Student studies abroad in Greece

Some people dream of studying abroad, while other people act on their dreams

Sophomore Danica Cary found what she was looking for, and will embark on such an adventure on Feb. 9, when she will leave to spend three and a half months on the Greek isle of Crete.

“I had been looking for an abroad program for a long time, and I finally found one that I decided that I wanted to apply to,” she said.

The application process included an essay, recommendations from teachers and friends, standard application forms and a doctor’s accreditation of good health.

“Danica had been talking to me about wanting to take a semester to travel, and when I learned of this opportunity, I immediately thought of her,” English teacher Mary Jane Jones said. “Not only is she getting what she wants, but she’s getting a scholarship, too.”

Cary is traveling with the ITHAKA program whose goal is to immerse students, ages 17 to 20 in Greek culture.

The ITHAKA program also includes rigorous academics. To get students started, they are required to read numerous books, including Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad, a Cambridge Hist0ry of Greece and be familiar with Greek mythology.

“We also have to write a 20-page paper at the end of the semester,” Cary said.

The trip also includes lessons with guest instructors, house chores, and outdoor field trips, including a four-day excursion to archeological dig sites.

The curriculum covers Greek history, poetry and ethnography, as well as guest courses that include archeology and current affairs.

Courses take place six days a week, from the afternoon until dinnertime.

Cary and the 12 other program participants will live in a 600 year old home in the town of Kolibari, part of the northwestern peninsula of Crete (the southernmost of the Greek isles).

Program participants are discouraged from contacting friends and relatives via e-mail or cell phones.

“The goal is to separate ourselves as much as possible from our normal world and to fully immerse ourselves in every aspect of Greek culture,” said Cary.

Participants work side by side with residents of the village and they rotate cooking and cleaning, as well as shopping for food and caring for crops and animals with local farmers.

“I’m looking forward to studying Greek culture while living in a beautiful place with such a rich background,” Cary said.

I’m looking forward to studying Greek culture while living in a beautiful place with such a rich background.”

— Danica Cary