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Heritage Greece: A Memorable First Session Wrap-Up

Heritage Greece students at the American College of Greece (ACG) visit the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

The National Hellenic Society (NHS) is thrilled to share a few highlights from the first session of Heritage Greece. This program, in collaboration with our partner institutions, offers a unique opportunity for students to connect with their Hellenic heritage through immersive cultural and educational experiences.

Exploring Northern Greece with the
American College of Thessaloniki (ACT)

Students embarked on a journey through time at the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT). They explored ancient sites and delved into the history of Alexander the Great at Pella and Vergina. A hands-on workshop led by ACT's talented faculty allowed students to try their hand at classical painting, fostering a deeper appreciation for ancient Greek art. Students cooled off in the streams of Mt. Olympus after a visit to the ancient site of Dion, the home of the Greek Gods. Then, the participants embraced the heat by visiting the Pozar Hot Springs, enjoying the relaxation of therapeutic waters to end their trip.

New Program at College Year in Athens (CYA)

This year, NHS partnered with College Year in Athens (CYA) to provide a comprehensive exploration of Greece through a humanities and classics lens. Students visited the Assembly of the Athenians and the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, engaging first-hand with the remnants of ancient democracy and politics and learning about the historical foundations of governance and societal structures. After visiting Parliament and several Greek think tanks, students reflected on the role of elected representatives, AI, modern technology, and the intersections of ancient and modern practices. These discussions enriched their understanding of Greece's enduring influence on modern political thought.

Cultural Immersion in Downtown Athens at the American College of Greece (ACG)

In downtown Athens, students at ACG gathered to begin their journey at ancient sites around Athens and Cape Sounion, traveling back in time at the Parthenon and Temple of Poseidon. Traditional dancing and a night under the stars at the ancient Odeon of Herod Atticus to see Puccini's Tosca introduced the students to the world of Greek art and culture. To gain insights into the contemporary political scene of Greece, students toured Parliament and the Elefsis Shipyards, bridging the gap between historical legacy and modern advancements. A key component of Heritage Greece is mentorship, pairing bright students with accomplished Greek and Greek-American professionals. The NHS hosted a luncheon at the Royal Olympic Hotel's Rooftop Garden in Athens to do just this.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to our partner institutions, peer fellows, and Heritage Greece mentors who made this session a success. We cannot wait to meet the next session of students this July and continuing our mission to connect Greek Americans with their heritage.

Welcome to the NHS family, 2024 Heritage Greece students!


What the Students Say

Evangelos Horiatis University of Connecticut

"I think going through this experience with other Greek Americans and being able to bond on it together is a really unique experience. We all have that same experience of being Greek in America, but [we] come here and experience our culture firsthand and share that with one another in a life-changing experience."

Alexandra Angelos Boston University

"I have a much higher appreciation for the Greek language. I went to Greek school, but I have never been able to really solidify my conversational skills. I feel like I'm starting to be able to do that which is exciting and life-changing. I have such an appreciation for Greek culture, music, arts, etc., and being immersed here has been so integral to doing that."

Wesley Michailidis McGill University

"My family is from Pontus in Northern Turkey, so it feels great. When I was flying over Greece and I saw the mountains, I knew I was home and this past couple weeks has been that exact experience: I feel at home."