I’ve always been interested in learning about the history and culture of other people. That’s why this program really stood out to me. The course was centered around Greek Culture and Civilization and there’s no better place to learn about that than in Greece. Over the course of this past month, the class fulfilled and went beyond all of my expectations.
For the course, lectures were held at a new location every day. Learning in a new place every day was not something I was accustomed to and I think it really enriched my education experience. Most days, these lectures would be taught at the ruins in which we were learning about that day. This really enhanced the learning experience because you could visualize the history as it is unfolded. Being taught about the ruins in their location really strengthened my personal bond with the history. When we went to Athens we learned about the construction of the agora and the Parthenon while were facing the ruins of these ancient buildings. Pictured below is our daily lecture at the National Archeological Museum before we went inside to see the artifacts.
The location of the lecture was definitely unique to this kind of program, however, overall, academically speaking; the course wasn’t too different from a typical UA course. This is in part, due to the fact that, it was a faculty led program, rather than a study abroad course taught at a foreign university. The grading was based on quizzes, projects, and attendance. However, I believe just showing interest in the course was the basis of getting a good grade, and how could you not be interested learning about Greece in Greece.
Having the course be a UA faculty led program also meant there were no language barriers within the class. However, there were definite language barriers in the country itself. Only one person out of twenty on my program knew how to speak Greek, but my professor Dr. Summers was born in Greece, so she was able to help us communicate and interact with the local people. It became a way that the students also became close with the teacher since we relied on her. Being taught about Greece by someone that had lived in Greece gave me a much more personalized experience with the culture.