Feb 28

Testimonials

Study Abroad Testimonials


Kristina Ploof
Endicott College
(show)

“I chose to come to Greece primarily because of my heritage. Both my parents are of Greek descent, so the culture is strong in my family. I wanted an opportunity to live in the country where my roots reside and immerse myself even more in the culture. I also did not speak Greek very well and hoped being here would help me with my fluency in the language. I know some people I spoke to about study abroad deterred from coming to Greece because of the economic crisis that is occurring here, but I definitely did not let that stop me. It is a struggle that the inhabitants of the country do experience trouble with, but the beauty and authenticity of Greece will always remain true. Since being here, I’ve exceeded the expectations I had for my experience. ACG has been a wonderful school to attend and I have a hard time imagining the day I have to say goodbye. Since being here, I am an avid goer of the meditation club, I participate in the yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday, and I even take guitar lessons with a student who is willing to give me lessons! “The relationships I’ve made here, both with staff and students, have been wonderful. Especially in the residence halls, I feel like I’ve made some lifelong friendships with the people I’ve met. Everyone is accepting and so kind that I really feel like we have formed a family. As for the non-study abroad students, the kindness and approachability can be said about them also! I’ve made a lot of friends here that are Greek and, although I was worried of how accepting they would be, I was immediately comfortable speaking with them and have made some unforgettable friendships! What ACG has done for me is more than I could ever imagine. Not only do I have to pinch myself when I see the stunning landscapes on my way to class, or hold myself back from getting all the food in the dining call, but I have truly understood that the school really is a special place. I feel like this has been a second home for me. I will forever cherish the memories I’ve made and the people I’ve made connections with. But hopefully my time will not be ending too soon; I am in the process of applying to be a part of the summer session offered here. I guess I just can’t get enough! If you are interested in applying to study abroad at ACG, I am here to tell you to DO IT! I know that there are many gorgeous places around the world, but there is nowhere that compares to Greece. If you are interested in a culture full of tradition, easy going nature, and friendliness, Greece is the place for you. I promise that you will have an unforgettable experience here!”


Robert Gambles
University of Utah
(show)

I just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know about my Study Abroad experiences in Athens, Greece at the American College of Greece (ACG).  First off, choosing Greece was a no-brainer for me because I am a Classical Studies major.  The appeal of being able to experience the sights and places of what I have been studying for the past few years was very exciting.  The course offerings that ACG had completely supported that idea.  I have been studying Ancient Greek Drama, Sanctuaries and the Monuments and Topography of Athens as well as one of my favorite historical figures from Ancient Greece—Alexander the Great.  The faculty at ACG have been top flight and provided me with a depth of understanding I was not sure I would receive in a Study Abroad program.

In fact, exceeding my expectations has become the norm for my experience at ACG.  The Study Abroad staff are amazing.  They provide the perfect balance of assistance and freedom to explore.  The trips and activities which are included in the program have been amazing.  We have been to Nafplion and Delphi, learned how to do traditional Greek dance, experienced a Greek futbol match, and I can even make my own tzatziki sauce.  The staff have plenty of activities to help immerse you into the Greek experience.

The biggest part that I did not expect was the hospitality of the Greek people.  The Study Abroad staff represent a greater idea that is shared among all Greeks—philoxenia.  We learn about this idea in Classical Studies as the guest/host friendship that was extended throughout the ancient Greek world.  What you don’t learn in the text books is that philoxenia is alive and well in today’s Greece.  The Study Abroad staff are a great example.  They are passionate about what they do not because it is their job, but because this is what they have built and they love to share it with others.  I have travelled on my own across most all of Greece to Olympia, Sparta, Thessaloniki, Kalambaka/Meteora and I was even able to visit the holy sanctuary of Mount Athos (due to the extra efforts of the Study Abroad staff).  Everywhere I go I find the same thing, Greeks who want to extend to you the hospitality and show you the greatness of Greece.  There is something for everyone here: hiking, exploring, beaches, wind surfing, skiing, etc. it goes on and on.  The commonality you find everywhere is Greeks who extend their hospitality to you and show you the “real” Greece–that is philoxenia.  In fact, this week I am traveling with a student group to the island of Lesvos to help with the refugee crisis first hand.

So, get off the tour bus and cruise ship and come and experience the “real” Greece and experience philoxenia for yourself.  You will thank yourself and it will change your life.  It did for me.  The only problem you will face is that you will spend your time trying to figure out how to come back (I just paid the deposit to extend my stay into the summer session, haha).”


Allie Rodriguez
Deree – The American College of Greece
(show)

Living in Greece:

Living abroad is completely extracting oneself from their native culture and planting their roots into a foreign environment. This was most certainly true for me, moving from the hustle and bustle of New York City to Athens Greece. Reflecting on the last two years, I can truthfully attest that the only country that could teach me such valuable lessons is Greece. From the array of hues of blues in the sea to the majestic mountains, I have experienced unspeakable beauty and now understand the meaning of enjoying the moment. The present is just that a gift, and the culture of Greece has taught me to relax and find an inner peace. I can honestly say Greece has prepared me for the rest of my life.

Working at Deree:

Working at Deree as an International Intern, has provided me with a multicultural experience, valuable lessons for my future career: insight to the conduction of business in a foreign environment; the opportunity to observe the Greek Culture from a business perspective, while also gaining a better understanding of myself; and the development of cross-cultural communication skills.

Traveling:

Greece has opened the door of opportunity for traveling throughout Europe, experiencing various cultures, sharing countless memories with so many new friends. I have learned a lot about new countries and lifestyles, but more importantly who I am as an individual. I would suggest this experience for every student who is open to personal growth.


Fadzai Madume
International Student from Zimbabwe, Africa
(show)


“The thought of being away from home in a foreign place was terrifying I must admit. I had so many questions, would I fit in would I be accepted, would I be able to cope? These thoughts quickly disappeared as the staff at the residences made it impossible for you to be unhappy or uncomfortable. They helped make Athens my home away from home. I now look back after one complete year here at ACG, though at first it was a bit challenging with being in a new place new language and new ideologies, ACG encompasses a multicultural environment that makes it easier to integrate. With roommates from all over the world I have learnt a lot more than I ever bargained for but most importantly I became part of a family, the ACG family. Words cannot do justice in explaining, it’s an experience worth encountering, an opportunity that must not be missed!”

Tatume Birt
Northern Arizona University
(show)

“My time here in Athens, Greece was remarkable. This unforgettable learning experience has changed my outlook on not only studying abroad in a foreign country, but also on experiencing new things and expanding my comfort zone. While studying in Athens, I met some of my best friends, who live all around the world! Furthermore, I participated in a Modern Greek course, where we learned how to say basic Greek terms, such as Γεια σας and τι κάνεις, and much more. This course really helped me dive into the culture and really experience Greece in its entirety. The citizens of Greece are warm welcoming and very helpful to foreigners, which made the transition more comfortable. Studying abroad has been the best thing I have ever done, not only for personal growth, but for my social self and education. I would recommend studying abroad, not only to Greece, but anywhere out of the U.S, due to the amount of benefits and experiences you receive from this once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”


Nikianna Dukellis
Northern Arizona University
(show)

“Studying at Deree was one of the best decisions I have made in my collegiate life. I was nervous to move half way around the world to start my new adventure, but I felt completely safe and welcomed as soon as I arrived. Ayia Paraskevi is a small neighborhood on the outskirts of Athens with plenty of things to do. The public transportation is amazing with easy access to the center of the city. The faculty and staff are warm and welcoming. When an event occurred at my home school, every single one of my teachers reached out to make sure I was okay. The residence assistance also work hard to form meaningful relationships with each of the residents. While my time here at Deree is quickly coming to an end, I can honestly say that I would not have changed a minute of it. I have created some life long friendships that will continue far beyond my time here at Deree. Having the opportunity to travel the world and learn about other cultures has empowered me in more ways than any textbook could.”


Vassilis Assimakopoulos
Deree – The American College of Greece, degree-seeking student
(show)

“My mother is an Alumni of Deree so naturally she was trying to persuade me towards coming here. First I was skeptical as I didn’t know a whole lot about the college so I trusted her and made Deree my first choice. And she was right. Deree is offering me an American based academic experience with high quality lectures and of course a wide variety of facilities like the Olympic -sized swimming pool and multiple extracurricular activities, my favorite being a sailing trip around the Aegean Sea. I can’t be happier. Concluding, for me the most important factor that makes ACG great is the multicultural experience you get. Greece borders three continents and that is the reason why you will find people from all over the world studying here. Not many places can beat that.”


Rachael Siegelbaum
Loyola University of Maryland
(show)

“Over the past two months I have really grown to love the country of Greece. Athens is filled with so much history, and it has been so amazing to walk in the city that has been so important for thousands of years. It has been so interesting and enriching to live in a community so nice, but different from my own. Studying abroad has shown me some incredible places and people. I will never forget my time in Athens!”


Ana Marques-Jackson
Boston University, Summer Program at ACG
(show)

“So far, my time in Greece has been great. Deree has been a big part in making my stay so enjoyable. Before coming to Athens, I was a bit worried about the economic crisis that was happening and whether it was safe for me to come but everyone at Deree has made sure to make the residences and campus a place where students feel comfortable and at home. I am not worried because I know that the employees at Deree are doing everything they can to ensure our safety.

Coming to a new country can be scary but Deree made sure to make me feel welcomed. They organized events to get me accustomed to Athens as it can be pretty overwhelming at first. The coordinators and RA’s always have smiling faces when they greet you and are more than willing to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. The excursions they plan are also very fun and informative. We get to explore parts of Greece and enjoy each other’s company. They also plan smaller events like a Greek cooking class, karaoke, and a Greek dancing lesson which introduces you to new people and lets you experience something you would maybe would not have done otherwise.

The apartments the students live in are spacious and neat. With a gym in the residence building, a study room that looks out onto the neighborhood, the campus just a 10-minute walk away, and various grocery stores down the street, students have everything they need. If there is ever anything I need, I can go to the RA and it is taken care of. My favorite place is the study room on the fifth floor of Residence 1. With comfy couches to sit on while you study and a patio over looking the landscape, it is the perfect place to be.

All the employees working on campus are very helpful and determined to help us succeed. They are adamant about showing us the Greek culture as well as educating us on the different aspects of Greece, whether it is the food, art, history or language.

Deree is a great place to study at for the summer and I’m very happy with the experiences I’ve had here.”


Words of Wisdom from Club Residence 1
(show)

Athens, July 2015

People may be wondering if Greece is still a safe place to be, but the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” has never been more relevant during this economic crisis. The majority of people following Greece’s economic developments rely on outside media and don’t realize that these reports are often exaggerated and generalized. The resilience of the Greek people is unbelievable; they have such a great weight on their shoulders, but every day we see them continue to live their lives despite the struggle of this historic era. Every time we return, we feel just as safe, welcome, and loved as we did the first semester we studied here.

Our experience at Deree holds a very special place in our hearts; that’s why you could say we keep saving up pocket change to come over and visit any chance we get. Traveling to a foreign country is the scariest adventure, but it was the best decision we have ever made. The study abroad and residence staff is one of the main reasons we come back every year. They were helpful advisors and confidants, and they have since become lifelong friends who we consider family. The friendships we made while studying at Deree are unique in that they were formed outside of our comfort zones but are stronger than any we could have made at home.

The culture, landscape, and obviously the food are aspects of Greece we each love and miss when we go back home, which is why we chose to reunite here. Weirdly enough, we experience culture shock—not when we come to Greece—but when we return to the States. To put it simply, Greece has become our second home, which we will continue to return to every year.

Tess DiIorio,
Lauren Echeverria,
Abby Huntley,
Robin Korzekwa,
Alicia Lambert,
and Dorina Sandoval

Class of Spring 2013, back on ACG campus in July 2015


Michelle Miller
Florida Atlantic University
(show)


“After wanting to come to Greece since I have been 12, studying abroad at ACG had been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. I’ve met a lot of new friends that included many locals that embraced my experience by taking me on many new adventures and by forcing me to try new food. One of my favorite moments was traveling alone from Athens to Meteora. I took a train for 5 hours and saw a whole new part of Greece. It was amazing to see the landscape and hike up the monasteries. Even though I went alone, I ended up exploring with people from all of the world. The resident assistants of ACG helped greatly on suggestions of places to visit and explore along with helping me reach these destinations.”

Joyce DeWitt
Liberty University, VA, USA
(show)


“Soon, I will be completing my time here at the American College of Greece. Ah, what an insightful experience it has been! From the very beginning of my trip, the program has been well organized.The Residents’ Assistants (RAs) and other staff members made sure that we (students) knew how to use the bus and metro systems. We were also very well informed of the best restaurants, grocery stores, and shops to visit. The RAs exhibited exceptional cordiality and professionalism. I always knew that if I needed help with directions or if I had questions about anything that I could easily get in contact with one of the RAs. I feel confident that the excursions that were offered to the AIFS students allowed us a sufficient perspective of the history and culture of Greece for the time that we had.The dorm rooms were accommodating and stocked with about a week’s amount of food. I appreciated the ample closet space, AC, and the balcony deck. The study room was my favorite because it was comfortable, had a variety of other furniture such as desks and tables, and a large balcony.I would most certainly recommend this program and university to anyone desiring to study abroad.Efcharisto.”


Corinne Pachl
Truman state university
(show)


“It’s a nerve-wracking thing, studying abroad, especially when trying to choose a program and preparing for it. There are so many questions that cannot possibly be answered until you just jump in and arrive in another country. One of the many concerns for students and parents is what the living environment is going to be like; will the dorms be nice? Will you make friends? What about getting money and food?Rest assured! Studying abroad at Deree – the American College of Greece, there is absolutely nothing to fear about living here. First, the dorms are lovely! There are actually three resident halls; I live in the main one, R1. Some dorms have four or five people, and some have even more – it just depends on how many rooms your apartment has. I live with three other girls, so we have just two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Every apartment has a balcony with a view of the neighborhood and gorgeous mountains in the distance. As it says on the website, kitchens come fully stocked with plates, cups, silverware, and a refrigerator. There is even a Panini press and a water heater. The rooms are spacious and closet space is plenty (at least for me, who managed to fit all my clothes in one checked bag).There is a large lounge area downstairs with plenty of tables, chairs, sofas, and a television. There is also a vending machine stocked with all sorts of goodies. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a study space exists upstairs on the fifth floor. It has bookshelves, sofas, desks, and tables. It asks for silence, which isn’t difficult to give, especially around the weeks of midterms. There is also a nice backyard to the R1, which is perfect for soccer matches and, when it gets warmer, outdoor movie nights.There is a large lounge area downstairs with plenty of tables, chairs, sofas, and a television. There is also a vending machine stocked with all sorts of goodies. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a study space exists upstairs on the fifth floor. It has bookshelves, sofas, desks, and tables. It asks for silence, which isn’t difficult to give, especially around the weeks of midterms. There is also a nice backyard to the R1, which is perfect for soccer matches and, when it gets warmer, outdoor movie nights.The thing is they are students too. They, just like the rest of us, want to live life positively and to the fullest. I know that my RAs at my home school were all great people, but they were nowhere near as invested as the people at Deree. They want you to be happy and comfortable; they understand that this is your home away from home, and I would not choose to live anywhere else.”


Susan Yang
Boston College
(show)


“I initially chose to study abroad in Athens for a semester because as a philosophy and history aficionado, I wanted to study ancient Greek philosophy where Aristotle did 2300 years ago. It wasn’t long before I also fell in love with modern Greece – the men with their voluptuous beards that stare shamelessly as you walk by, the laid-back culture in which no matter how late you are there is always time to drink a coffee, the strained yogurt (which Greeks repeatedly inform me is not called “Greek yogurt” here), and of course the breath-taking Acropolis. I was completely enamored of the Greek way of life and within a few weeks of moving into my room in the residences I extended my study abroad experience for the entire year.The students, professors, and study abroad office staff I met through the American College of Greece were incredibly friendly and easy to get along with. The residence assistants, especially, were monumental in aiding and encouraging me in my process of learning Greek. Because of them, I now have a wide-ranging knowledge of Greek slang and the hand gestures that accompany quotidian conversations. In addition, the school is unbelievably accommodating for study abroad students – as a premed, ACG even helped me obtain a clinical internship at a local hospital! The amazing friends I have made in such a short period of time have turned what was initially only a 3-month stint in a foreign country into one of the most amazing years of my life.”

Clare Fortino
University of the Incarnate Word
(show)


“As someone who had never left her home country I can say, without a doubt, going to Greece and attending Deree has been the best, most exciting endeavor I have ever pursued!Greek culture is so different than our own and the program at Deree really allows you to immerse yourself in it. Everyone at the school is so friendly, generous, and hospitable and the study abroad team here are always there to help and guide. They also took the time to organize excursions to amazingly beautiful places in Greece you’ve probably never heard of before but will never be able to regret seeing. And if you decide you want to venture out into the streets of Athens your journey is safe and your destinations limitless! Here you’ll find a mix of the past and present, from ruins to nightclubs, everywhere you go and you can pick up a tasty souvlaki on the way.I once read this quote about traveling that said something about how you’ll never feel completely at home again but this is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people from more than one place. I think you’ll feel this (I know I will) because there is no way you won’t be able to fall in love with this country and its people.”

Sheryl Quock
Cornell University
(show)


“Studying abroad was, without a doubt, one of the best decisions I’ve made in my undergraduate career. I can’t imagine my college experience without a semester abroad, because in this short time, the way I see the world has completely changed. ACG’s program allows students to make the most of their time abroad, with organized excursions covering Greece’s history and a bunch of events geared towards study abroad students and cultural immersion. And if you’ve never tried real Greek souvlaki, you should probably catch the next plane to Athens and have any ACG study abroad student take you out for a plate. I promise you, that alone would be life-changing.”

Tommy Tzivanis
International Student from Syracuse, New York
(show)

Tommy Tzivaris
“Studying in Greece has been a truly amazing experience. The study abroad program at Deree allows students like myself to become immersed in arguably one of the richest cultures in the world with one of the richest histories in the world. Visiting the main tourist destinations and ruins is just a small piece of what is offered here. Things like learning the language, forming friendships with students from all around the globe, interacting with the locals, and gaining perspective are experiences which will have far longer lasting memories. Also, being half a world away from home, it’s great to know that the members of the study abroad office are there for its students 24/7 for literally anything and everything. For anyone looking for a truly life-changing experience, you must go to Greece!”

Madeline Motton
North Central College
(show)

Madeline Motton
“Out of all the typical European countries I could have studied in, I’m so happy that I chose the atypical place to study because it gave me a firsthand look into a preserved and authentic culture and allowed me to see how others view education and the world.”

Jillian Dubuisson
McGill University
(show)

Jillian Dubuisson
“The program’s balance between academics, cultural education, and social events allowed me to do well in my classes but also to explore a fascinating culture while meeting truly friendly and generous people from all over the world.”

Katherine Frangos
Lesley University
(show)

Katherine Frangos
“All of you have exceeded my expectations. From the students at Deree, the study abroad group, to the staff: thank you for fostering a home. The hospitality, generosity, and Greek spirit overwhelmed me in a good way. The respect I have for the Greeks will never change.”

Brooke Lucht
North Central College
(show)

Lucht
“Studying abroad in Greece was a great experience. Not only did I get to go explore the main sites of Greece and soak in the culture, I also formed friendships with a variety of people from all over of the U.S. and the world. I was able to take a variety of classes that expanded and changed my way of thinking about the world, something that I would not have obtained while studying in the States.”

Vanessa Jacobson
Lesley University
(show)

Jacobson
“The study abroad experience was both life changing and unforgettable.”

Amir Kolmanic
International Student from Murska Sobota, Slovenia
(show)

Kolmanic
“Life without Greece would be like a rainbow without red. Its capricious climate embodies the vigor, warmth and uncompromising passion the people here are inseparable from. Much can be said in this vein about my experience in the ACG dormitories. They house a thriving community of young, open-minded individuals that make the time fly by and me wish college could last forever!”

Joe Siemianowski
North Central College
(show)

Siemianowski
“Studying in Greece gave me a chance to have my eyes opened to other cultures from around the world. My experiences did not stop there though, as I was able to meet many amazing people, see beautiful places, and experience more than I could have thought possible.”

Christina Macropoulos
Clemson University
(show)

“One of the benefits of studying in Greece is that all the ruins you are learning or have learned about are right there at your fingertips. It definitely made a difference to actually see the ruins we were learning about in my History of Ancient Greece class in person. You are able to gain a different perspective that you would not be able to by just sitting in a classroom.”


 

Experience the program from the perspective of a study abroad student.”