Study Away Greece trip provides insight on Greek economic crisis


Sophomore Allan Daly and senior Ethan Koch are interviewed for Greek television in Athens. Photo by Adam Kaul, courtesy of Dr. Kirsten Day.

This year’s Study Away trip to Greece experienced the largest group of 24 students since its inception in 2012. The 17-day trip, lead by Dr. Kirsten Day, Associate Professor in Classics and Dr. Adam Kaul, Associate Professor Sociology, Anthropology & Social Welfare started and ended in Athens, with a number of places in between, including Mycenae, Crete, and Naxos, to name a few. This was the first year that Naxos was included on the trip itinerary.
In the wake of the Greek economic crisis, the trip provided Augustana students a look into the complexity of global issues. Two Augustana students, Allan Daly and Ethan Koch, were interviewed for Greek television to offer a tourist’s perspective about the economy.
“As tourists, we were largely shielded from the Greek financial crisis, but as we traveled we discussed its impacts on local peoples’ lives,” said Day.

David Hundreiser captures a sunset sky at the remains of the Temple of Apollo at Naxos. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kirsten Day.
David Hundreiser captures a sunset sky at the remains of the Temple of Apollo at Naxos. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kirsten Day.

According to Day, Augustana students were provided with an impromptu opportunity to see a refugee camp and talk to employees and volunteers about their work.
“Seeing the contrast between our privileged mobility through the country and refugees’ desperation to travel there to escape horrifying circumstances was powerful and caused a good deal of reflection,” said Day.
Senior Kat Kelly’s experience seeing the refugees allowed her to come face to face with the lives of impoverished people.
“As we approached the ferry dock in Athens, we passed by thousands of tented homes stationed on the shore line. We had about two hours before the ferry left for the islands and so a group of students walked to where the refugees were and gave them the fresh oranges we had picked the day before. The people in charge decided to give them to the children as a treat, because we did not have enough for everyone,” said Kelly.
Kelly recognized the struggles of the refugees and how the economic crisis facing Greece was not helping their cause.
“Social justice begins when the catastrophic economy becomes calm,” stated Kelly.
The study away Greece program is one of many study away programs Augustana College offers.
“Greece is a country with a long and rich heritage, and I hope that the encounter with a civilization that has had such a profound impact on our own Western world makes a big impression on Classics students and non-majors alike,” said Day.
Kelly, a Communications studies major and Graphic Design minor, chose to go on the Greece trip to explore a new culture and create lifelong memories.
“Greece exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait for our classes’ already planned ten-year reunion,” said Kelly.