October 26th, 2016

Forum on Education Abroad, the Athens Experience

The Forum on Education Abroad 3rd European Conference ‘Living Change: Education Abroad in 21st Century Europe’ took place in Athens (Oct 3-8, 2016) and attracted faculty and administrative executives from more than 300 universities, colleges and educational institutions.

CYA hosted the conference, which took place at Aigli Zappeiou and CYA's premises at Stadium Square, next to the Kallimarmaro.

The Forum, by selecting CYA to host the Conference, offered a great recognition of the school's role in study abroad. CYA had the opportunity to showcase its exceptional organization and faculty.

About 30 study abroad directors from partner institutions were invited to a preconference site visit of peers, where they were offered the chance to sit in CYA classes, meet faculty, staff and students.

CYA faculty led thematic walks through Athens for the delegates, during which participants witnessed daily life in the city intermingled with history, monuments, art, culture, and current affairs: ‘The City Beneath the City’ (a tour around some of the most impressive Metro stations), ‘A Byzantine Walk of Athens’, (a glimpse in the History of Medieval Athens), ‘The Food Walk’ (in the Market area of the capital) were some of the most characteristic.

Following the conference plenary session, organizers, participants and CYA staff had a great time at CYA's open house having a drink on the terrace of the Academic Center and enjoying a memorable Athenian sunset behind the Acropolis.

Forum on Education Abroad president Brian Whalen said: ‘The 3rd European Conference brought together colleagues from the U.S. and Europe who discussed crucial educational issues, shared their knowledge, experiences and perspectives and analysed future trends.’

CYA president Alexis Phylactopoulos said: ‘We need to prepare our students for Europe at this critical time in European history. Things are not as they used to be. We all know how

the landscape has changed and how the emphasis has shifted from traditional European values, its culture, languages, art, to other more pressing issues, like the deficient European governance, the financial crisis, the influx of refugees and the inability to create a sustainable plan to deal with the flow, and the advances of the extreme right. The relationship of our students to all this is what was at the top of the agenda. Greece, Athens, is the right vantage point for this discussion. Situated at the crossroads of two worlds, it has always been in the middle of major geopolitical changes.’

Conference keynote speaker, Anna Diamantopoulou, president of DIKTIO-Network for Reforms in Greece and Europe, a Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin and former minister of education, addressed the plenary. She referred to critical aspects of the international education system and its contribution to social development. In her speech, Diamantopoulou made special reference to developments in Greek education and the national reform effort.

Visit our flickr for more photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cya_dikemes/

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