Penn State Fayette to offer first study-abroad summer program in Greece

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant teaching professor of psychology at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, will offer two concurrent study-abroad courses in Athens, Greece during the summer of 2020: Introduction to Psychologies of Religion (PSYCH 230) and Cross-Cultural Psychology (PSYCH 232).

The six-week program, worth six credits, is the first of its kind for the Fayette campus and will be available to all Penn State students. Karagiorgakis recently traveled to Athens to gather and assess educational resources and opportunities for the courses.

“I worked with the Athens Centre to develop an itinerary that will complement the lectures and reading material we’ll explore in the classroom setting,” he said. “I scouted locations and toured with guides to assess the value of each activity to our curriculum. What I don’t include in the program I can personally recommend to students during free time.”

“Psychology of Religion” will introduce students to an array of famous temples, museums and ancient ruins, including the Parthenon, the Oracle of Delphi, and Epidaurus, the best-preserved ancient theater and healing center known for perfect acoustics.

“Cross-Cultural Psychology” will explore Greek food and drink, environmental attitudes, mental health stigma, education and science, economic crisis and more, with immersive activities and guest lectures from local scholars. Students from the American College of Greece will join Penn State students for a common activity and discussion.

Karagiorgakis team-taught the course “The Communication of the Word and the Psychology of Religious Belief” in spring 2019, which included an embedded trip to Rome, Italy, during spring break. He serves as the Commonwealth Campus representative for education abroad, connecting Penn State Fayette faculty to institutional resources for international course development.

“My parents are from the island of Crete, and my extended family still lives in Greece,” he said. “I speak the language fluently, and I’m comfortable with the culture and social customs, so I’m looking forward to returning and sharing my experience of my heritage with Penn State students.”

For more information, contact Karagiorgakis at [email protected].