Reflections from Journey to Greece
By Nicholas Victor
Journey to Greece is a program sponsored by The American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) that is designed to immerse young students in Greek culture and society, while studying in Athens and earning college credit. I heard about the program my freshman year of college and immediately became interested. I had not traveled to Greece yet, although I felt a connection because of the stories my YiaYias proudly shared with me. I couldn’t imagine a greater opportunity to visit Greece for the first time.
In Athens, blocks from Syntagma Square, our mornings started at the University (University of Indianapolis) where we took courses on the History of Modern Greece. Accompanying the coursework, our afternoons were filled with many visits to Historical and Political Landmarks around Athens. I stood in awe seeing firsthand what I had read about in books. The visits to the Acropolis, Parliament, US Embassy, and various museums were very impactful and tied into our studies.
In the evenings, our group visited local neighborhoods. Here, we were totally immersed in Greek culture through the language, the food, and everyday life. The Journey also included a 3-day cruise to Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes. At each stop, I gained an appreciation of each island’s unique customs and communities.
I will forever remember and cherish the experiences and connections that I made on this wonderful journey to the country of my ancestors. This program provided me with the opportunity to become closer to my Hellenic roots. Upon return, it was my time to proudly share stories with my YiaYias. They could clearly see that my first experience in Greece left me with a powerful spirit of Greek pride.
This journey was an incredible, life changing experience thanks to AHEPA and the program director from when I attended in 2010, Dr. James Dimitriou. I recommend this trip to any college student that would like to gain a further understanding and appreciation of their Greek Heritage.
The 2019 program takes place June 23-July 20, 2019. The application deadline is April 20, 2019. For application requirements and more information, please visit https://ahepa.org/jtg/
Email the author: The Hellenic Journal