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Pennsylvania State University Professor Fayette Leads Study Abroad Experience in Athens

Lemont Furness, Pennsylvania — This summer, Alice Karagiolgakis, assistant professor of psychology at Penn State University Fayette Eberly Campus, will offer a unique study abroad experience in Athens, Greece for all Penn State students. Did.

Fourteen students enrolled in an immersive six-week program featuring two concurrent courses: Introduction to Religious Psychology (PSYCH 230) and Intercultural Psychology (PSYCH 232).

The group explored famous monasteries, ancient sites and temples such as the Temple of Poseidon and the Temple of Aphea on Aegina. We visited the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the Jewish Museum in Athens, the Benaki He Islamic Museum, and more. We also visited the Greek parliament building.

Daily lectures and activities, including cooking and dance lessons, explored Greek culture, environmental attitudes, mental health stigma, education and science, the economic crisis, and more. The group met with social her workers from Caritas Hellas, an organization that helps refugees and migrants, and learned about homelessness in Athens on the Shedia Invisible Tour.

College Year in Athens program faculty member Nina Papathanasopoulou provided a guest lecture along the way. Participants also had the opportunity to meet students from the American College of Greece to share their educational experiences and perspectives.

student voice

Nina Dillon, a Cranberry Township resident who will be graduating from University Park in 2024, said, “This summer was my first study abroad opportunity and my first time out of the country. We have a bakery that we go to every morning before class with our classmates and we really connected with the owner Dimitris, he taught us a lot about Greek culture I did.”

Rachel Tambor, a psychology major at University Park, said: She said, “I would recommend studying abroad to any student. I think it’s really important to get out of your comfort zone and experience a different culture. It’s a great way to make friends and make new memories.”

Charmain Wood, a senior psychology student from Claymont, Delaware, said: The latter, in my opinion, is essential in this digital age where we are all very connected.

Aubrianna Navarroli, from Warren, Pennsylvania, who is graduating from University Park in 2024, said, “I was a little nervous because it was my first time out of the country, but it was the most impactful and life-changing experience.” As a molecular biology student, I didn’t have a lot of time to explore my academic interests outside of biology, so joining the program allowed me to broaden my horizons and learn in an equally interesting field. . “

“In short, it was the best experience of my life. It definitely changed me as a person for the better and I learned a lot about my Greek heritage and American nationality. became more personal,” said Olivia Mucus, an advanced English major from New York City.

create a place of discovery

“Studying abroad offers students the opportunity to have a unique collective experience with peers that does not overlap from class to class or destination to destination,” Karagiolgakis said. “When designing an itinerary for a six-week program, we can build in time for organic opportunities and choices. For example, a group suggested painting together on the beach at sunset. It’s been an incredible experience that the students have made possible by coordinating themselves.”

Karagiorgakis will offer this study abroad experience again in the summer of 2023, in addition to Psychology of Religion (PSYCH 230) in Istanbul, Turkey during the spring break week of March 2023. Please contact him directly at

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