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Westminster Honors College returns to Greece

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Posted on Wednesday, September 7, 2022

After a three-year hiatus, Westminster’s All-College Honors Program resumed its annual journey to Greece this May.

In collaboration with the Athens Centre, the two-week travel experience had 23 honors students participate under the leadership of Dr. Kristianne Kalata, associate professor of English and Honors Program director, and Dr. Jamie Chapman, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies.

Students and faculty learned to speak the language, participate in dance, relish cuisine, understand the history and appreciate the art, and most importantly, enjoy the Greek hospitality.

“My top experience was joining a dance circle in the streets of Athens,” said Ashely Madasz, a junior biology major from Medina, Ohio. “I will never forget learning the dance and the burst of joy I got from being in the moment.”

The short-term study abroad experience was designed to complement first-year honors coursework as students on the trip visited the cultural sites they learned about in the classroom.

Sites included The Acropolis, Agora, museums of Athens; ancient sites at Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Delphi; and for the first time, the ancient Minoan ruins in Heraklion and Chania on the island of Crete.

After soaking up the scenery and conversing with onsite experts and locals, students formed new friendships, and together, discovered the disparate ways in which travel can be life-changing.

“This trip transforms students’ view of the world and their place in it,” said Dr. Kalata. “By the end of the trip, many students refer to Athens as their home away from home and cannot wait to go back!”

For more information on the honors program, contact Dr. Kalata at