Letter to the Editor: Paideia Study Abroad Programs in Greece

 

Dear friends and supporters of Paideia Study Abroad Programs in Greece:

 

In a few days, we have the end of another academic year in Greece with students during fall/spring semesters, winter intersession, summer classes and study tours around Greece.  At the end of this academic year, I feel the need to thank you for all you have done to keep the Paideia programs in Greece alive.  There is a long list of generous and good people here who have helped send American students to Greece.  There is a long list of great and good people in Greece who welcomed and did anything they could  for the American students to have a positive life long experience in and out of their classes.

As Ι am writing this message to you, many people are coming to my mind from US and Greece.  From the US, Ι am remembering now Christophoros Xenophontos from Rhode Island, a past URI student who studied in Rhodes, Greece.  Another student from Rhodes, Greece,  had a terrible accident on I-95 in CT and is no longer with us.  Christophoros graduated and for a few years now helps students go to Greece with generous scholarships in memory of the student we all lost.  From Greece I remember now and many times Mr. Thoma Kanelis, the owner of a Travel Stop on the way  to Meteora.  Mr. Thomas had no customers at that time in his place when a full bus had to stop and use his restroom facilities.  The students went back to the bus but when he learned that the group is from US he came out asking all to go back and to take anything they would like from his store. He told us how much he is proud of the Greek American Community.  I remember very vividly the Greek American students going for first time visiting their Pappou and Yiayia’s villages and homes.  So many moving memories!
What have I learned after traveling for thirty years with Greek American and other American students to Greece?  That our students have the best image of Greece, that these students who went to Greece return changed, becoming better people.  Coming close to the end of the semester I have received emails and cards from students who went to Greece.

All of us at Paideia Center reading these messages thank all of you with great gratitude.  Without your economic and moral support from US, without the hospitality, friendship, genuine care to our students from Greece, it would not be possible to have Paideia students in Greece for thirty four years.  Without all of you, we would not have these good kids expressing warm feelings for Greece and Greek Studies in America.

 

Με πολλά ευχαριστώ, εκτίμηση και σεβασμό σε όλους σας,

Ηλίας Τομάζος

Ilias Tomazos, Director

PAIDEIA Study Abroad Programs in Greece

Center for Hellenic Studies PAIDEIA

 

Check out what the students had to say:

 

From: Sara 
To:  ILIAS TOMAZOS 
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2018 12:41 AM
Subject: Greece 

 

Hello Ilias! I hope you are doing great and the semester has treated you well.

I would like to thank you so much for not only the scholarship but also for the amazing opportunity to explore Greece with you. I had so much fun and made wonderful memories. I loved Greece very much and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about all the places we saw and adventures we shared in Greece. Paideia will always be in my heart!
Best,
Sara
From: Blerta 
To: ILIAS TOMAZOS 
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2018 3:30 PM
Subject: Greece trip story

 

Dear Professor Tomazos,
I don’t know if you will remember me but I took your Greek language class about three years ago at uconn and also I went on a trip to Greece with you one winter. I remember you telling us many stories about your students meeting the person that they have married while they were on the trip with you. I just wanted to let you know that while I was in Greece I met a boy there and now we are getting married next year. Thank you very much for the opportunity to travel to Greece and meet him! Below I added a photo of us all together. I hope you are doing well and also the Greek Center too.
Regards,
Blerta