by Amanda Fuller
On this unusually rainy morning in San Diego, 19 Compact Scholars and their families gathered in front of Viejas Arena at 7:00AM to say goodbye. These students were about to embark on a two week faculty-led study abroad program in Greece. Accompanied by Chris Kjonaas, Director of International Engagement for the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA), the students (17 women and 2 men) loaded onto a bus destined for Los Angeles International Airport. Full of nervous excitement, they arrived at LAX to continue their nearly 24 hour journey to Athens, Greece by way of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Here are some fast facts about these amazing and adventurous students:
- Approximately 80% just completed their first year at SDSU
- While all students are Compact Scholars, they represent diverse majors
- Many have never before traveled internationally
- One student has never been on a plane!
After a long and grueling 6,938 mile journey to Athens, the group met up with program faculty leader Amanda Fuller (Academic Coordinator for the Compact Scholars Program in DAESA and instructor for the program’s related course on travel writing), Spilios Osoffsky representing CISAbroad the program’s on-site partner (plus, all around great host), and an additional Compact Scholar who traveled to Athens independently. The entire group of 23 participants (including leaders) rode together from Eleftherios Venizelos (Athens International Airport) via chartered coach to Hotel Anthinais in central Athens.
Exhausted students had some time to settle in their rooms before meeting up for the group welcome dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. After enjoying an excellent meal of the classic Greek dishes Spanakopita and Moussaka, students and group leaders found themselves exhausted with full tummies and droopy eyelids — ready for some much needed sleep!
A successful day one was now in the books — everyone arrived safely and went to bed enthusiastic for the experiences to come! Stay tuned to the Compact Scholars blog for news of the group’s adventures…
How fun and exciting! Safe travels everyone
So great to see everyone settling in nicely for the adventures yet to follow. Glad everyone made it to Greece safely. I look forward to reading more and seeing more pictures through this blog. Thank you, Amanda, for sharing with us back home at SDSU. We are proud of each and every one of you for being the first Compact Scholars to complete this course with this international engagement emphasis.
Looking forward to hearing all about this experience!