By Aria Socratous
Dr. Dikaia Loukia Agapis, DVM, MS, was born and raised in Connecticut, she completed undergraduate and graduate programs in both Hellenic and US universities for Veterinary Medicine (University of Thessaly) , Shelter Medicine (University of Florida) and Public Health (University of Florida) after being a Paideia student and studying at the University of Aegean through the University of Connecticut.
- Paideia offers an intensive educational and culturally immersive program. Can you give some more details about the program?
Paideia’s Study Abroad Program in Greece has been successfully operating for thirty two years. It began as a small project of just one history course, and is now a year round program with fall and spring semester courses, summer classes, and a three-week winter intersession program. Summer classes are also open to motivated high school students, while an Enrichment Program is delivered for K-12 Educators. The program incorporates excursions, so students keep learning as they are having fun. No matter which session one may choose, expeditions to archeological sites, museum visits, and various cultural activities are included. For the student determined to see as much as possible, we suggest to take advantage of our unique Study Tour. This knowledge on the go transforms Greece’s most famous destinations into classrooms. Furthermore, Paideia is proud to say that it pays attention to each student. For example, we always make every effort to bring Greek-American students in contact with their relatives in Greece; to visit their grandparents’ and great grandparents’ villages and homes. Regardless of one’s cultural background though, every returning student truly loves Greece.
- What are the courses offered?
Paideia understands each student has specific skills and needs which is why we aim to provide as many options as possible to our participants. Over 100 courses are offered through Greece’s most prestigious institutions engaging students from various areas of study. Additionally, in order to accommodate all personalities, we have established a diverse learning environment. Our students may choose to attend classes in the cities of Thessaloniki and Athens at Aristotle and Macedonia Universities in Thessaloniki and the University of Athens, or enroll at the University of Aegean and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Rhodes. All courses are taught in English, although it is mandatory to take Modern Greek. Courses include, but are not limited to: Hellenic Studies (Ancient, Byzantine, Modern); History/Archaeology; European and Mediterranean Studies; Political Science; Arts and Art History; Business/Economics; Communications/Journalism; Psychology; Family Studies; Marine Science/Environmental Studies. For a complete list of Paideia’s classes, please visit: www.hellenicstudiespaideia.org When available, one may also pursue internships without stipend. With such a versatile program, we are confident to say that our kids upon returning home become better students. Moreover, they become better citizens.
- Paideia is affiliated with state Greek Universities. Based on your experience, how would you estimate the contribution of Greek educators comparing to American educators?
I believe Hellenic educators are one of Greece’s greatest assets, as they are the ones that are equipped to shape the country’s future. Just like the great minds of Ancient Greece have influenced so many through the years, the great minds of today’s Greece, have molded me into the person I am today along with their predecessors. I feel fortunate and humbled to have been trained by a few of these scholars, and am continuously reminded of their contributions. On multiple occasions I have seen studies from Greek universities referenced at North American conferences. In fact, just the other day I saw a recorded lecture by a highly-accredited veterinary anesthesiologists here in the US siting the works of her Greek counterparts, my professors ( If you are curious and have an interest in anesthetic protocols, please have a look 23 minutes into this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esxk47Ma7jM&feature=youtu.be )As an administrator and an ex-student for this program, I am further amazed by the relationships that the Hellenic professors have with our students. They all have their required contact time and office hours. However, these individuals carry the Hellenic value of philoxenia in their hearts, and as true kathigites, as daskaloi, they direct our kids both inside and outside the classroom. They are like parents to our students, and the bonds created last a lifetime. The warmth and generosity of the professors has been key to our program’s success.
- What is the value that you bring on the program based on your own academic passions?
Many study abroad programs (other countries included) lack curriculum in the sciences and have very limited internship opportunities. I am currently working to expand our course offerings to include more students with an interest in the sciences, as well as providing new hands-on experiences for undergraduate and graduate students.
- What are the academic entry requirements for this program?
Students should have a grade point average of 2.50 and above. However, regardless of their previous academic achievements, every student studying in Greece with Paideia receives a scholarship reward. By reason of our dedicated professors, staff, and supporters this unforgettable odyssey is especially cost efficient. This is the least expensive study abroad program a student can find to Greece.