This year’s Heritage Greece Program® is currently underway, taking place from June 7-24, 2018! Every year, the National Hellenic Society sponsors the Heritage Greece Program®, which is an immersive, cultural experience that is designed to give college students an understanding and connection to their Greek heritage. It is hosted at the American College of Greece, located in the Aghia Paraskevi neighborhood of Athens. This program is in line with NHS’s mission to promote, perpetuate, and celebrate Greek heritage, especially focusing on the next generation.
Heritage Greece Program® and Cultural Immersion
The Heritage Greece Program®, is open to Greek American college students who have displayed academic excellence, with preference given to those who have not or rarely been to Greece. The American participants are joined by a group of peer students attending the Americans College of Greece, further perpetuating a bond between the participants and their heritage. The ultimate goal of the program is to give these Greek American students a chance to connect with their Greek roots and to immerse them in Greek culture while in the country. The program is a truly fun and educational experience.
The program is a gift from the National Hellenic Society to the participants. They bear a portion of the airfare costs to and from Athens, while expenses including tuition, transportation, meals, and all other related costs are borne by the National Hellenic Society. The dormitories in which program participants stay in were the home of the United States Olympic team during the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Participants experience the culture first hand, learn about Greece’s unique history, practice the language, and develop an understanding for Greek traditions. The goal is to learn about Greek culture, and what better than to experience it first-hand by visiting area beaches, eating Greek food, listening to Greek music, and interacting with other Greeks in the Athens area?! They form lasting friendships in this life-changing experience as they explore Greece. Here’s a look at what the participants will encounter while immersing themselves in the Heritage Greece Program®:
- Immersion: Participants have the ability to experience Greece first -hand in order to get a deeper understanding of the traditions, heritage, and culture.
- Language: The participants take a language course that is uniquely tailored to their abilities. They then apply the language skills that they learn first-hand by going to a café to order coffee and purchasing trinkets at nearby shops, with the help of their Greek peers.
- Field Trips: They enjoy field trips to various cultural sites, historical landmarks, and museums guided by knowledgeable teachers giving lessons on-site.
- Excursions:They have fun while in Greece by taking unique, recreational excursions. This year, the participants are visiting the island of Andros for a long weekend!
Heritage Greece Alumni Network®
The Heritage Greece Program®, may appear to simply just be an academic experience, but it is much more than that. Participants are automatically matriculated into the Heritage Greece Alumni Network® (HGAN). The HGAN is organized by chapters throughout the United States and offers alumni the opportunity to still be involved in the Heritage Greece Program® and National Hellenic Society communities. The National Hellenic Society is also devoted to helping the alumni throughout their lives and will assist them with career development by grooming them into future of ambassadors of Greek culture and heritage.
Since the program is currently underway, applications are currently closed. However, if you are interested or know someone who is to apply for the 2019 class, keep checking this link. The application process is typically open by December. Keep up-to-date on the 2018 Heritage Greece Program® class through their blog, Flikr, Facebook, and Instagram, updated daily!