Athens, Greece Program
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Corey Everley

Major: History & Anthropology
Minor: French, Classic Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and International Studies
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Paterno Fellow 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

The Athens Program is one of the most advertised programs within the Classic Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) department. They have former students and representatives come to speak during CAMS courses every semester. However, I personally had 2 friends that I was very close with that did this program in previous semesters and had nothing but excellent things to say. As a History major with minors in International Studies and CAMS, this program allowed me to finish criteria in several of my fields. For other students, I would recommend talking to students who have previously attended a specific program while taking into consideration which program would benefit them the most in their academic and personal lives.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The Athens Program is designed around the History and Archaeology of Greece. For the majority of my stay in Greece, the program was based in Athens, allowing us to study important sites such as the Acropolis, the Athenian Agora, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus as well as study at Museums such as the National Archaeology Museum or the Acropolis Museum. During the 90 days that we were in Greece, we traveled to major sites such as Delphi, Corinth, Sparta, Mycenae, Marathon, and Knossos, traveling several places on the main land, in the Peloponnese and on Crete. Of all of the archaeological sites, my favorite would likely be Acrocorinth, the Acropolis of Ancient Corinth that was later transformed into a fortress that was used all the way through the Crusades. My favorite town or city by far was Nafplio, a town right on the coast that, as a shipping town, was fought over repeatedly by the Venetians and the Ottomans.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a History major with a focus on ancient and medieval Europe, I have spent my entire college career writing papers and essays about places that I had only been able to see on a screen or a page. By actually being able to go to the archaeological sites that I had read about and seeing many different artifacts gave me the opportunity to make my own references. This experience also allowed for me to hear from many different professors and professionals that all had different views and arguments for their theories on archaeology and history.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After finishing my undergraduate career at Penn State, I plan on attending law school. As an honors student, I decided to write my Senior Honors Thesis on a topic that would aid me later on in my law career, focusing on the politics and law in Ancient Greece compared to Medieval Britain. By actually being able to study in Greece and focus greatly on Athens and its ancient democracy, I have been able to gain a more focused insight into politics and law that greatly influenced the rest of the world. In addition, this time abroad has given me more insight into the news around the world. While abroad, I did volunteer work with the refugees from Syria and other parts of the Middle East. This insight into the lives of other humans around the world has resulted in me rethinking what types of law I am interested in.

This insight into the lives of other humans around the world has resulted in me rethinking what types of law I am interested in.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this program to any Liberal Arts student, especially those with an interest in History or Greece. This trip has allowed me to see life outside of the bubble that we live in within the United States, especially as college students at Penn State.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

When I originally began to consider becoming a Paterno Fellow, the biggest concern of mine was the requirement of studying abroad. I had only left the country once before and I knew that a semester living in another country would require a large amount of money. The first thing I did when considering whether or not to take the challenge was talk to my parents, who surprisingly said that if this was something that I really wanted to pursue, we would figure out a way to make this work. They knew the benefits of being a Paterno Fellow outweighed the costs. I know without being a member of the Program, I likely never would have had the opportunity to study abroad at all.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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