American Hellenic Institute Foundation
AHIF is Accepting Applications for its Fifth Annual
College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus
June 19-July 5, 2013
Call for Applications
WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) is accepting applications for its travel abroad program aimed to help Greek American college students better understand the core foreign policy issues important to the Greek American community. The program is open to Greek American and Cypriot American college students who are in good academic standing and who are studying political science, international relations, history, government, law and foreign affairs. The 2013 trip is scheduled for June 19 - July 5.
During the two-week trip to Washington, DC, Greece and Cyprus the students will have the opportunity to see and experience first-hand foreign policy issues affecting Greece and Cyprus, their relations with the U.S., and the interests of the U.S. in the region. Although the schedule will be packed with briefings and meetings with officials, the students will also have free time to visit historic and other cultural sites in both Greece and Cyprus.
Prior to departure students will meet in Washington, DC to attend a mandatory briefing about their trip. They will also attend meetings and briefings with Greek, Cypriot and U.S. officials in Washington, Greece and Cyprus. Emphasis will be placed on understanding Greek-Cyprus-Turkish relations, issues affecting the southeastern Mediterranean involving Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
The program is open to undergraduate or graduate students (rising sophomores to second-year graduate students) with a full-time enrollment status (12 credit hours per semester), and have a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA. Program size is limited, and participation is contingent upon acceptance by the program review committee.
AHI President Nick Larigakis will lead the group to Greece and Cyprus. “Since its inception AHIF, has promoted a better understanding of Hellenic issues and strived to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and the United States and Cyprus,” he said. “Over the years we have held conferences on the future of Hellenism in America, and conferences pertaining to our issues to educate and inform U.S. policy makers. Through the College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus we are now able to offer a hands-on experience aimed at our college students to help them have a better understanding and connection of the issues that affect our community and better prepare them to be responsible leaders of the Greek American community.”
Cost and Accommodations:
Hotel accommodations, local transportation and most meals in Washington, DC, Greece and Cyprus will be covered by AHIF. The students will be responsible for the airline tickets from Washington to Larnaca, Cyprus and Athens, Greece and return to the United States (approximately $2,400). The AHIF has secured the services of a travel agency to ease with your travel needs and all arrangements will have to be made through this travel agency. Students will have to make their own arrangements to get to Washington. However, the travel agent will be available to help those that need assistance. Those who wish to extend their stay in Greece should contact the travel agent directly to make those arrangements and make a notation of the dates in the application form. Please note that the cost for an extended trip will be higher and additional form will be required to be completed and signed by you and your parents.
$250 Refundable Deposit
A $250 refundable deposit is required along with your application. You have the option to pay the deposit with a credit card or check payable to “AHIF.” Students selected for participation will have 5-business days to reply to the offer, before the offer may be made to other qualified applicants. Once you have accepted the offer the $250 check will be deposited. If you are not selected for the trip or if you cancel prior to the May 1st deadline, the $250 deposit will be refunded directly to your credit card or your check will be returned back to you. You will only lose your deposit if you were confirmed on the trip and accepted and later cancel. The $250 deposit will be returned to you after the evaluation forms and essays have been received by AHIF at the conclusion of the program.
Who is eligible?
The program is open to Greek/Cypriot American undergraduate or graduate students (rising sophomores to second-year graduate students) with a full-time enrollment status (12 credit hours per semester), and have a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA. Fields of study include: political science, international relations, history, government, law and foreign affairs.
How to Apply?
Submit all the items listed below. All items must be received by April 15, 2013 to consider an application complete. Late applications will not be considered. Students with an expired passport or who do not have a passport should not wait until they have been accepted to the program to renew or apply for a passport.
After we have received your completed application form with all the items listed below (including the $250 deposit), you will receive an email from AHIF confirming that your application is under consideration and asking you to provide us with a date/time to schedule a phone interview. The review committee will review your application and interview report and inform you of your status (acceptance, denial) shortly after May 1st.
Check List of items to be submitted by April 15, 2013:
Application forms and all material should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and hardcopy of application form mailed to:
AHIF Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus
How to make your travel arrangements?
Upon acceptance to the program a form will be emailed to you asking you to state the dates of travel and the cities that you will be traveling from. This form will be forwarded to the travel agency. The approximate cost for the round trip ticket from Washington, DC-Larnaca-Athens-back to the US is $2,400. There is an additional cost for those who pay by credit card. Those who wish to extend their stay in Greece should note that the cost for an extended trip will be higher.
For more information about previous trips and the students’ experiences, please click the links below:
For more information contact Yola Pakhchanian at email@example.com.
The American Hellenic Institute Foundation, Inc. (AHIF), established in 1975, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt educational and research organization devoted exclusively to the study of the issues confronting the Greek American community. From our Hellenic House headquarters, just steps from the White House, AHIF’s professional staff works to advance the best interests of the U.S. on issues of importance to Greek Americans.
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Student Testimonials and Reflections from the 2012 program
This was the trip of a lifetime, and I learned more in two and a half weeks than a whole year in school. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing experience. —Aletha Vassilakis, University of California, San Diego
This AHI policy trip was such a fantastic opportunity. To be able to meet and speak with so many government officials in the Cypriot and Greek governments was an extremely unique experience for me at such a young age. I was able to see firsthand the effects of the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and the struggle, passion, and distress felt by the citizens of Cyprus. By speaking with various representatives in Greece, I was able to begin to wrap my head around the magnitude of the recent economic crisis and the real effects it has had on the Greek population. The experiences and knowledge I gained in both countries far surmounts anything I could have read in a book or news headlines because it struck a very human cord that is often lacking in second or third person accounts one might read or hear back home in the states.
However, this trip did not only give me the great opportunity to tackle these issues head on but also gave me the opportunity to meet other Greek American college students who are passionate about international relations. It was an honor to become friends with these students and to now count them among my peers. I have always had great passion for my Greek heritage but this trip has given me the opportunity to understand and value Greece on a different level. I now feel like an educated American on the issues of Greece which I can apply on an international level. —Alexis Konstantine Angelo, Trinity University
The AHI foreign policy trip is an invaluable opportunity to understand the issues that face the Greek American community and provides a forum of discussion with the world’s leading officials. It’s a resource that no book, news source, or class could ever provide. AHI provided an irreplaceable real world experience. – Andrew M. Pernokas, Boston University
The AHIF Foreign Policy trip was a truly amazing and transformative experience. Traveling, learning, and discussing the different issues with my peers exposed me to different perspectives from other Greek American students and provided lasting friendships. The trip to Cyprus allowed me to witness firsthand the multitude of challenges that Cyprus has overcome since 1974, but also allowed me to see the great challenges that the Republic of Cyprus still faces. While burdened with the weight of the illegal occupation of the northern portion of the island, the Republic of Cyprus has grown to become a significant player in the international community as evidenced by their assumption of the EU Presidency in July. The EU Presidency was a reoccurring theme in many of our meetings in Cyprus, however, this great success, a testament to the strength and perseverance of the Cypriot people, could not mask the occupation. The journey to the occupied area showed the true realities of the Cyprus problem. Seeing the desecrated churches, Turkish soldiers, and abandoned buildings on the backdrop of pristine beaches and vacationing Turks impacted the issue in a way that a book or an article never could. Traveling to Cyprus took the way I saw the issue out of a history book and into the present day, giving me a renewed passion for the issue.
The AHIF Foreign Policy trip allowed me to see Greece in a new light. Having been to Greece before, experiencing high-level briefings at the Ministry of Defense, discussing the Euro Crisis with world-renowned economists, and discussing foreign policy with Ambassadors showed me a side of Greece that I had never known. The experience in Greece gave me a renewed faith in Greece; not only the country’s ability to weather any storm, whether fiscal or military, but also in the Greek people and their commitment to Hellenism. Overall, the AHIF foreign policy trip changed the way that I look at the Mediterranean Basin. I will be forever grateful to the American Hellenic Institute for the opportunity. – Anna Tsiotsias, University of Pennsylvania
This trip was absolutely amazing. The opportunity I received through this program to meet so many important and integral people to international relations is a once in a lifetime chance. I recommend this trip to everyone. – Evangelia Psarakis, Rutgers University
This was one of the best trips I have taken and definitely some of the best two weeks of my life. The immersion into the politics and way of life of both countries was eye-opening and most, if not all, of the officials we met were very helpful and were very interested in helping us understand and learn about the countries. I would recommend this program to every Greek American! —Christos Galanis, Rutgers University
This trip was a highly informative one with access to individuals and opportunities that would seldom be available apart from AHIF. Most importantly, the foreign policy trip offers its participants the opportunity to have instilled in themselves the reality that they, as members of the global Hellenic community, have a stake – and thus, an obligation – in the resolution of crucial matters of policy surrounding Greece and Cyprus. It ought to be a game-changer in influencing the participants’ individual professional aspirations. — Stephanos Karavas, Tufts University
To stand in a place where, for generations, Christians stood in awe and reverence of the Creator of all, where incense and psalmody once rose from earth to Heaven in praise of the God who became man; but now stands abandoned and desecrated, with no respect or honor given to things of the earth or of Heaven, is truly a powerful and moving experience. — Manoli Anagnostiadis, University of Maryland, upon viewing a desecrated Church in occupied Cyprus
As corny as it sounds, this trip truly redirected my life’s ambitions. In Cyprus, experiencing the occupied area and the horrible sights of desecration — especially of the churches — was indescribable. In Greece, hearing senior-level officials give me the support I needed to supplement my already-established viewpoints about Greek issues enhanced my knowledge and understanding of Greece and reinvigorated my love for the country. I’ve always been interested in my cultural heritage, and the issues Greeks and Cypriots struggle with daily have been on my mind since I was able to read.
Now, with the help of AHI, I remember exactly why I’ve always been so passionate about these problems. I have now seen firsthand the tragedies that plague our wonderful homeland. Perhaps most importantly, though, I’ve looked at it through the eyes of an American citizen. My fellow students and I can visualize the possible solutions to the Cyprus problem, the FYROM name issue and the newfound energy issues, just to name a few. These solutions are all attainable with the help of the American government.
The answers are simple. Now it’s a matter of whether senior-level officials will deem it necessary to take the steps to fix long drawn-out issues. As an American, I plan to do all I can to make these officials see the importance of helping these countries that are imperative to the world’s progression. I’ve been reminded of my passion through the AHIF trip and don’t intend to let it go to waste. – Maria Romas, University of Maryland
Foreign Policy Study Trip