New Travel-Study Course Will Take Future Teachers to Greece

December 09, 2014

Saint Leo University’s Education Department is offering prospective teachers the option of international journey and classroom experience next summer–along with a foundation course required of all elementary education majors. Dr. Alexandra Kanellis, an education faculty member in Northeast Florida, will be the faculty leader for the two-week, travel-study course to Greece in May. Dr. Kanellis is originally from Greece.

The main destination is Thessaloniki–Greece’s second largest city–though the tour will also include visits to Athens (pictured, Acropolis) and Byzantium and a host of cultural sites. Those in the SLU community may travel on the trip without taking the education course, but all travelers will be expected to participate in all the planned activities.

The course at the center of the experience is called Teaching Diverse Populations or EDU 222, and carries three credits. In addition to education majors, the course may appeal to students interested in international business, or humanities students considering teaching English abroad after college.

EDU 222 teaches students how to recognize and adapt to cultural differences within a multicultural society. Students gain a better understanding of ways of relating to people of differing ages, ethnicities, religions, social classes, gender, or native languages. The emphasis is on dealing with all these dimensions with young children in ways that will ultimately reduce stereotyping and other unhealthy attitudes or behavior in school communities. Some principles of the course can also translate to teaching older English language learners, or to approaching consumer markets in other cultures.

The university anticipates that participating students will come from its online population, from University Campus, and from some education centers.

Travelers will come to pre-departure meetings being held at University Campus and in Gainesville in late March and again in late April. All travelers will meet in Jacksonville, FL, to depart for Greece on May 9.

The travel component has been designed for students who have an interest in learning about international school systems and cultures. The Saint Leo group will travel to the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece, (pictured) and assist teachers in K-12 classrooms (pictured) where students are English language learners.

The return to the United States is scheduled for May 22.

The total cost, including the international flight, is estimated at about $3,400 per student.

For more information on the format of the course and the trip, contact Dr. Kanellis at alexandra.kannellis@saintleo.edu.