A dozen St. Joseph’s University, New York Brooklyn Campus Honors students traveled to Greece this summer for an educational, fun-filled trip, packed with visits to museums, restaurants and historic landmarks.
Ana Phanjavidze, a senior psychology major, said the Greece trip was the perfect opportunity to learn about different cultures.
“For me, the part I found most interesting and memorable was the evenings after sightseeing,” Phanjavidze said. “Usually, we would spend the day going from one place to another, visiting museums or different landmarks, and in the evening we would go to the hotel to relax and then walk around, have dinner and talk. These evenings spent together were fun and interesting because we would talk about our days and our experiences, what we liked and what we disliked, what left a memorable impression on us, and so on.”
Accompanied by Michael Burke, Ph.D., the director of the Brooklyn Campus Honors Program, and E. Jane Beckwith, associate professor and chair of Brooklyn’s art department, the students stayed in Athens and traveled to Crete (visiting Heraklion and Matala), Olympia, Delphi and ventured to three islands (Aegina, Hydra and Poros) during the weeklong trip.
Ahead of the trip, the students took “The Art and Thought of Classical Greece,” during the spring semester — a class designed to introduce them to the mythology, philosophy, history, culture and art of classical Greece. The course taught the students about key mythological themes, including Homer’s “Odyssey” and such philosophers as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. They also learned about the different media and styles perfected by ancient Greek artists.
“Naturally, a trip to Greece allowed students to see and experience up close what they have been studying all semester,” Dr. Burke said.
Greece Trip Takes Their College Education to the Next Level
Phanjavidze, an international student from Tbilisi, Georgia, said she especially enjoyed learning about the Greek gods, visiting the Athens National Museum, exploring ancient sites, and spending time in the city of Matala in Crete.
Her classmate, Victoria Romão Nóbrega, also a senior psychology major, added that she enjoyed visiting the Palace of Knossos ruins near the north coast of Crete and trying new foods.
“I would recommend this trip,” said Nobrega of Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The experience was amazing. We had the chance to get involved with other students, learn about another culture and have fun with friends.”
Phanjavidze, a lifelong traveler, also encourages students to take advantage of the University’s study abroad programs.
“I would definitely recommend other students take a similar trip,” Phanjavidze said. “Thinking back, if I didn’t take this trip, I would regret not taking advantage of this opportunity. It is an amazing way to visit a new place, learn new things, gain new friends and overall have an unforgettable college experience.”