Letter from Greece, December 2022

Letter from Greece, December 2022

This is a season to reflect on what has been accomplished over the past year, to assess the lessons learned, and to look forward with optimism and determination.

It is a time to express our appreciation to all those who participate in and contribute to our programs, to the Fulbright Greece Board of Directors, to friend-raising, and to our donors, who help us continue building generations of change makers seeking to shape a mindful world.

A productive spring came with two major events: 
First, to enhance the internationalization efforts of the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Fulbright Greece organized a virtual roundtable, which included  presentations and a discussion on Internationalizing the University: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies; Study in Greece: Digital Resources for Internationalization; and Fulbright Resources for Internationalization: Attracting U.S. Scholars to Greece. Participants included rectors and faculty from 14 Greek universities. Our thanks go out to 2021–2022 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Greece - University of the Aegean, Dr. Brendan Mullan from Michigan State University, who was instrumental in guiding the event.

The roundtable marked a major initiative that complemented Fulbright Greece’s work on exchanges and was organized in light of the International Academic Partnership Program that took place in the fall. IAPP – Greece was launched in 2019 by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs under the leadership of Minister Kerameus and the Institute of International Education (IIE) represented by Allan Goodman and his team. It provides for the development of strategic plans to increase meaningful, long lasting academic partnerships between Greek and U.S. institutions. Fulbright Greece was invited to join the IAPP Advisory Committee. 

Second, the Fulbright Educators network came together for a hybrid Train the Trainers meeting and workshop, bringing together 40 public school educators from across Greece and the United States to exchange ideas and discuss topics related to technology in the classroom and mental wellbeing—current and pressing issues. 

The enthusiasm and commitment of the Fulbright Greece alumni educators’ network was apparent during the preparations for the October International Educator Alumni 2022 Athens Conference. The Greek team, under the leadership of teacher Julie Gyftoula, 3rd Primary School of Zografou, Athens, closely collaborated with the academic coordinators of the three U.S. host institutions to successfully bring to Greece more than 80 educators from 63 different countries at the beginning of October.  

Summer signaled the Annual Awards Ceremony to honor U.S. and Greek scholarship recipients and recognize donors, the orientation sessions, and behind-the-scenes preparations and logistics for the 63 Greek and U.S. grantees who will commence their grants during the new academic year.

September marked the arrival of the new cohort of 2022–2023 U.S. students, scholars,  researchers, teachers, artists, and professionals coming from a diverse range of disciplines to study, conduct research, and lecture in different parts of the country. We were pleased to celebrate their arrival and finally meet with the Greek scholarship recipients from the pandemic years 2020–2021 and 2021–2022 at a gathering that took place at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, an institution closely linked with Fulbright’s history from the early years.

During that same month, the 2023–2024 Scholarship Program for Greek Citizens was announced, offering nine different grant opportunities, with priority given to impactful and important topics for Greece—including energy studies, healthcare and public health,  sustainability and environmental studies, circular economy and supply chain management, computer science and information technology,  hospitality and tourism management, agriculture and forestry, food science and nutrition, oceanography and marine studies, human rights and migration studies—and the combination of Modern Greek Studies and Classics. The 2024–2025 application cycle for U.S. citizens will open in spring 2023, offering 11 different opportunities including dual country and short-term grants that begin in September 2024. 

November was a month dedicated to educational exchanges and served as an extension to the International Education Week. However, the key event of the month, and of 2022, was the Pharos Summit 2022: Greek – U.S. Collaboration in Higher Education highlighting the IAPP – Greece initiative. Spearheaded by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Athens and Fulbright Greece, the event welcomed representatives from 30 American universities, serving to reinforce existing partnerships and explore new ones. Fulbright alumni participated in the U.S. delegation and were represented among the 24 host universities in Greece. This event marked an important milestone in the internationalization of Greece’s higher education and the promotion of English-language programs at Greek public universities. The Ministry of Education has addressed bureaucratic barriers, thereby facilitating academic and student mobility and enabling partnerships with international institutions—goals that have been part of the Fulbright Foundation’s mission since 1948.

As usual, International Education Week was the official time for the annual Open Doors report on international student and scholar mobility, which has a history in Greece of more than a century. Numbers are again on the rise, the result of the concerted efforts among a number of U.S. affiliated institutions: the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, American College of Greece-Deree, Anatolia College, American Farm School, College Year in Athens (CYA), and Athens College.

Two exciting partnerships were recently formed. The first is a newly established collaboration with the State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) to enhance doctoral student mobility between the United States and Greece. The IKY–Fulbright Greece Scholarships will be announced in 2023 and provide scholarship opportunities to nine U.S. and Greek Ph.D. candidates who will be able to enhance their thesis research in Greece or the U.S., respectively, for a period of six months. The second partnership is a new scholarship opportunity, the Fulbright Georgetown Partner Award, to earn a Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability Management.

In addition to educational connections, Fulbright Greece supports cultural exchanges. The annual virtual lecture series Fulbright–Hellenic Association for American Studies–HELAAS, now in its third year, has invited U.S. Fulbright scholar, poet, translator, memoirist, critic, editor, and visual artist Aliki Barnstone to present Emily Dickinson’s work on March 31, 2023, aiming to shed light on the dynamics of gender and education as well as on the current importance of female empowerment through writing and freedom of expression.

This newsletter shares the latest news from Fulbright Greece. If this is your first introduction to Fulbright Greece, we encourage you to learn more about the scholarship programs and short-term grants for Greek and U.S. citizens and about Study in Greece, or Study in the U.S.A.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback. We wish you, your families, and your communities a healthy and peaceful new year.

Artemis A. Zenetou
Executive Director