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Westminster All-College Honors Program takes students to Greece

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Posted on Friday, August 16, 2019

For many Westminster students, the month of May brings travel. Be it a brief commute or a long road trip, students journey home to reunite with family and friends, often spending the end of the month celebrating the onset of summer at assorted Memorial Day picnics. For 24 Westminster College students and two professors in the All-College Honors Program, this past May brought a much grander adventure: a two-week travel course to Greece, where students experienced firsthand many of the cultural sites they had read about in their first year of honors classes.

This annual short-term study abroad experience, which was designed to synthesize the first year of study in honors, took students to Athens, Nafplio, Delphi, and, for the first time this year, Ephesus, Turkey. As they walked in the footsteps of Socrates and conversed with experts in ancient history and archaeology, students saw past course assignments come to life. In the process, they formed new relationships with old peers, and, together, discovered the disparate ways in which travel can be life-changing.

“Getting to travel abroad to the land of gods, monsters, mortals, and heroes with friends and faculty was utterly amazing,” said junior biochemistry major Brandon Williams. “Not only did I check tourist destinations and activities off my bucket list, but I also experienced so many cultural and historical sites. Taking this travel course has been the best decision of my career at Westminster, no contest. I cannot wait to be back in the city where the past and present coexist in perfect balance.”

Williams and his cohort of honors program peers were accompanied to Greece this year by Dr. Kristianne Kalata, associate professor of English and director of the All-College Honors Program, and Dr. Russell Martin, professor of history and an All-College Honors Program faculty member.

“There is no greater way to inspire curiosity and cultivate resilience in students than by taking them abroad," said Kalata.

Martin agreed, adding, “No student comes home the same from the honors trip abroad. And we think that's our unique measure of student success.”

For more information about the honors travel course, contact Kalata at 724-946-7350 or