Written by UWaterloo Faculty of Arts

CLAS 390 Study Abroad: Heroes and Legends of the Bronze Age | Classical Studies

CLAS 390 Study Abroad: Heroes and Legends of by UWaterloo Faculty of Arts

“I want to see the Parthanon,” says Esther. “I know what it looks like at every time of the day because I’ve seen so many pictures. But it is going to be a truly unique experience to see it in person.”

In April 2015, Esther Knegt and Adrian Giorgio, third and fourth year CIassical Studies majors, respectively, were preparing for their trip to Greece as a part of CLAS 390. The course provides a group of students with a two-week study abroad experience that, this year, focused on the sites and materials of the Greek Bronze Age.

Students in classroom discussing trip
Adrian

“This is a prelude to what may be my future career,” said Adrian before the May 3rd departure. “Greece is a very plausible place for me to end up. And, I mean, no one can be upset about going to Greece.”

After their return, Esther describes being blown away by the country’s beauty and history. “My favourite site by far was Delos. We took a ferry to the island and spent some time walking among the ruins. The site is so complex and has structures from a vast range of time periods. Some buildings are even preserved up to the roof level! The best part was seeing the mosaics and statues still intact and in their original places.”

Esther in front of Greek architecture

For Adrian, the highlight of the trip was the linguistic history. Students in Classical Studies are required to complete a number of language courses, from Classical Latin and Ancient Attic Greek, in order to receive their degree. “What we read, translate and analyze in class are predominantly rewritten and evidently modern texts,” he explains. The trip allowed him to work with epigraphy. “The ancient inscriptions are so weathered and fragmented that it makes reading near impossible, let alone translation and analysis. Working with inscriptions gave me a new appreciation and respect for the efforts of the ancients, and this exposure will certainly give me an advantage should I decide to pursue a Master’s degree.”

Houses on cliff in Greece

“No matter what someone’s interest in classical history may be (art, sculpture, epigraphy, archaeology, or osteology) there was a myriad of material to admire,” said Adrian, of the trip.

“Visiting the sites in which historical events actually took place or seeing the artifacts in person will teach you more than you could ever learn from a textbook,” concludes Esther.


The Faculty of Arts recognizes the benefits of international education, as those who go often return with more than they bargained for – enhanced language, leadership and cross-cultural communication skills, as well as stronger career prospects. Anyone interested in helping qualified students take part in these life changing experiential learning opportunities can make a gift in support of International Education. For more information, please contact Kim Bardwell, Arts Advancement Director, in the Faculty of Arts (kbardwell@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 37310).