What is NDCP?
NDCP, short for “NEPOMAK Discover Cyprus Programme” is a unique experience where young Cypriots are given the opportunity to visit their homeland and improve their knowledge of the Greek language, Cypriot culture and heritage. It’s also a fantastic way to meet and build lifelong friendships with other young Cypriots from around the world. The cost of excursions, accommodation, course fees and a small contribution towards participants’ flights to Cyprus are covered by NEPOMAK.
1-21 July 2019
Applications for NDCP 2019 closed on 17 February 2019.
Who can apply?
To be eligible to apply, you must be:
- 18-22 years old
- Of Cypriot descent (at least one Cypriot grandparent)
- A registered member of NEPOMAK
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- What does the programme include?
Program Includes: 3 week study at the University of Cyprus’ School of Modern Greek (with accommodation at the University of Cyprus Dormitory, Panestimioupoli, Nicosia). Participants from the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and South Africa will participate in a language course. Participants from Greece will take part in a culture course. All participants will take part in culture, dance and history workshops. A series of excursions are also organised to museums, monasteries and the Green Line.
- How much should I budget for?
NEPOMAK covers the cost of your accommodation, tour costs, tuition fees and bus transportation for programme excursions. You will need spending money for food and recreation and other travel necessities. Please note that travel costs during free time will not be covered and will be at your own expense. You are to book your own return flights to Cyprus, with the cost of those flights made payable by yourself. Once the programme has finished NEPOMAK will try to secure a small subsidy covering a proportion of the airfare although this subsidy is not guaranteed. NEPOMAK will not cover any medical or travel costs. Please ensure you have adequate medical and travel insurance before arriving in Cyprus.
- What should I bring with me?
Pens, Notepad and a filing wallet or a small pocket folder for lessons. If you wish to use the Internet – bring your own laptop and an ethernet cable. If you wish to charge your laptop, phone, camera or use the electricity, ensure you have the correct plug converter for Cyprus. The residence use a UK style plug, but we would also recommend that you bring a European plug converter as well for other accommodations. Please ensure to bring sunglasses, protective hat, deodorant and high SPF sun-cream along with any travel necessities! Outfits for nights out and swimwear for beach days, as well as light every day summer clothes. Bathroom towels as well as beach towels.
- Do I have to attend all classes and excursions?
Yes. The programme is very generously sponsored and costs a considerable amount per participant. Full participation to all classes, excursions and outings is therefore expected at all times during the programme. If circumstances arise which prevent you from fully participating, please inform your advisors and the resident NEPOMAK representative immediately. If you fail to fully participate you may be required to cover the full cost of your participation.
- What classes will I attend?
Classes will take place between 9:00 – 14:00 from Monday to Thursday at the University of Cyprus. The classes will be split between Cypriot History, Cypriot Culture and Greek Language. Greek Language lessons are divided into three classes; beginners, intermediate and advanced. On the first day of lessons, you will be asked to complete a simple test to assess your knowledge of Greek. Based on the results of this test you will then be placed in a class appropriate to your level. Dancing classes will occur during the week after regular language and culture classes.
- Where will I stay?
Accomodation is provided for all participants in the modern and well-equipped student residences of the University of Cyprus, which is only a 10 minute walk away from class. The single bedrooms are spacious and comfortable, and consist of a single bed, cupboard, sink, mirror, desk, air conditioning and a small balcony. Each room is provided with bed linen, a pillow and pillow cover. You are also provided with an Internet connection, but you must bring your own laptop and an Ethernet cable if you wish to go online. Each floor contains several rooms, a large fully equipped kitchen and a large communal bathroom. The bathrooms are shared and all the shower cubicles are secure. Please note that toiletries are not supplied. The residences are secured with a 24hour security officer, CCTV surveillance and locks to every floor and room.
- Will I have free time on the programme?
Every Sunday you are given some free time during the programme. It is advised that you spend this time exploring Lefkosia and getting to know each of your fellow NDCP participants through daily activities, planned by your NDCP advisors. You will also be able to spend some time with family members, however we recommend that as much time is spent with your fellow NDCP participants during the trip. If you have made other plans in your free time away from the group, you must make sure that advisors are fully aware of your plans and are able to remain in contact with you.
Don't just take it from us, hear it from them
The bonds I built over the past three weeks will last a lifetime, I’m sure of it. It takes time to get to know people but the strength of our bond at the end of the three weeks was magical. I met people I would never have met otherwise and if it wasn’t for this trip, I wouldn’t be able to say that I have best friends across the globe now. People that made me laugh till I cried, and looked after me if I ever needed it. I can’t tell you how much I miss them already, they go from strangers, to friends, to family.
To my grandparents, I say the things I learnt. Attending Greek language lessons gave me the opportunity to hone my conversational speaking skills, and history lessons were an invaluable insight into the nation’s conflicted past. To my parents, I say the places I saw. From crystal clear waters and golden sand to breath-taking mountain ranges, NDCP showcased the best of Cyprus. To my cousins, I say the food. I could spend all day listing mouth-watering meals but I’ll just put it this way – you’ll want to buy some new clothes by the end of the program. And to my friends, the people I met. My advisors and fellow participants are who made the trip go from an awesome time to the best month of my life. Friendships are forged through experiences – and NDCP creates bonds which will stay with you long after you return home. So, if you want to ask me what my favourite part of the trip was, expect to hear an answer I’ve never said before.
Two things I wanted to gain was a deeper insight into the Cyprus problem and also to learn more about the culture of the Island my Dad lived in. The program was packed with fun activities and events that allowed me to take back home more knowledge and understanding of the history about Cyprus. Discussing what we learnt with other participants in classes, excursions to museums and historical sites we visited was really enjoyable.
Greek dancing lessons turned out to be to be a particular favourite of mine. Everyone gave it their best shot and we generally all had a laugh, leaving the lessons with funny snapchat videos of each other and smiles on our faces. Plus, it was great preparation for our traditional taverna and bouzoukia nights! The nightlife of Cyprus didn't disappoint. Going on nights out to bars and clubs was a great opportunity to get to know everyone else on my NDCP.
Overall, I left NDCP with a great group of lifelong friends (who I’ve already made plans to visit), loads of great memories and a newfound love for the Island I am proudly from.
The program had a full schedule filled with lessons, day trips, tours and (everybody’s favourite) supermarket stop-offs! Lessons were held four days a week at the University of Cyprus and included language, culture and dance. Though language was my strength, the culture class gave a much needed insight to the history, politics and geography of Cyprus.
From day one, you will find that the three most important parts of the trip are: socialising and partying with every member of your NDCP group, learning and improving your Greek language, Cypriot history lessons and cultural day trips, and lastly Rocking ‘N’ Rolling in the “Hadjiglykos Bus” as you sing-along with all your new friends!
Dancing with the “tatcha” (a traditional Cypriot flour sieve) and the "dhrepanin" (a traditional Cypriot harvest sickle) during Greek dance lessons was one of my favourite activities. Performing “chatista” (traditional Cypriot poetical songs) with friends throughout the entire NDCP trip and singing Tilikoritssa’, “Siko horepse kouklli mou”, “Loulla mou, Maroulla mou”, “Portokalia tou Karava” and “Ta rialia” on Cypriot night at the Taverna restaurant in Agia Anna was one of the highlights of the trip for me !
From playing “Kounga”, “Spastra” or “Billota” (traditional Cypriot card games) and “Tavli” (a traditional Cypriot board game) in the common room to eating Cypriot cuisine from Zorbas’ bakeries or Papaphilippou’s ice cream parlour along the cultural melting-pot of Ledra Street on the border of Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital city. From playing volleyball in the sea, a boat party in Paralimni, partying on the beaches of Limassol at Guaba beach bar to enjoying the nightlife of Larnaca and Ayia Napa. From visiting the religious utopia of Kykkos Monastery to having an audience at the parliamentary palace. The opportunities and experiences you will witness during NDCP are endless and unforgettable!
Post-NDCP, you’ll be lucky to not receive a minimum of 100 messages per day to your own NDCP WhatsApp/Facebook group chat, filled with ongoing jokes, laughs and reminiscing on cherished memories and old times!
Till this day whenever anyone asks me, “what does NDCP mean to you?”, I simply show them the photo of my entire NDCP group (see above). For that one photo of my loving “Big Fat Cypriot Family” from all over the world can explain more than 1000 stories ever can!
Coming from Detroit, there is a very small Greek community and an almost non-existent Cypriot community so it was really awesome to get to meet people who come from a very similar background as me but from all around the world. Although many of us were brought up in much different countries and different environments we shared this unique aspect and cultural identity to being Cypriot.
Personally, one of the things I enjoyed most was engaging in philosophical debates with various other participants about the Cyprus problem, what it means to be Cypriot, and potential solutions to the Cyprus problem. It was a very diverse and open-minded environment where people felt comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences.
I made lifelong friends who I still talk with on a weekly basis and although they may live on the other side of the world, I know we will always pick up right where we left off (and I have friends to stay with all over the world!)
It was also awesome to learn the history of Cyprus from more of an academic perspective. Overall, I'd recommend NDCP for anyone who wants to learn more about their Cypriot heritage and meet amazing people from all over the world.