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How to create an aura of community: The Athens – Delphi trip

How to create an aura of community: The Athens – Delphi trip

Having studied at ACT, I always knew that for the students coming from abroad, Thessaloniki would leave an important mark on them. I never really understood exactly why, after all, I don’t come from abroad.  This weekend, I got a glimpse as to why, and it was simpler than I previously thought. They spend time with people they would not have otherwise. 

by Dionysis Goga*

Attending the same school is not enough. Living together is not enough. You need an extra push for that. And here comes the Athens – Delphi trip. Like other ACT trips, it served its purpose. To create an aura of community, familiarity, and comfort. Among the various exciting trips ACT offers, the Athens – Delphi trip is I believe the most beautiful one of a kind.  This trip invites people to express themselves in a way that they would otherwise not have done. Athens Delphi 2022 6

Study Abroad students about to enjoy a coffee at Stathmo Larissis – urban Athens

Ironically the most beautiful part of the trip for me was one that someone may have expected me to suffer the most. That is, the long bus drive and the long walks! However, it was an extraordinary, beautiful experience. Why? you may ask. Because you get to discover unexplored areas with people you have only known for a month!
Besides this, the Athens – Delphi trip is great because it serves its purpose. To create an aura of community. Being part of the ACT International Programs Office, I saw first-hand all the effort that is put into taking students to a whole different region of the world where, not only they don’t speak the local language, but most importantly, don’t surround themselves with the same people as always. This is the opportunity for everyone to express themselves openly, like never done. An opportunity to make friendships you otherwise would not have. These trips are an essential part of the self-discovery and friend-creation process each one aspires to achieve and have in their lifetimes!
Athens, of course, is a huge, lively, and electrifying city. It sticks to students' memories like no other city. Karaoke, delicious food, nice views from the hotel, young and old people, crazy taxi drivers, they all serve this common striking experience. 

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But... but, listen to the best part about this trip. After getting a good feel of Athenian culture and nightlife, you get to experience something peculiar. A strange feeling. A feeling you will not get to experience anywhere else. And that is... Delphi. Being an ancient region, it definitely provides visitors with an ancient aura. An aura of myths, important decisions that shaped the ancient world, and an aura of fatalism. An amazing view indeed, it gave us a glimpse of how life, architecture, and philosophy were constructed back in ancient times. Isn’t it so beautiful to witness something ancient and modern at the same time?

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The Ancient – Modern archetype. Global Quest students enjoying Delphi while getting some Pythia aura, Photo was taken by Lena Samantzopoyloy

Both places serve as a tool for community building. A community that will be forever marked into students' memories. A community where students are able to reconstruct their ideas, self-perceptions, and make new friendships that will last forever. I was lucky enough to have my younger sister join me in this experience. She is a bit tough to satisfy, but guess what, she was extremely satisfied.

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Rozi and Dio after a wonderful guided tour of the Acropolis Museum

*Dionysis Goga is a live-in resident assistant for the Study Abroad students.

 

 

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