Ancient Greece: the birthplace of Western philosophy, literature, mathematics, history, drama, the Olympic Games, and democracy. This summer, 10 students and Dr. John Vonder Bruegge went to Greece for three weeks. These students were assigned various Greek archaeological sites and studied them extensively during the spring semester. While on the trip, they visit the sites and got to experience it for themselves, without reading from a website or textbook. The Greek Legacy trip is not just to go to Greece, rather an immersion into Greece’s history and culture.
The leader of this trip was Dr. Vonder Bruegge, an associate professor of Biblical studies, as well as the dean of arts and humanities. This will be his 19th year teaching at NWC. The first study abroad was in 2014, but this is the fourth time he has done this trip. “Easily, the best part of the trip is watching students fall in love with a place that I’ve loved for many years. Greece is remarkable, not just for the significant role it has played in Western culture, but also for its natural beauty.” Vonde Bruegge said, “Since the students spend an entire semester studying Greece, when we finally get to go and they get to see their sites, they’re like kids in a candy store. That never gets old.”
Senior Mark Cooley was one of the students who had the chance to attend this study abroad. Many things fell into place for Mark to be able to go on this trip, which was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “My favorite part of Greece was the ability to see the history I love. My archaeological site was the South Slope of the Acropolis (also known as the superior slope of the Acropolis). Being able to research the south slope during the class was fun and exciting, but being able to see it in person was phenomenal and jaw-dropping. Words could not describe my reaction to witnessing my site outside of the pictures online.” Another student who went on the study abroad was Junior Jake Franksen-Small. “Getting to see all the places, culture, and artifacts that we studied in class was awesome. It meant a lot more seeing those things when we knew all the history and importance associated with it.
Another student who went on the study abroad was junior Jake Franksen-Small. “Getting to see all the places, culture and artifacts that we studied in class was awesome. It meant a lot more seeing those things when we knew all the history and importance associated with it. I also loved getting to know the people that came with me. I didn’t really know any of them well before the trip, but I made great friends on the trip!” He was surprised to see how proud the Greeks were of their history and past. Franksen-Small said, “The companionship you will make on this trip is unmatched. You get to meet a handful of new people that you become very close with!”
The Greece SSA is a part of NW’s Honors Program. By becoming an honors student, you too can have the first priority to go to Greece for three weeks!