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APSU Study Abroad in Greece

Theseus killing the minotaur in the Labyrinth...Agamemnon sailing off for Troy, and returning to his murderous wife...Pericles overseeing the construction of the Parthenon...Socrates teaching in the Athenian marketplace...The struggle for independence in the 1820's...The awful years of World War II. Whether myth or history these events occurred not in a dusty book, but in a dusty country, a country filled with breathtaking physical beauty as well as some of the finest people on earth. Austin Peay State Univ. offers the opportunity for a unique program of study in Greece. Our program offers a look at Greece which is not solely focused on the ancient world, but includes much that is modern. Our goal is to introduce you to a complex country that has a rich ancient heritage as well as a thriving modern culture.

Our students follow two courses: Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology, and Modern Greek Language. The archaeology course involves an initial intensive textbook survey of the development of Greek art, as students become familiar with the major sites which have been excavated over the last 150 years. This information is presented in its historical context. Once we finish the classroom survey, we embark on three weeks of site visits. During that time we visit practically every major site studied, as well as some minor ones.

Since the best way to approach a new culture is through a study of its language, our students also study basic Modern Greek. We are in an immersion setting, and students are encouraged to speak only Greek whenever possible. In the course of this instruction, we discuss many aspects of modern Greek culture, including literature, music, dance, religion, and society. The goal is to become comfortable speaking Greek in common, everyday situations. In addition to this, students usually make friends in Greece with whom they can correspond.

The program opens with two weeks in the city of Chania on the northwest coast of the island of Crete. Our hotel sits directly across the street from a long stretch of beautiful, white, sandy beach. The first Saturday on Crete, we hike the Samaria Gorge, the European equivalent to the Grand Canyon. This is a 16 km. hike through a wooded mountain, which leads out to the south coast of Crete and the Libyan sea. We then board a boat to return to Chania. While in Chania, we visit the local museum for an introductory session on the development of Greek pottery. We also sample the local night life. When we leave Chania, we visit some sites associated with the Greek War of Independence and the Second World War and then begin the tour of sites on Crete with stops at a Bronze Age cemetery, a 16th century monastery, and a neolithic cave site, then on to Phaistos, Agia Triadha, and Gortyn. We spend the night at the village of Matala, where the cliff walls are honey-combed with ancient tombs. Then we move on to Archanes, Vathypetro, and into the city of Heraklion. Our tour of Crete concludes with a visit to the site of Knossos, the home of the original Labyrinth, and the museum in Heraklion. We also take some time to wander the streets of Heraklion, or pay a visit to the museum of folklore. 

We then board a ship for the return to mainland Greece. On the mainland, we visit the sites of Mycenae, home of Agamemnon, Tiryns from which Eurystheus ordered Herakles to perform his labors, and Corinth where St. Paul preached. We also visit the Byzantine village of Mystra, the city of Sparta, and the Palace of Nestor at Pylos. Students have an opportunity to run a race in the stadium at Olympia. In fact we visit all four ancient pan-hellenic sites where athletic contests were held. We spend a few days at Delphi, during which time we stay in the lovely village of Arachova. From there we set out for a hike through Mt. Parnassos. We also visit Hosios Loukas, a Byzantine monastery, Thermopylae where Leonidas made his last stand, and we spend two nights on the slopes of Mt. Pelion, high above the gulf from which Jason set off with his Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece.

Finally we come into Athens where we spend the final four days of our trip visiting some of the sites in and around the capital of Modern Greece including the temple of Poseidon at Sounion. Site visits to the Akropolis and the Agora are supplemented by visits to museums to view much of the art we have been studying. By the time we say good-bye, we hope that you will have gained a deep appreciation not only for what ancient Greece has given us, but for the richness of modern Greece as well. 

Here is what one participant had to say about the trip: "Have you ever had the thought while traveling, "I wish I could get away from all this controlled tourist-trap madness and see what this place is really like"? Well, here is most likely the only time in your life for that wish to come true. My fiancee and I went to Greece in the Summer 2001 Study Abroad program with Dr. Timothy Winters. She and I went a week early and spent that time together on the island of Santorini (ancient Thera). We then traveled to Hania, Crete where we met the rest of the group. This experience and the next five weeks in the company of Dr. Winters (who has lived and worked in Greece, has many close friends there, speaks the language fluently, and genuinely loves Greece and its people) will stand as the most moving and phenomenal experience of my entire life. I learned the basic language, the history, and made two good friends, Vasili and Vangelis who are both full of filotimo. My advice? Beg, borrow, or steal the money and don't look back. Go to Greece and give my regards to the plane tree." Larry Dye

Interested? I hope so...my e-mail address is winterst@apsu.edu. Just click on that, and I will send you more information.  The application is available at the office of International Education, http://www.apsu.edu/internationaled/application .. 


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