Centre students take in Balkans
RELEASED: Feb. 9, 2006
DANVILLE, KY—Centre College students are known for their wide-ranging exploration of the planet. (The College is ranked 9th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for "globe trotting.") This year, for the first time, a group visited Bulgaria and Greece for a three-week CentreTerm trip as part of the course " Balkan Crossroads: The Bulgarian and Greek Models" taught by Vessela Warner, visiting assistant professor of dramatic arts.
"Who would have ever thought I'd go to Bulgaria," says Nikki Smith, a history and government double major from Owensboro, Ky. "I don't think I even knew where that was on a map before I traveled there and actually experienced that awesome country for myself! The country was not only beautiful but fascinating in that it's mostly untouched and its culture is unlike the rest of Europe. Bulgarians have such pride in their history and traditions, and they welcome wholly all others who want to partake in these customs."
Smith says her favorite part of the trip was visiting the Rila Monastery, where, she says, "You could feel the energy, see the breathtaking beauty and quickly realize how the monks could find peace and religion in this sanctuary. Not to mention you could gawk at the sites you saw on the way there, such as shepherds walking in the fields with their flocks, donkeys pulling heavy loads to market, and large waterfalls spilling over mountain crevices. "
Writes Warner, a native of Bulgaria:
"The real worth of this trip was that for only two weeks, 20 students (plus their professor) were able to cross vertically almost the whole Balkan Peninsula--from the northern planes of Bulgaria and the Balkan Mountain through the Thracian valley and Rila Mountain, Greek Macedonia and Thessaly, to finally reach the Taigetos Mountain on the Peloponnese and the Aegean Sea. This was not only a spatial journey, but also a precious journey through the Balkan history that stretches from 3000 B.C. to today. The cultural experience was amazing, even for a native Balkanite like myself.
"It's important to say that Centre students were not only submerged into 'museum knowledge,' but had a chance to experience the present life in Bulgaria and Greece, and to meet with local people or peer students at the American College in Thessaloniki. In Bulgaria, Centre students had a great class with Professor Philips from the American University in Bulgaria. In a classroom environment and through the eyes of an American who had lived over 14 years in Bulgaria, our students learned about the peculiarities of the current Bulgarian economy, politics and demography. By meeting with Balkan students and finding out about the American educational institutions in Bulgaria and Greece, some Centre travelers developed new plans for their near future.
"For all other details on the trip, the pictures are telling enough. We had a great mood, great food, and a 'serious' folklore experience with Greek and Bulgarian music and dance programs."
Click here for a slideshow of the group's travels.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714
Back to News and Events Home Page