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Harvard interns gain professional experience while exploring Greece”
July 23, 2009 - Andreas Aktoudianakis

Fourteen students from Harvard University are working as interns in respected Greek organizations this summer, after concluding a week’s seminar on modern Greek history at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplio. 

The program’s coordinator, Oxford- and Princeton-educated Dimitris Antoniou, who holds a fellowship at Harvard, served on the committee that reviewed the 154 applications and essays submitted this spring.  According to Antoniou, the hope of the program coordinators is that students will get an introduction to multiple aspects of Greek society — both present and past.

Communication skills, academic excellence and the desire to experience life in Greece are the criteria on which candidates for the program were judged.

Through a series of film screenings and seminars during the initial week of the program, the CHS faculty familiarizes students with ancient history, Greek culture, and the country’s political and economic development.

“We also invite Greek scholars and colleagues from Harvard to contribute by giving lectures and walking tours, and introducing students to their own research,” said Mr. Antoniou.

Students said the program has been a successful introduction to both history and ancient artifacts and to modern professional trends in Greek society.  

“The internship program gives me a chance not only to experience the historical sites of Greece, which I’ve been studying for years, but also to get a direct journalistic experience at Kathimerini,” said Christian Flow, a program participant interning at one of Greece’s leading papers.

“I’d like to report what I see, develop some sources, make some research and find some stories,” Flow said. “The question is how I am going to do that because of my limited knowledge of modern Greek.”

For Flow, the internship is “a chance to get a sense of journalistic morals outside the US.”
According to Antoniou, the interns will be gaining valuable professional experience that may one day help them when they apply to master’s or PH.D. programs. “It’s a part of building a curricular resume,” he said.

The CHS is a Harvard research centre founded four years ago in Nafplio and dedicated to the study of Hellenism. According to Antoniou, CHS aims to develop more ties between Harvard and the Greek academic community.