expand my knowledge in biology and sharpen my analytical capacity. At the same time, having the opportunity to take courses on advanced essay writing, philosophy, and religion helped me to greatly improve my written and verbal communication skills.

In addition, being in Cambridge for my on-campus courses was an amazing experience.