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travel course spring 2012

Spring 2012

Athens, Greece

The first travel course was offered in the spring 2012. A group of 13 students a long with the instructors visited Athens, Greece. Prior to flying into Athens we held several class sessions. These sessions were devoted to the Greek contributions to psychology, general history, and the “ins and outs” of international travel. For many of the 13 students, this was their first international experience. During the seven day trip the students visited many of the sites of importance to psychology and western civilization. These include the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, The Propylaia, The Theatre of Dionysos, The Odeum of Herodes Atticus, The Roman and Greek Agoras, The Library of Hadrian, and The Tower of the Wind (Horologion). Of special interest were the visits to Aristotle’s “Lyceum” which rivaled for a short time the Academy of Plato, the prison where Socrates was held, the Olympic Stadium which was the site of the first modern Olympics, and Constitution Square (Syntagma) where we saw the changing of the guards.

In addition to Athens, we spent time visiting ancient Corinth located about three hours from Athens. In Hellenistic times Corinth was a populous city and commercial center. A highlight of our visit to Corinth was the “Diolkos.” The Diolkos was a paved road where ships were dragged between the Saronic and Corinthian Gulf. This road was replaced by a rather impressive canal built by the French linking the Aegean and Ionian seas. Another site was Mycenae located near Corinth. Although we spent only a short time there, it was thrilling to see the home of Agamemnon. We also spent time at an ancient monastery, also located near Corinth.

Seeing the sites associated with psychology and western civilization was exciting for all of us. Equally exciting was the opportunity to interact with the Greeks, try exotic food, and shop. The Greeks we met were all friendly and the food excellent. Some of the students even tried Greek dancing. Although the dollar is not worth much anymore, students were able to find bargains including rugs and various souvenirs.