Posted on Tuesday, October 17, 2017
A trip to Greece helped shape the global perspectives of Westminster College honors students. After studying the ancient world and the changing ideas of Greek justice for a semester, the group of students spent two weeks immersing themselves in the culture and seeing the places they learned about.
“Each person in the class did a giant group presentation on a certain site, so we visited all of those sites,” sophomore biochemistry major Troy Holden said. “In Athens, we visited the Agora and Areopagus, and that was kind of cool—getting to see what you actually researched.”
Accompanied by Dr. David Goldberg and Dr. Bethany Hicok, the students visited famous sites such as Athens, Samos Island, Delphi and Mycenae among other attractions. A trained archaeologist accompanied the group throughout the entirety of their trip to help them better understand the city and its antiquity.
In order to get a better taste of the culture, the students took a few topical classes such as cooking and language. Students were also given the opportunity to find their own ways around Greece during free periods of time during which they explored, shopped and ate native dishes.
Among his studies of the culture through travelling with the Honors Program, Holden found just how different the lives of the Greeks differed from his in the United States.
“It’s definitely different over there,” he said. “I would definitely say that was my biggest take away—the level of safety we feel. A lot of time, there’s a day to day struggle over there for people to survive.”
Even as the students were studying the world of Ancient Greece, it was apparent that what they learned about the Greek culture expanded beyond the confines of their textbooks while traveling abroad.
“You get a better scope of the world and different intellectual approaches to learning,” Holden said. “It enhances your view of the world. It’s important for everyone to experience at least once at some point.”
By taking their studies from the pages of the books to the living sites, students in the Westminster Honors Program revitalized their passions for learning and sparked new cultural interests. The Honors Program will continue the class and trip annually with new groups of students.
Written by Megan Simpson