NEWS

Learning comes to life in Greece: Mount students visit birthplace of Olympic Games

September 09, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -

Mount Saint Mary College study abroad students lined up under the entrance to the ancient site of Mycenae in Greece.

Mount Saint Mary College study abroad students lined up under the entrance to the ancient site of Mycenae in Greece.

If someone asks Mount Saint Mary College study abroad students “what did you do this summer,” they’re in for a great answer: More than a dozen scholars joined a pair of Mount professors on an educational journey to Greece.
 
R. Scott Russell, assistant professor of Sports Management, and Kate Burmon, assistant professor of Criminology, lead the Mount group for several weeks of on-location learning.
 
Students stayed in Athens for most of the experience, before taking a bus across the country to Olympia. They also stopped at the site of ancient Mycenae and visited the Acropolis along the way.
 
Russell’s course, “Olympic Games: Ancient and Modern,” drew on the historic location to immerse students in their studies. The Olympics were first staged in Olympia, Greece, beginning in 766 B.C. As students learned the story of the ancient games, they walked in the footsteps of the first Olympians.
 
Burmon taught “Archaeological Looting in Greece,” using the country as a case study. The class examined such topics as the impact of looting, the unique challenges facing underwater archaeology, and ethical and legal issues. In addition to exploring area museums, the Mount group visited several archaeological sites.
 
“The looting of artifacts from sites around the world has been increasing,” said Burmon. “Studying this topic in today’s world is of particular significance, as connections between antiquity sales and terrorist financing have proven valid.”
 
Burmon said the experience had a lasting positive impact on the students.
 
“It was interesting and wonderful to read in their reflections how study abroad impacted them – both in the short term and how they believe it will stay with them in the future,” Burmon explained. “They talked a lot about each other as family and the level of independence required for this experience helped them grow in positive ways, especially in their self-confidence and self-reliance.”
 
The Mount provides students with study opportunities in New Zealand, Ireland, France, and more. In the summer of 2020, the Mount will host study abroad programs in Ireland and Italy, which will include a variety of courses led by Mount faculty. Students can earn three credits through these faculty-led programs. The application date is December 6, 2019.