I first fell into classics through Greek tragedies, so I wanted to study in Athens, where the plays that have survived to the present day were first written and performed. I hoped to see the places and artifacts I’d been studying for years.
My program had an even mix of students interested in antiquity and those interested in Athens’ modern history, politics, and city planning, which made my experience—and the history—come alive.
I learned Modern Greek while translating Aristophanes’ The Clouds from the original Greek. My Greek teachers explained the country’s politics, culture and society along with lessons about Aegean archeology. Optional opportunities, like a marble carving class, helped us connect to Greeks past and present. One of my favorite days was spent picking delicious oranges in a sunny field in Corinth with a large group of Athenian students and their friends.
My classes took place in museums, archaeological sites, or coffee shops about half the time, with a heavy emphasis on practical examples. All of this combined to help me grow as a student, traveler, and person. I learned how to see the living modern city before me as I looked at the ancient city that inspired the incredible tragedies that I love. And I learned how to thrive in a culture that seemed perplexing in my first week and dearly familiar by my last.
December 3 2015Back to top