Thursday, June 18

We had our Greek language class in the morning and free time before taking a bus to the Benaki Museum in Athens. The Benaki Museum is the largest museum in Greece that contains art and history from Ancient Greece until present day with over 40,000 items in its collections.

After a guided tour of the museum, Pavlos Yeroulanos spoke to the group. Yeroulanos was the former Minister of Culture and Tourism under George Papandreou. He spoke to the group about the Greek identity and Greek spirit as well as the origins of the current Greek crisis and shared ideas of how Greece may return to prosperity. Yeroulanos proposed celebrating the Ancient Greek ideals but let go of the idea that Greeks are all descendants of Aristotle and Plato. He urges Greece to celebrate the diversity and the contributions made to society by assimilated Greeks. Following the conversation, Yeroulanos joined us at a dinner at the Benaki Museum Terrace. We had a three-course meal with wine including shrimp and pork filet and an amazing σοκολατόπιτα dessert. We took some amazing photos of the group on the terrace overlooking all of Athens. It was a truly incredible night.

– Dimitrios Roumeliotis


After our fourth Language and Culture Class, we attended a Greek Culture Seminar at the American College of Greece. During the seminar we discussed our Greek heritage through the cultural differences between the time period and location of our roots in Greece. Our lecturer led the discussion with a sociological emphasis on the Greek economy and culture. After the seminar, we had delicious pastichio for lunch on campus. We had free time for the remainder of the afternoon – packing for our weekend trip to Thessaloniki, walking around Aghia Paraskevi, shopping, etc. For the evening, we visited the Benaki Museum. The museum provided a broad spectrum of art pieces to serve as a strong foundation for preserving the various time periods of Greece’s rich history. Former Minister for Culture and Tourism, Pavlos Geroulanos openly shared his insight for the future of Greece to our group at the museum. Following the guided tour, the evening ended with a rooftop dinner at the Benaki Museum. The view of the Acropolis paired with excellent authentic Greek dishes and desserts definitely connected us with our heritage.

– Vickie Poulimenos


Having never been to a museum before that was solely based on sports, it was a bit of a culture shock visiting the Acropolis and then the Benaki. After an underwhelming trip to the Acropolis (No offense Heritage Greece), I was a bit skeptical about another museum visit. My skepticism was set aside shortly thereafter. I was immediately impressed with the appropriate spacing of the exhibits and the slightly dimmer lighting. The tour guide was very enthusiastic from start to beginning and was very knowledgeable throughout. I enjoyed these exhibits significantly more than the Acropolis because the Benaki museum offered up more of a variety than just sculptures. I was extremely intrigued by the tools, weapons and jewelry that was on display. Everything I saw caught my attention and I was eager to see the next exhibit. After a very informational presentation about the Benaki Museum and its effects on Greece, we had a delightful dinner on the Benaki Museum roof. Even though I was skeptical leading up to the visit, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Benaki museum and I will try my best to return to the museum in the future.

– Jeremy Sneed


We began the day with our Greek classes, and then a group culture seminar that largely focused on the macroeconomic situation in Greece today.  After an extended free time of napping, studying, and swimming, the group headed to the Benaki museum for a tour and dinner on their beautiful terrace overlooking Athens. Everyone agreed that we would have loved to have spent the whole day and exploring the museum’s collection.

– Christina La Fleur

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