The First Orientation Field Trip to Delphi and Mt. Parnassus

A CYA orientation like no other…

At CYA it is our mission to not only educate students about Greece but the world as a whole. We teach our students how to learn and how to approach and discover a site, as well as the dedication needed to progress and succeed in life, both academically and personally. In line with this mission, the first ever CYA Orientation field trip transported students to the center of the world, Delphi. The ideal starting point to start their study abroad journey and to feel inspired to branch out and discover the rest of the world.

Over 2-days, students, faculty, and staff were taken on a bonding and orientation trip to a mountain resort on Mt. Parnassus with a visit to Delphi.

At Ossios Loukas Monastery

First taste of a CYA Field-trip

On the first day, we visited the Monastery of Ossios Loukas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where students split up in groups accompanied by their professors, Steve Diamant, Robert Pitt, Dimitris Kritsotakis, John Karavas, Aimee Placas, and Angelos Papadopoulos. Students learned the significance of the site and were able to ask questions and discover new things about the Orthodox faith in Greece throughout history. Our next stop was the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia on the lower archaeological site of Delphi. The educational aspect of going on a CYA field trip to explore on-site the very first time was thrilling for students.  It was also rewarding for faculty to find joy in being with the students, and inspiration to continue to offer this first-hand educational experience.

Professor Pitt and students at the upper Delphi site

Fun at Mt. Parnassus Resort

Following a full day of learning and exploring, we continued the fun at the breathtaking resort on Mt. Parnassus. Everybody got the chance to get to know each other a little better over fun games, and learning new Greek pass-times. This was followed by dinner, an impromptu singing performance by two students, and to top off the night, a film under the stars. The next morning we completed our visit to the Delphi upper site and the archaeological museum and closed off the trip with lunch in the picturesque mountain village of Arachova before returning to Athens.

The Activities

Executive Director of Student Affairs Nadia Meliniotis hosted the Greek philosophers mingle game, where students, faculty, and staff were randomly given half a proverb each and had to find their other half! Professor Papadopoulos took students on a hike in the nearby woods, teaching them a few scout survival skills along the way. Director for Academic Affairs Theoni Scourta and Professor Placas taught students the rules and strategy of the Greek card game “Biriba”. Programs Assistant Vassilis Karavasilis showed students how to play ‘Tavli’ – Greek backgammon. CYA President Alexis Phylactopoulos introduced students to the art of Komboloi – how to play and manipulate worry beads. Staff Assistant Anthi Papageorgiou shared the recipe and technique for preparing the ultimate Greek Frappe. Professor Karavas took students out to play some soccer and to learn some new game skills while Professor Kritsotakis introduced students to Greek Tragedy with some drama and improvisation games. Students also joined in other activities at the resort including ping pong, giant chess and a dip in the pool!


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