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Experience Greece Community Trip Raises Student Scholarship Funds
“Experience Greece was my first trip abroad. I’d say it was the perfect first trip. It was amazing and seamless,” said northwest Arkansas local, Katie Young, of her recent trip to Greece. “When they say that the ocean is beautiful, it cannot compare to actually seeing it. It is unreal.”
In early September, Katie Young, Kimberly Ellwood, Curt Stamp and 24 others attended the international community trip – Experience Greece – guided by traveler and NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) Mediterranean World History Professor Dr. Sevin Gallo. This community trip is one of the many offered to the public through the NWACC Foundation, a separate non-profit organization that serves as the philanthropic arm of the college.
Experience Greece group visiting the Temple of Zeus.
Experience Greece included exploring the city of Athens and the islands of Crete, Santorini and Mykonos. Activities comprised of walking tours, museums, viewing historic ruins such as the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Poseidon, swimming in Lake Vouliagmeni and the Aegean Sea, as well as hiking the Samaria Gorge and the Santorini volcano. Authentic Greek dinners, and winery and brewery tours were also sprinkled into the itinerary.
“The Experience Greece trip was truly spectacular and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The history of Athens and being guided through the Samaria Gorge was amazing,” said Curt.
“We visited Santorini and saw the white buildings and blue domes, and it's just beautiful. There’s history, there are new things, sometimes brand-new shops in old buildings. It's just a perfect combination of the old and new,” explained Katie.
Ten of the Experience Greece group hiking the Samaria Gorge in Crete, Greece.
Samaria Gorge, Crete, Greece
Minoan Palace, Crete, Greece
Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion, Greece
As an NWACC professor and as the Global Studies Associate of Arts degree coordinator, Sevin has developed NWACC study abroad programs to Greece, Turkey, Spain and Morocco and was eager to open up the opportunity to travel overseas to the community. By partnering with the NWACC Foundation, she was able to offer the public a unique trip to Greece.
Being her first time traveling outside the U.S., Kimberly found Greece to be a memorable and worry-free experience thanks to Sevin. “It was great because I didn't have to worry about what I was going to do the next day. Everything was planned out,” she said. “Sevin was great at keeping us in the loop on what was going to happen the next day. Even before the trip, we had a few meetings where we were able to ask her questions. She was always available.”
Kimberly Ellwood, Katie Young and Liz Kapsner at the Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion, Greece
The NWACC Foundation community trips, such as Experience Greece, allocate $200 of the advertised cost to scholarship funds so more NWACC students can afford to study abroad. The foundation plans to continue to partner with NWACC professors to offer more international travel opportunities to the public. Experience Argentina, Italy and Germany community trips are currently open for registration and will take place in 2020.
Cape Sounion, Greece
“When I was a college student, I didn't have money to travel, so I was never able to take any classes abroad. It's great that the NWACC Foundation helps less fortunate students explore other countries and cultures,” Kimberly said.
“I think that the NWACC Foundation community trips funding study abroad scholarships is wonderful... Any way that we can help students see the rest of the world is worth it,” Katie added.