This post originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Alena Kuzub.

Growing up surrounded by the concrete and asphalt of New York City, as well as the rich nature of Brazil, Helena D'Alessandro developed a strong interest in sustainability and environmental studies—and a love for traveling. 

So when she saw an option to do a co-op in Greece at the Institute for Sustainable Development at the European Public Law Organization (EPLO), D'Alessandro seized the opportunity.

“And I'm actually really happy that I did,” says D'Alessandro, a second-year student at Northeastern University. 

She was born in New York City but spent many summers and Christmas holidays in Brazil where her Italian-Brazilian parents are from. There, she developed a love for nature and interest in environment, sustainability and social causes. She also realized she wanted to travel more.

“I've always had this close relationship to Brazil ever since I was little, but that meant that we never really traveled to other places,” D'Alessandro says.

Since January, D'Alessandro has been living in Greece. She commutes from a village outside of Athens to the city for work. On other days, she goes island-hopping in the Aegean Sea.

Read more at Northeastern Global News