This year the program hosted eighteen participants from seventeen countries. The main topic of the program was the Reconciliation of American diversity with national unity and its four subthemes were:
· Local Autonomy and Pluralism
· Individual Liberty and the American Creed
· Cultural and Social Heterogeneity
· National Unity: Social and Cultural Integration
We had the privilege to attend lectures and panel discussions delivered by university professors, distinguished educators, columnists, political analysts, and experts in other fields such as law and transport workers’ unions. The variety of the topics gave us the opportunity to exchange views and experiences and, simultaneously, to gain valuable knowledge. Field trips included visiting Queens, Harlem, China Town and the famous Julliard School to name but a few.
We also travelled to Boston to get to know the community in New England, New Mexico in order to discuss about ethnicity and assimilation on the American Frontier and finally Washington DC to talk about the democratic process and national unity.
Each one of us conducted individual research which was presented at the end of the program when we also discussed the extent to which the USA has interwoven social and cultural heterogeneity with national unity with the aim of attaining the notion of “e pluribus unum”.
My aspiration is to integrate the knowledge I gained in the Greek curriculum for teaching English as a foreign language and, thus, promote understanding of otherness and develop acceptance of diversity. Moreover, I intend to cooperate with the other participants of the specific program in order to promote US studies.