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College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus

American Hellenic Institute Foundation

AHIF is Accepting Applications for its Second Annual

College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus

June 17-July 2, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) is now accepting applications for its program directly aimed at our young Greek American college students to travel to Greece and Cyprus to better understand the core foreign policy issues important to the Greek American community. The program is open to Greek American and Cypriot American college students who are in good academic standing and who are studying political science, international relations, history, government, law and foreign affairs.

During the two-week trip to Greece and Cyprus the college students will have the opportunity to see and experience first hand foreign policy issues affecting both countries, their relations with the U.S., and the interests of the U.S. in the region. While the schedule will be packed with briefings and meetings with officials the students will also have free time to visit historic and other cultural sites in both Greece and Cyprus.

The program is open to undergraduate (raising sophomores and older) and graduate Greek American students who are currently enrolled fulltime and are in good academic standing with a minimum of 3.0 GPA.

Program size is limited, and participation is contingent upon acceptance by the program review committee. The trip is scheduled for June 17-July 2, 2010. Students will meet in Washington, DC prior to their departure to Cyprus and Greece and attend a mandatory briefing about their trip.

The students will attend meetings and briefings with Greek, Cypriot and U.S. officials in Washington, Greece and Cyprus. Emphasis will be placed on understanding Greek-Cyprus-Turkish relations, issues affecting Greek interests in the Balkans, the resolution of the Cyprus problem, the participation of Greece and Cyprus in the EU and other international and regional issues.

Leading the group to Greece and Cyprus, AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis said, “Since its inception AHIF, has promoted a better understanding of Hellenic issues and strived to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and the United States and Cyprus. Over the years we have held conferences on the future of Hellenism in America, and conferences pertaining to our issues to educate and inform U.S. policy makers. Through the College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus we are now able to offer a hands-on experience aimed at our college students to help them have a better understanding and connection of the issues that affect our community and better prepare them to be responsible leaders of the Greek American community.”

Cost and Accommodations:

There will be NO costs associated with this program while in Greece and Cyprus which will include, accommodations, local transportation associated with the program, and most meals. Transportation to Washington, DC, Cyprus, Greece and return to the United States will be the responsibility of each student (approximately $2,250). The AHIF has secured the services of a travel agency to ease with your travel needs and all arrangements will have to be made only through this travel agency.

How to Apply:

  • All applicants must submit a refundable $250 deposit to reserve the airline ticket in order to be considered for the trip. You have the option to pay the deposit with a credit card or check payable to “AHIF.” If you are not selected for the trip or if you cancel prior to the May 10th deadline, the $250 deposit will be refunded directly to your credit card or your check will be returned back to you. You will only lose your deposit if you were confirmed on the trip and accepted and later cancel.
  • After we have received your completed application forms with all the items listed above along with your $250 deposit, you will receive an email from AHIF confirming that your application is under consideration. The review committee will review your application and inform you of your status (acceptance, denial) shortly after May 10th.
  • Upon receiving notice of acceptance, applicants need to pay the balance of the payment approximately $2,000 (payable by credit card, check, money order) to the travel agency to secure your flights.

Mail Application Forms to:

AHIFForeign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus 
American Hellenic Institute Foundation
1220 16th Street, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20036

Or email directly to Yola Pakhchanian atyolap@ahiworld.org

Application Dateline: All material and $250 deposit should be submitted by May 10, 2010.

The agenda for the program is currently being formulated. The final agenda may vary depending on schedules and availability of the officials and speakers in Greece and Cyprus. Those interested in learning more about this unique trip can visit our website to read the press release from the 2009 trip at http://www.ahiworld.org/press_releases/2009_065.html

For more information contact Yola Pakhchanian at yolap@ahiworld.org.

The American Hellenic Institute Foundation, Inc. (AHIF), established in 1975, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt educational and research organization devoted exclusively to the study of the issues confronting the Greek American community. From our Hellenic House headquarters, just steps from the White House, AHIF’s professional staff works to advance the best interests of the U.S. on issues of importance to Greek Americans.


Student Quotes

Here are some comments made by the students of the 2009 trip:

“This trip truly helped us better understand the core foreign policy issues important to the Greek American community. We are much more aware of what is being done on the ground with these issues and what we can do as Greek Americans within our local community.”

– George Balafoutis, University of Chicago.

“This foreign policy trip not only showed me that there is much more to Greece and Cyprus than their histories and beaches, but that the two are becoming dynamic countries. Of course, both have their issues, and that is where intelligent and motivated young adults of Greek and/or Cypriot origin have to be knowledgeable and relied upon to do their part in ensuring Greek and Cypriot relations with the United States arrive at a zenith and stay there. This foreign policy trip brought to the forefront the critical issues Greece and Cyprus have to deal with everyday and motivated me to do my part in creating a positive liaison as an American citizen, and of Greek origin, between the two countries and the U.S. The twenty-first century presents Greece, Cyprus, and the United States with critical issues that must be addressed; however, if the historic allies do not stray off from one another and stay united in resolving the problems, I see a bright future for all parties involved.”

– George Papadopoulos, DePaul University.

“I became passionate about my Greek heritage and family roots when I was young. That passion grew as my parents told me about the troubles yet ultimate glory of ancient Greece. However, in recent history, it seems that Greece faces more troubles than glory. Fortunately the American Hellenic Institute has taken on the responsibility of addressing those troubles, not just within Greece, but also within its Diaspora. This is no easy task. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in AHIF’s first foreign policy student visit. It has helped me to understand Greece and Cyprus’ main problems as well as to further develop my emotional connection with them. This opportunity has also opened my eyes to the educational work that AHIF contributes in order to advance the best interests of the U.S. on issues of importance to Greek Americans. I am willing and able to help support and advance the goals of AHIF in order to heighten awareness of Hellenic troubles and to help restore its past glory. I wish to thank the members of the AHIF for this new program as well as those who support this institute and its work.”

– Jason Demetrios Vergados, Merrimack College.

“The AHIF foreign policy trip gave me cultural, political, and personal intellectual insight and I’m indebted to all those who made it possible for me to attend. I’ll probably spend the next decade trying to rediscover the bliss and understanding I found periodically during this expedition. Whether it was the scholars and political figures we met in Athens or the locations including beaches, the Acropolis, Nicosia airport, and Famagusta, poignant memories were made.”

– John Tyler Gazetos, University of Wisconsin at Madison.

“The AHIF trip is something I will never forget. I am returning to the United States with new friends, amazing memories, and as a more learned person because of this foreign policy trip. I wouldn't trade those two weeks for anything.”

– Lia Seremetis, University of Cincinnati.

“This trip opened my eyes to a whole new world. It’s easy to sit down and read a book about an event and make an opinion about what the world is like. I got the opportunity to see with my own eyes one of the world’s greatest tragedies on the island of Cyprus. For me this trip changed my life, and I’m proud to say now that I feel compelled to do my part and make a difference.”

– Vangelis Katsikiotis, Catholic University.

“Not only did this program enrich my own knowledge and world view, but it has allowed me to disseminate knowledge to other Greek Americans.”

– Irene Gianakakis, New York University.

“This trip both allowed me to become knowledgeable about Greek American issues as well as making me feel more connected to the issues and the Greek American community.”

– Nick Papacostas, American University.

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