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It’s not all Greek to MC students January 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Testimonials.

In early January, two dozen members of the Monmouth College community spent a week in a warm climate, surrounded by English-speaking people. They weren’t living the tourist life in Florida or southern California, though. Rather, they were on official school business in what may become a new vacation hotspot – Greece.

“I was amazed at how many people in Greece spoke English,” said Andrea Dorscheid, a sophomore from Janseville, Wis. “All the signs and restaurant menus were translated as well. I felt like the Greek people changed their whole way of life for tourists like me, for better or worse.”

Monmouth College faculty members Cheryl Meeker and Tom Sienkewicz led 22 students in an immersion learning course in Greece from Jan. 8-15. The group visited the Acropolis, the Athenian Agora and the National Museum in Athens, as well as ancient Corinth, Mycenae, Delphi and the temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina.

Upon their return to campus, the students completed academic assignments related to the trip and will receive academic credit in either art or classics for their work.

“This was my fifth trip to Greece, the third with students, and this country never fails to surprise me,” said Sienkewicz. “This time I was struck by the weather. I had never been to Greece in the wintertime before and was pleased to see how pleasant the temperature was. There were actually people swimming in the Aegean. This trip was so successful that I am hoping that a January trip to Greece becomes a tradition at Monmouth College.”

Meeker said that beautiful scenery, artifacts, wonderful students and “kitschy grittiness” of Athens combined to equal “a perfect trip … Art 200 or Rubble 101, as I lovingly call the art history class taught in spring semester every year, will never be the same for me.”

Many of the students shared in the wonder of the trip, with some calling the experience one of the best weeks of their lives.

“I had been studying Greece for a long time and really wanted to go there,” said Richard Harrod, a junior from Annapolis, Md. “The country is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The ancient ruins were incredible and really helped give a good impression of their greatness in antiquity. My favorite was the temple to Aphea. Overall, it was possibly the best trip I’ve ever been on.”

“Day after day, I got the opportunity to understand what it really means to view a sight that is ‘breathtaking,’ said Anna Damos, a sophomore from North Henderson. “The food was amazing, the Greeks were wonderful, the people I traveled with were amazing and the memories I made in that one week will stay with me forever.”

“I found the trip to Greece incredibly educational and fun,” said Sally Hayes, a freshman from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. “Athens was a great place to see such a connection of times, where the old world is completely embraced by the modern world. It is a country literally littered with pieces of columns and marble blocks everywhere you look that were once buildings occupied by great Greeks.”

Source >It’s not all Greek The Monmouth Daily Review Atlas, IL.

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