Travel to Greece with WSC faculty

Tarik Urvina, Staff Writer

Wayne State College is giving students the opportunity to study abroad and follow a six credit program in Greece. The six credit program will include lectures, field trips, group discussions, and a living experience in Greece accompanied by Nebraska faculty and a WSC faculty member who is currently living in Greece. Following a study abroad program can help you develop your personal growth. There are also opportunities to learn more about other cultures and can help you build your resume.

Lori Utecht of the student support service department will be one of the faculty members who will travel abroad with the students and also the professor who will run through the orientation and information process. Utecht has been on a study abroad trip four times already and is very experienced and knows all the in’s and out’s.

The trip to Greece is planned for May 2019. Students will depart on May 6 from Omaha airport and will arrive May 7 in Athens, Greece. In Athens, the students will have three days and nights to explore the Capital of Greece before heading to Volos by bus. Volos is a coastal port city halfway between Thessaloniki and Athens and is situated next to the Aegean Sea.

“Volos has everything; it’s kind of amazing,” Utecht said. “It has a deep sea port, surrounding the city there are some small mountains, and [you’re] about five blocks from the hotel and you have beaches.”

During their time abroad the students will stay at the Park hotel and follow classes at the Thessaly University which is the academic partner of Wayne State College.

Erica Gutenschwager, a WSC faculty member that has lived abroad in Greece for 25 years will also be present during some of the activities.

“I love working with students especially those willing to take on the challenge of traveling to a foreign country,” Gutenschwager said. “There are always challenges involved when collaborating with students, but I find that when we all work together to create an energetic learning environment the end result can be moving.”

Gutenschwager and her family invited the study group of 2017 to her house for an Eastern dinner. Gutenschwager is trying to let the students feel safe, and at home because being far from home can be unsettling for some students.

“I try to address all their questions with respect and help them navigate the linguistic and cultural differences as best as possible while encouraging them to be adventurous,” Gutenschwager said.

Each week the students take field trips focused on their studies. They will get to know the urban life, rural life, nautical experience and the human experience.

“We will take hikes to traditional villages,” Utecht said. “Another place we will visit is the tomb of Alexander the Great’s father, Thessaloniki and ancient ruins all around. We take some field trips within about two hours up to Olympus which is five hours away.”

Other planned program field trips are the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Mount Pelion, Volos’ city and Archaeological museum and Chiron (Greek mythology) cave.