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Alumni Couple Studies Abroad Together in Greece

By Benjamin & Keagan (Morganthal) Menard, Class of 2020

This summer we had the opportunity to study abroad in Greece through our University’s study abroad program. The program runs for 4 weeks and takes place at the Hellenic American College located in Athens. For the first week of our program, we took a class called Walk Across Greece, which allowed us to travel around the country and visit several different historical sites and museums. The courses that we took after the Walk Across Greece were Athenian Democracy and Contemporary Greek Culture. In the Athenian Democracy course, we read and discussed Ancient Greek politics, and how their systems of government worked. Through this, we were able to analyze which parts of their government worked, and which parts were only temporary, and compare it to our current government system. Our contemporary Greek culture class was much less time in the classroom and more time exploring the beautiful city of Athens. One of the most famous locations we visited was the Panathenaic Stadium, which is where several Olympics were held.

Keagan shared: “The University we attend requires students to take “Discovery Courses,” which are courses taken outside of a student’s major. For me, the courses I took in Greece allowed me to finish all of my required Discovery Courses, which means that I am now able to graduate on time next Spring and earn my Bachelor’s Degree. Discovery courses can be difficult to take at the University because they don’t align with what I enjoy studying the most, Nutrition. Taking these courses through the study abroad program helped me to really enjoy and understand the material that was being taught to us, because we were learning through traveling and exploring all of the sites that we discussed during class time. As a Nutrition Major, I was most excited for this program because Greece is known to have one of the healthiest diets in the world, the Mediterranean Diet. I have learned about it in my courses at the University, but I have never had the opportunity to experience the effects of this diet until I arrived in Greece. All of the fruits and vegetables are eaten when in-season, which means they are grown locally and are much more fresh. Overall, this diet gave me more energy, made me think more clearly, and did not make me feel bloated or sick at all. I hope that I am able to influence others to try eating a diet like the Mediterranean Diet because it makes you feel good physically and mentally, and there are many health benefits associated with it which can allow you to live longer and healthier.”

Ben shared: “As a History and Classics major, studying in Athens was a dream come true. Through a collaborative effort with Hellenic American University and the University of New Hampshire, I was able to take a class on Ancient Athenian democracy and economy. It was a remarkable experience to learn about the hellenic history in the city of Athens. After we finished our coursework in Athens, we traveled down to the southern port of the Peloponnese, Kalamata. I have been working on an archaeological excavation in the ancient city of Messene. My work at the dig site has been primarily concerned with excavating the remains of late Roman tombs within a building complex. I have learned a lot of new skills and techniques and I am excited to see what knowledge the excavation will reveal.”


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