For the second time in two years I’m visiting Greece on a study abroad with students. I’ve long been convinced that studying abroad is an opportunity to learn and grow in ways that one would be unable to at home. I certainly benefited from completing two degrees in countries other than my home. For students who are studying tourism, travel abroad is even more important because it allows students to participate in and consequently better understand the phenomena of the global tourism industry that they are studying. For various reasons most of my students are unable to spend an entire semester or year abroad, so the compromise I’ve come up with is to fit a week or two abroad into a semester long course and this has worked very well over the years.
Greece offers an opportunity to help students understand the basics of tourism and more specifically cultural heritage tourism, in a location that is widely regarded as the foundation of western civilization. The cultural assets, both tangible and intangible, are innumerable and at some sites, the interpretation is some of the best I have seen. For this study abroad, my group also benefits from the expertise of a US-based Greek professor whose wealth of knowledge and passion for Greece enlivens the history in a way that is both highly educational and entertaining. His ability to relate that history to the present day helps to keep students engaged and more appreciative of the knowledge being shared. Plus to be able to learn this history of the world on the sites where it unfolded is invaluable.
Wildflowers were blooming during my visit.
The olive tree is the epitome of resilience: surviving for thousands of years, withstanding floods, drought, even fires. The olive tree shown here grows above the theatre at Dodona, home of Greece’s oldest oracle.
Of course when it comes to Greece there is a wealth of history, that cannot be captured in a few photos. Much of Greece’s heritage is also the heritage of the world. Greece in fact has 18 World Heritage sites and a number that are in various stages of being recognised as such.
Landscapes, vistas, and historic towns and villages in abundance.
And for many, Greece is synonymous with the Olympic Games …