The 2019 Summer Trip to Greece, in partnership with the Paideia Institute, will take place in May. The trip offers students a unique opportunity to learn and see first-hand the area which many call the birthplace of Western Civilization.
The program started in 2015 when Classics of Humanities Professors Curtis and Kristi Eastin created the “Summer Greek Odyssey” for students based on their experience exploring the country by bicycle. The husband and wife duo combined features of their own 2-month excursion with Curtis’ time studying the history of Ancient Greece at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
The 22-day trip offers students the opportunity to visit over 40 ancient sites and museums throughout Greece, with a focus on various eras including Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern sites to ensure students receive a more complete experience of the culture.
While visiting the sites, students are provided corresponding readings which further enhance not only the physical experience of the location, but the students experience of the texts as well.
“Imagine reading about the battle of Thermopylae or the battle of Marathon at the very spot where western civilization was saved! Or reading from the Book of Acts on the Areopagus, where Paul lectured the Athenians about their false gods — good stuff!” stated Kristi.
Students are exposed to a variety of elements of Greek culture including the music, dance, and cuisine of various regions. For some, the trip was the first experience outside the U.S.
Kristi said the trip was physically rigorous as “many of the ancient sites are strategically placed very (very!) high on a hill. Acrocorinth, for example, or the Byzantine city of Mystras, both require a strenuous hike, and there are 900+ steps (many have counted!) to the entrance gate for the Palamidi fortress.”
Many students’ interest in hiking was sparked by the trip, and they have integrated the activity into their lives back home.
“A number of the students have since taken up hiking as a hobby, and the Classics club (which is a student club, for those who might be interested!) now goes on occasional local hikes,” said Kristi.
If you are interested in making Greece your classroom this summer, contact Professor Kristi Eastin: firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of the trip will be partially subsidized by Fresno State, and scholarships are available to students studying Latin and Ancient Greek.