KCC international travel students leave for Greece March 15

The Pnyx, "the birthplace of democracy." Picture courtesy of Flickr user microbe, from the Flickr Creative Commons.

The Pnyx, “the birthplace of democracy.” Picture courtesy of Flickr user microbe, from the Flickr Creative Commons.

A group of nearly two dozen Kellogg Community College students, faculty and community members will depart from Detroit Friday for the college’s first-ever international travel trip to Greece.

KCC professors Chris Jakway and Jonathan Williams will lead the trip, which will focus academically on philosophy and political science, disciplines the two of them teach, respectively, at the college.

Jakway said he’s traveled to Greece and/or Israel almost every year since 1996, leading trips and working on archaeological digs.

“The draw for me is learning more about the historical and cultural background to better understand the ancient texts and events we study and teach,” Jakway said. “Ancient Greece had a profound impact on our culture in a variety of ways.”

Jakway said the group will be based in Athens and will take side trips to Corinth, Delphi, Olympia and other areas of interest in the country.

“In Athens we will visit the Pnyx, which is the birthplace of democracy,” he said. “We’ll also see the ancient Academy, the first university, developed by Plato. We will walk the ancient Agora where Socrates taught and faced trial.”

Michelle Wright, a history professor at KCC and coordinator of the college’s international travel initiatives, said not only will the group be able to see the ruins of amphitheaters, temples and political centers during the trip, they’ll also learn about what everyday life was like in places like the ancient markets and jails.

A world traveler herself – she’s leading another international travel group from KCC on a trip to important European sites in May – Wright offers this advice for travelers: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

“As long as they have some form of money, their passport and their medication, everything else is replaceable,” she said. “Travelers tend to underestimate the money they need and overestimate the amount they need to pack, so I also tell my students to write down what they want to take in their luggage and cut it in half, and to calculate the amount of money they think they will spend and double it.”

The group – which includes 17 KCC students and two community members in addition to the faculty leaders – will leave Detroit at around 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and return on Sunday, March 24.

For more information about the international travel trip to Greece, contact philosophy professor Chris Jakway at jakway@kellogg.edu, or contact political science professor Jonathan Williams at williamsj@kellogg.edu.

For more information about the European trip coming in May, contact history professor Michelle Wright at wrightm@kellogg.edu.