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American Hellenic Institute Foundation

AHIF is Accepting Applications for its Third Annual

College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus

June 8-24, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) is now accepting applications for its program directly aimed at our young Greek American college students to travel to Greece and Cyprus to better understand the core foreign policy issues important to the Greek American community. The program is open to Greek American and Cypriot American college students who are in good academic standing and who are studying political science, international relations, history, government, law and foreign affairs.

During the two-week trip to Greece and Cyprus the college students will have the opportunity to see and experience first hand foreign policy issues affecting both countries, their relations with the U.S., and the interests of the U.S. in the region. While the schedule will be packed with briefings and meetings with officials the students will also have free time to visit historic and other cultural sites in both Greece and Cyprus.

The program is open to undergraduate (raising sophomores and older) and graduate Greek American students who are currently enrolled fulltime and are in good academic standing with a minimum of 3.0 GPA.

Program size is limited, and participation is contingent upon acceptance by the program review committee. The trip is scheduled for June 8-24, 2011. Students will meet in Washington, DC prior to their departure to Cyprus and Greece and attend a mandatory briefing about their trip.

The students will attend meetings and briefings with Greek, Cypriot and U.S. officials in Washington, Greece and Cyprus. Emphasis will be placed on understanding Greek-Cyprus-Turkish relations, issues affecting Greek interests in the Balkans, the resolution of the Cyprus problem, the participation of Greece and Cyprus in the EU and other international and regional issues.

Leading the group to Greece and Cyprus, AHI President and COO Nick Larigakis said, “Since its inception AHIF, has promoted a better understanding of Hellenic issues and strived to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and the United States and Cyprus. Over the years we have held conferences on the future of Hellenism in America, and conferences pertaining to our issues to educate and inform U.S. policy makers. Through the College Student Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus we are now able to offer a hands-on experience aimed at our college students to help them have a better understanding and connection of the issues that affect our community and better prepare them to be responsible leaders of the Greek American community.”

Cost and Accommodations:

There will be NO costs associated with this program while in Greece and Cyprus which will include, accommodations, local transportation associated with the program, and most meals. Transportation to Washington, DC, Cyprus, Greece and return to the United States will be the responsibility of each student (approximately $2,250). The AHIF has secured the services of a travel agency to ease with your travel needs and all arrangements will have to be made only through this travel agency. Those who wish to extend their stay in Greece should contact the travel agent directly to make those arrangements and make a notation of the dates in the application form. (Please note that the cost for an extended trip will be higher.)

How to Apply:

  • Submit your completed application available on the our Web site by clicking here (86KB PDF), sign the waiver of liability/indemnification form, provide proof of insurance, a resume, official transcript, and two letters of recommendation.

  • All applicants must submit a refundable $250 deposit to reserve the airline ticket in order to be considered for the trip.

    You have the option to pay the deposit with a credit card or check payable to “AHIF.” If you are not selected for the trip or if you cancel prior to the May 1st deadline, the $250 deposit will be refunded directly to your credit card or your check will be returned back to you. You will only lose your deposit if you were confirmed on the trip and accepted and later cancel.

    The $250 deposit will be returned to you after the evaluation forms have been received by AHIF.
  • After we have received your completed application forms with all the items listed above along with your $250 deposit, you will receive an email from AHIF confirming that your application is under consideration. The review committee will review your application and inform you of your status (acceptance, denial) shortly after May 1st.

  • Upon receiving notice of acceptance, applicants need to pay approximately $2,250 (payable by credit card, check, money order) to the travel agency to secure your flights. Those who wish to extend their stay in Greece should contact the travel agent directly to make those arrangements and make a notation of the dates in the application form. (Please note that the cost for an extended trip will be higher.)

Mail Application Forms to:

AHIF Foreign Policy Study Trip to Greece and Cyprus
American Hellenic Institute Foundation
1220 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Or email directly to Yola Pakhchanian at:

Application Dateline: All material and $250 deposit should be submitted by April 10, 2011.

The agenda for the program is currently being formulated. The final agenda may vary depending on schedules and availability of the officials and speakers in Greece and Cyprus. Those interested in learning more about this unique trip can visit our Web site to read the press release from the 2009 trip at and the 2010 trip .

For more information contact Yola Pakhchanian at

The American Hellenic Institute Foundation, Inc. (AHIF), established in 1975, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt educational and research organization devoted exclusively to the study of the issues confronting the Greek American community. From our Hellenic House headquarters, just steps from the White House, AHIF’s professional staff works to advance the best interests of the U.S. on issues of importance to Greek Americans.

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Students From the 2010 Trip Recall “A Once in Lifetime Experience”

 “The AHIF Foreign Policy Trip to Greece and Cyprus was a once-in-lifetime experience that I will never forget. It allowed me to see firsthand what I have read in books thereby enhancing my understanding of the issues. In Cyprus we were able to go to the ‘occupied area’ and see the desecration of a Greek Orthodox Church and the ghost town of Famagusta, which is still surrounded by barbwire. Combined with the official meetings we had every day, the trip was very insightful and brought a present day perspective to the long standing issues that affect Cyprus.

“In Athens, we were fortunate to be in the heart of the city while traveling to different locations for our meetings. These official meetings proved extremely informative because it showed us how the government and other organizations are striving to keep Greece in the forefront politically, culturally, and economically.

Aryiri (Roula) Adonakis


“As “political animals” of the world’s superpower with strong connections to our ancestral homelands, Greek and Cypriot Americans can exercise a very powerful role in advancing the interests of the U.S., Greece, and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.  While growing up, I have always heard about the foreign policy issues that everyone can point out, but very few can quickly and effectively explain. 

“Through our participation in the AHIF Foreign Policy Trip to Greece and Cyprus, we are now equipped with a deep understanding of the complex issues and the knowledge of how we can help resolve them.  In the age of the new-media, we have many means by which we can illuminate the injustices facing Greece and Cyprus and to create a sense of urgency for a change in policy.  Furthermore, through our meetings with government officials, business leaders, professors, and journalists in Greece and Cyprus, we have the tools to provide talking points and sound arguments to any audience from a university lecture hall to a senator's office on Capitol Hill. 

“It is my hope that we always bear in mind the observations and insights gained during this trip and to always stay vigilant and proactive in helping to fulfill the mission of the AHIF as we continue our studies and enter into our careers.  Our collective challenge now is to utilize our knowledge and abilities to strengthen the next generation of the homogeneia in order to improve not only our own country, but also Greece and Cyprus.” 

John Papaspanos, Seton Hall University, B.S. in International Relations, Fulbright Fellow—Energy Security at Aristotle U, and Class of 2014—University of Pennsylvania Law School.


AHIF Foreign Policy Trip to Greece and Cyprus enhanced not only my understanding of global politics but also contextualized some of the most fundamental issues relevant to the field and study of conflict resolution. The ability to travel to the occupied area in Cyprus demonstrated first hand the nature of enduring conflicts and will enrich my studies in my final year of graduate school. Furthermore, having not only the opportunity to speak with some of the highest figures in the public and private sector in Greece and Cyprus, but also being fortunate enough to share these experiences with six other driven, intelligent and like-minded students contributed to making the cumulative experience truly unforgettable. This trip will prove vital for my continuing studies, internship and future career opportunities—and for that, I am extremely grateful to AHIF.”

Leah Barkoukis


“I can safely say that the AHIF Foreign Policy Trip to Greece and Cyprus was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. The organization of the trip and quality of the access we had was unparalleled.  From Lefkosia to Athens, we were whisked around from one high-level briefing to another, learning more in two weeks than I would ever have thought possible.

“In Cyprus, our briefings meshed perfectly with our trips to the occupied north, where we saw first-hand the devastating impact of the illegal occupation. Our hosts in Greece and Cyprus treated us not as students on a study trip, but as respected guests and future leaders. After each meeting, I felt that we had seen it all, that nothing could top the educational merit and impressiveness of the trip to up to that point. From briefings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meeting President Papoulias, each experience was unique and unforgettable.

“I came out of this trip with a deep-felt sense that I have a place in the debate and that I can make an impact on Greek-American issues. I know that as a result of these two weeks, I will carry a strong commitment to working towards Greek and Cypriot issues for the rest of my life.”

Alphonse D. Romero


“I am very grateful for my family and the spirit of Hellenism which they have instilled in me. They raised me to be proud and knowledgeable of my background and rich cultural heritage. It gives me great pride to say that I am Greek American and I believe that being a part of this unique demographic gives us the responsibility to defend the vital relationship between our two homelands, Greece and the United States. Understanding the nature of this relationship is very important, which is why I am so grateful to have been a participant on this trip.

The opportunities which we had to meet with and question various officials of such a high caliber such as foreign ministers, current and former ambassadors, the Archbishops of both Greece and Cyprus and even the President of Greece himself, Mr. Papoulias, were priceless. Visiting the Turkish-occupied territory of Cyprus and witnessing first-hand churches and cemeteries that have been desecrated was extremely humbling for me. It is one thing to research and read about a topic extensively, but it is a completely different experience to be able to see injustices such as these directly in front of you. I plan to use what I have learned from this trip to further advocate these issues both within my university and academic community and to the fellow Greek Americans of my generation. Armed with the knowledge we have gained from this trip, we are in the position to inform others and raise awareness within our communities and I believe that we are truly capable of making a positive difference in the future.” 

Georgea Polizos

“The AHIF Foreign Policy Study trip to Cyprus and Greece was an invaluable experience. Through briefings with prominent government officials, and experiences like visiting the occupied territory of Cyprus, I gained an understanding why it is important to lobby for Greek and Cypriot issues in the United States. The study trip made me a better-informed Greek American and has put in a position where I can make a difference and advocate for Greek and Cypriot issues in America.”

Michael Savvas



1220 16th Street, NW | Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone 202-785-8430 | Fax 202-785-5178 |