News & Media

March 19, 2018

Past Meets Present: Students Meet Greek President While Exploring Historical Roots of Modern Greece

Over spring break, a group of Emmanuel students traced fifth-century Athenian historian and general Thucydides through his historical account the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC).

The trip culminated in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit with current Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos (pictured below, left) at the Presidential Mansion of Athens, a hosted lunch at the Benaki Museum and an exclusive tour of Parliament with Greece's deputy minister of foreign affairs, Terens-Nikolaos Quick.

Through the travel course, "In the Footsteps of Thucydides"—led by associate professor of political science Petros Vamvakas—students explored the roots of western civilization in Greece, including historical sites associated with the rise of ancient Greek political life, architecture, spirituality, philosophy and culture such as the Parthenon, the Acropolis, Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon, Delphi and the Temple of Apollo, Epidaurus and more.

The exploration of modern Greece—experiencing the food, language, art, music and cultural dynamics through a native's perspective—complemented the visits to places where important historical events occurred.

Dr. Vamvakas and students were also interviewed for and featured in the largest Greek daily, Kathimerini, in honor of Emmanuel College's study abroad programs to Greece over the years.


Emmanuel travel courses are a great opportunity for students who may not want to or be able to commit to a semester or longer-term study abroad program. Why not consider spending spring break in Ireland, summer in Greece, or a few weeks serving others on our service-learning course in South Africa? Check out some of our current faculty-led travel courses here.