Impact: Cross-Cultural Connections

cyprusThe program provides cross-cultural connections that transform lives. This is acheived in multiple ways by:

  • Allowing students of Greek heritage as well as students with an interest in Greece, Cyprus, and Hellenic culture opportunities to communicate in ways not possible before: e.g. second generation Greek-American students who learn how to communicate with their grandparents in their native language for the first time or Asian-American students who wish to travel to Greece and Cyprus.

  • Increasing the visibility of Greece, Cyprus, and Eastern Mediterranean culture in the University of Illinois community; increase a sense of Greek and Greek-American community in Champaign-Urbana in ways not possible before; increase the visibility of the University of Illinois Greek and Greek-American community to the Chicagoland community; increase the visibility of Greece, Cyprus, and Eastern Mediterranean culture at the University of Illinois campus to a global audience.

  • Connecting Greek-American and non-heritage students with Greece and Cyprus to reap the benefits of these two countries- rich cultural heritage, and enrich their academic and life experience through study abroad programs: During winter break of 2013-14, 12 students (Greek-American and non-heritage) travelled with Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of the Program in Modern Greek Studies at UIUC, to Cyprus as part of a new study abroad course entitled: "Conflict and Post-Conflict Resolution in Modern Cyprus: Life and Culture Divided by a Wall." Some students were travelling for the first time in their lives outside the USA. The course had a life impact on them as they visited historical monuments, met with dignitaries such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs fo the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulidis, His Eminence Chrysostomos, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, and participated in radio and TV media in Cyprus where they shared their experience with the public, increasing the visibility of the University of Illinois abroad and providing face-to-face connections across the globe.