“As a person who loves new experiences and with a strong interest in anthropology and sociology, I accepted a position at the Hellenic Culture Centre (HCC), as a cultural officer for my Erasmus+ internship. The centre is located in one of the most beautiful and interesting,  from all perspectives, island in Greece , Santorini. I was stunned by the beautiful landscape and the small characteristic Cycladic communities of the island. I had read about Santorini before my arrival there but I would never dream that it would look as such. Also a great impression made to me by the volcanic rocky mountains of Kaldera, for which two of the most important Greek poets wrote about- Odysseas Elytis and George Seferis.

The centre has its base in Megalochori, a traditional village which is not as touristic as the rest of Santorini. The HCC is a school that teaches Greek as a foreign language to adults. There, the students learn the language together with the culture, features and unique characteristics of Santorini specifically, and Greece in a more general sense. Through the cultural programme, that I was responsible for, I was engaged in making presentations about the “Unexplored Santorini”, which was a special project of the centre, assigned to me. It was very interesting, as through the research I had to make in order to prepare the presentations, I learned about the local traditions and customs that often are bypassed by tourists and tourist guides. I learned also how to organise cultural events, and how to interact with people from different cultural and language backgrounds, as students.

It was great fun  to work in one of the most beautiful islands in Greece and with such great people. The interaction with both colleagues and students from different countries and a variation of ages taught me a lot and I feel I have improved my communication and active listening skills. For me the Erasmus+ programme opened the path for an unforgettable experience that I will always value.”

 

Traineeship at Hellenic Culture Centre (HCC), Santorini, Greece

Paraskevi Christodoulou, International Relations and European Studies, University of Nicosia