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Apply Today: AHI Foundation Tenth Annual College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip

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JUNE 19-JULY 6, 2018


No. 3

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) is accepting applications for its leading travel abroad program the AHIF College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus aimed to help Greek and Cypriot American college students better understand the core foreign policy issues important to the Greek American community. The trip is scheduled for June 19 - July 6, 2018.

During the two-week trip, the students will have the opportunity to experience first-hand foreign policy issues affecting Greece and Cyprus, and the interests of the U.S. in the region. Prior to their departure, students will meet in Washington, DC where they will attend meetings and briefings with officials at Greek and Cypriot embassies, the State Department, Congress and think-tanks.

While in Greece and Cyprus the students will attend briefings with officials at the American embassies; various ministries, including Foreign Affairs; military; members of Parliament; religious leaders; think-tanks, and members of academia and the private sector. In Cyprus, the group will visit the Turkish-occupied area, receive a guided tour of old Nicosia Airport-UNFICYP in the demilitarized zone, and take a day trip to Paphos and Ayia Napa. While in Greece, they will participate in a day trip on a private boat and an exclusive tour of the Karaiskakis Stadium, the home stadium of Olympiacos FC.

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 seminars pertaining to our issues and for the purpose of educating and informing 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 giving college students 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.”


Academic Credit
Although the AHIF does not have the capacity to provide academic credit, students can enhance their degree by doing so independently through their universities. Past trip participants have met with their academic advisors to obtain course equivalency approvals for major, minor, general education or other degree requirements as well as scholarships or funding possibilities provided through the university. We will be happy to complete any forms necessary to assist you with this process.

The program is open to undergraduate students (rising sophomores) and to graduate students with a full-time enrollment status and a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA. Students with a keen interest in US-Greek-Cyprus relations and policy challenges facing Greece and Cyprus will benefit from this program. Program size is limited, and participation is contingent upon acceptance by the program review committee. Our program operates on a rolling admission basis beginning in January; priority is given to applications received by March 31st, afterward in a space-available basis.

Cost and Accommodations:
Hotel accommodations (McLean Tyson’s Corner Hilton, McLean, Virginia; Hilton Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus & Grande Bretagne, Athens, Greece) as well as most meals in Washington, DC, Greece, and Cyprus and transportation to and from the hotels, airport, excursions and meetings will be covered by the AHIF. Upon acceptance to the program, students will be responsible for purchasing their airline tickets. The approximate cost for the round-trip ticket from Washington, DC-Larnaca-Athens-US is $2,400. All airline ticketsmust be purchased through a travel agency secured by AHIF. Those who wish to extend their stay in Greece should note that the cost for an extended trip will be higher.

Application Process
All application materials are to be submitted together in one package by March 31:

  1. Completed application form;
  2. $500 refundable deposit* is due at the time of application payable to AHIF;
  3. Resume;
  4. Official transcript;
  5. Two letters of recommendation;
  6. A recent high-resolution color headshot; and
  7. A photocopy of your health insurance card (front & back).

*The $500 deposit will be returned to you after the evaluation form and 650-word essay have been received by AHIF at the conclusion of the program. No refunds will be given if you cancel after May 15.

Phone Interview
Phone interviews are an integral component of the trip application. Applicants who have submitted all of their paperwork will then be notified by email that they have qualified for the interview, which is the next phase in the process.

All items must be received by March 31, 2018. Your application will not be reviewed until ALL items are received (including the $500 deposit). Application review begins in January; priority is given to applications received by March 31st; after March 31st, applications are considered on a space-available basis.

For more information contact Yola Pakhchanian at

Student Testimonials


The American Hellenic Institute Foundation Foreign Policy Program is an unparalleled experience. Foreign policy came to life as we explored pressing issues facing the Republic of Cyprus and Greece. It is one thing to read about foreign policy in a textbook or newspaper, yet another thing entirely to watch it unfold before your eyes.

Elizabeth Tzimopoulos Conway graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University in 2017 with Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in political science. Recently she joined Deloitte's federal advisory team in Washington, D.C.


 Never before have I been afforded a remotely similar chance to interact with military, political, business, and cultural leaders of two entirely different countries.

Christopher Coombs is a graduate from the University of Utah with a double major in History and Political Science. Chris currently moved to Brookline, Massachusetts to attend Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to pursue a Masters in Divinity.


Because of this program, I feel more confident and empowered as a student invested in these topics, as a young adult on a path to a professional career in a similar field, and as an American of Hellenic descent who can speak out about these foreign policy issues. -

—Giana Damianos, a Dean’s List student at Indiana University, is majoring in Economics and Political Science and minoring in Psychology. Giana is a junior and has been named a 2017 award recipient by the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation.


The AHIF Foreign Policy College Student Trip offers a unique opportunity for Americans of Hellenic descent to see Greece and Cyprus from a completely different and rewarding perspective. 

Theofilos Koulianos graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hampden-Sydney College with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Economics and Business. He currently is in graduate school at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business pursuing a Masters of Management Studies and he will be studying in Shanghai beginning in January 2018.


These in the moment experiences provide a certain power that one cannot get from an article or briefing, and thus I know they will live with me and be at the forefront of my mind when thinking of Greece and Cyprus.

Theodore Pedas, a sophomore at Yale University, is a prospective Global Affairs major with a concentration in International Security.



Sitting down and conversing with the officials who bear the responsibility of governance in three different nations, as well as seeing the pieces in action myself, was a huge gift. I would call the AHIF trip a must for anyone concerned with international politics; and for those of Hellenic descent, I would insist on applying even more.

Stavros Piperis, a junior at Boston College, is studying Political Science and is a member of the department's Honors Program.


I am forever grateful to the American Hellenic Institute for expanding my knowledge on the issues and allowing me to partake in a once in a lifetime trip which allowed us to meet with a vast majority of movers and shakers in both Cyprus and Greece. 

—Nico Bamberger Priskos, graduated from the University of Utah in 2017, where he double majored in Entrepreneurship and Political Science, along with a minor in International Studies.


Going on this trip has only amplified what I already know; Greeks are disciplined hard workers that have a dedication to bettering Greece and protecting the front lines against terror. 

Paraskevie Ramfos is a sophomore and an honors student at the University of Alabama majoring in International Studies and minoring in French and Public Policy Studies.



After attending this trip I now feel like my view of both Greece and Cyprus is a more realistic one, and intend to pass on the knowledge I have learned to my peers in the U.S. so that they may have the same cultural awakening that I did.

—Stephanie Tanzian honors student at the College of Charleston is an Art's Management major who is part of her school's Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community program.


The access offered by this program is a once in a lifetime experience. The people with whom we met are the real policy makers and actors. Their personal experiences bring the legality of the facts on the ground into stark relief. 

Luke Tassopoulos is a fourth year at the University of Virginia, currently pursuing a B.A. in History as well as a Religious Studies minor from the College of Arts and Sciences. He also starts on his first year of a two year Accelerated Masters Program in Public Policy from the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The American Hellenic Institute Foundation, Inc., (AHIF), established in 1975, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit tax-exempt educational and research organization and is the first “think tank” devoted exclusively to the study of the issues confronting the Greek American community. 


For additional information, please contact Constantine Politis at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at and follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC.