The National Hellenic Society (NHS) shapes students’ Hellenic identities with a two-week cultural, educational, and socially immersive journey in Greece. Students share authentic experiences with a peer group of students from the American College of Greece (ACG).
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Heritage Greece® program made a comeback for 100+ students of Greek descent from throughout the U.S. and Canada. The program’s success is also a result of the kindness and generosity of the following sponsors: the American Hellenic Council, the Behrakis Foundation, the Elios Charitable Foundation, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation, the John and Helen Apostle Foundation, The Kallins Family Foundation, Dr. George and Penny Korkos Scholarship, the Lefas Family Foundation, The Bentas Foundation, the Louis and Eleni Nicozisis Family Foundation, the Pan-Brothers Associates Scholarship., the Panchiaki Korais Society, The Pedas Family Foundation, the Nima Foundation, and the Soupata Zervoulias Foundation.
This immersive experience blends visits to archeological sites and museums, meetings with officials and leading businessmen, and a host of classroom and experiential learning activities with nature excursions and local gastronomy. Among other sites and places, students visited the Acropolis, the Benakis Museum, the Greek Parliament, the Panathenaic Stadium and the coastal port city of Volos, learning about the ancient and modern world while cultivating connections and coming to a deeper understanding of their past.
“My favorite part was seeing where my pappou lived – connecting to my roots… The trip made me
want to come back to Greece,” said participant Sean Ostrowski.
The NHS has sponsored 600+ students of Hellenic background in what they best describe as a life-changing experience. Since the inception of the program in 2010, studies have confirmed its long-term impact in forging permanent connections to Heritage, Greek identity, and lifelong friendships. The NHS’ customer-centric approach engages the students beyond the journey’s end in Greece: NHS provides career advancement opportunities, mentorship, internships, and other ways for the students to stay engaged via the Heritage Greece Alumni Network.
The NHS Heritage Greece® Program’s influence on both participants, organizers and mentors is unquestionable. “I have gained a lot from the NHS students… They’ve written a book of memories, which I read it with a huge smile on my face and which proves that your work creates an impact and it’s of immense importance,” said Professor of World Religions and Ethics Dr. Nikolaos Dimitriadis.