The U.S. Embassy in Athens and the U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, organized two one-day workshops on “Attracting U.S. Students to Greece: Opportunities and Challenges” on December 9 in Athens and December 12 in Thessaloniki. These workshops fulfill commitments made at the 2nd U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue, launched by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias this past October in Athens, Greece.
Approximately 100 representatives – including rectors, vice rectors, faculty, and administrators – representing 22 public higher educational institutions from all across Greece attended the workshops. The participants actively took part in discussions including sharing best practices for building study abroad programs, particularly for American students; partnership and program models for educational institutions; benefits and trends in international education; and many other topics.
U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission David Burger delivered opening remarks in Athens, emphasizing: “Our government is committed to strengthening the connections between Greece’s educational institutions and U.S. partners, as well as expanding our cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs in order to share U.S. educational best practices, expand English language learning opportunities, and enable more U.S. students to study in Greece.” In Thessaloniki, U.S. Consul General Gregory Pfleger underlined the many positive experiences of U.S. study abroad students in Thessaloniki which demonstrate the potential that exists to expand our educational connections.
Dr. Erich Dietrich, Professor of Higher Education and International Education at New York University, delivered the workshop’s keynote speech in each city on “The Future of International Education,” and commented that Greece was making strides to increase internationalization in higher education. Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the State Scholarships Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens also addressed the audience in Athens, as did representatives from the University of Macedonia, Aristotle University, the Fulbright Foundation, and Hellenic Studies Paideia Organization in Thessaloniki.