NEPOMAK’s Discover Cyprus Programme (NDCP) 2019 started on 1 July and will be an incredible experience for 45 young Cypriots. The programme is organised by NEPOMAK, a global organisation connecting young overseas Cypriots based predominantly in South Africa, the United Kingdom; Australia, Canada; Greece and the USA. NDCP gives these individuals, aged between 18 and 22, with the fantastic opportunity to explore and learn about their culture and history while making lifelong friends from around the world.
The three-week programme incorporates a wide range of activities both inside and outside of the classroom. Participants stay in the residence of the University of Cyprus which is a brilliant location within Nicosia. The accommodation is a short walk from the university campus where the participants attend morning class throughout the week. There are regular trips to the supermarket and the campus offers a wide selection of lunchtime meals in the canteen.
Participants are placed into three groups based on their ability of the Greek language over the first few days: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Moreover, they have further lessons in history every day and also in dance once or twice a week. Most afternoons and evenings have fun activities and participants have free time to explore Nicosia. Activities such as: stargazing, group cooking, karaoke night; games night or excursions to the presidential palace; EOKA graves or the Museum of Cyprus give participants a further opportunity to experience the history and culture of Cyprus.
On the weekend there are guided tours which enable students to travel across the whole island. Participants will travel to Paphos to explore the Old Fort, Tomb of the Kings, House of Dionysos and Coral Bay with additional day trips to Larnaca and Limassol.
In Larnaca participants will discover Dheryneia View Point, Hake Sultan-Tekke, Phinikoudes, Agios Lazaros and Panagia Aggeloktisti. In Limassol participants will visit Kolossi castle, Kourion Theatre or the Old Town centre; with all excursions including free time to relax and eat in local restaurants.
Further activities on the weekend will include: Troodos mountains excursions (including the Kykkos monastery), a boat party in the Blue Lagoon, a Jeep Safari Troodos Tour (including Waterfalls, UNESCO monastery and Omodos village); Guaba Beach Bar and a bouzoukia dinner and dance in Pissouri.
In addition to a toga party and an award ceremony; there are evenings out in Nicosia and Larnaca which are so much fun. Participants also get to experience Ayia Napa and a few beach trips to Nissi or Mackenzie beach too.
My experience on NDCP 2018
This experience was incredible, and it was the best few weeks of my life. I was able improve my Greek, participate in bouzoukia dances and know much more about the history and culture of the beautiful island of Cyprus. It has given me lifelong friends across the globe and I have been able to spend time with several participants since from the United Kingdom and South Africa. I am very excited to be flying to Australia in August to stay with some Aussie participants I met last summer. I will forever be thankful to NEPOMAK for giving me this opportunity and I am proud to be part of this global network of young Cypriots across the globe.
To anyone who wants to apply, it is the opportunity of a lifetime which opens up so many opportunities. NEPOMAK also offers several great internships or scholarships and it is a brilliant organisation.
By Alexandra Grainger
NDCP 2018 Participant