Nineteen PC students had the opportunity to study classical political thought and the economic crisis in Greece while visiting various sites throughout this European country. The Maymester trip, offered by the political science department, was led by Dr. Booker Ingram and Dr. Justin Lance.
Students took two courses in preparation for their trip. The first, titled Political Economy in Practice: The Greek Crisis and taught by Lance, challenged students to examine first-hand the economic crisis that Greece currently faces and its impact on the Greek citizenry. The second, titled Classical Political Thought and taught by Ingram, strove to enhance the students’ knowledge of the political cultures and circumstances from which democratic ideals first emerged.
While in Greece, the group visited Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Tolon, and the Peloponnese and had the opportunity to visit sites along the way such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Apollo, and the grounds of the first Olympic games. Unsurprisingly, both professors and students commented on the beauty of Greece as one of the highlights of the trip.
“It was amazing to stand at the top of the Parthenon and look around. The view and history are truly breathtaking,” said Lance, associate professor of political science. “But the biggest thing that surprised me was the experience outside of Athens. From the mountains to the sea, Greece really is an amazing country.”
“I absolutely loved visiting the Parthenon and seeing the amazing work of the ancient Greeks,” said Cassie Kemmerlin. “The Greek people were so kind and welcoming and had a genuine interest in getting to know us.”
Evan Haney also commented on the country’s beauty, saying, “I have never experienced anything so beautiful as the mountains, beaches, and sky of Greece. It is hard to describe the sheer beauty of the scenery.”
The group also had the opportunity to visit two orphanages, the SOS Children’s Villages in Vari as well as the Ark of the World in Athens. “One of the most important moments for me was visiting a couple of orphanages and seeing first hand the effects of the economic crisis on the most vulnerable members of society,” said Lance.
Overall, the trip epitomized the benefits that can come from studying abroad. “This trip enhanced my educational growth by allowing us to experience another culture firsthand rather than in a textbook,” said Haney. “Although we did attend lectures at a university in Greece, it was the small experiences in our day-to- day travels that gave us the best education abroad.”
“I think the trip really exposed students to the realities of the world in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise get,” said Lance. “The realities of all the trips I have led is that studying abroad exposes students to the differences in the world around us, but more importantly exposes students to the commonalities of humanity. I think it is important for students to realize that while the world is very diverse, we all share a common bond as humans.”
Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit www.presby.edu.