June 3, 2024

Honors Students Attend Trip to Turkey and Greece

PBA News

Fifteen students and two Palm Beach Atlantic University alums traveled to Greece and Turkey from May 6 to May 19 to follow in the footsteps of two of Christ’s most notable followers—John and Paul. Dr. Gary Poe and Dr. Elizabeth Stice of the PBA History Department accompanied the group.  

The students journeyed over 5,000 miles from South Florida to historical cities past and present, including Athens, Olympia, Troy, Smyrna, Istanbul, and many others. The group visited sights that had scriptural and cultural significance, including temples and important monuments that played a role in the birth of Christianity.  

 “I was initially interested in going on this trip because Dr. Poe asked me if I was interested. Once I heard the itinerary of this trip and all the places we were visiting, I was so excited to go,” Annika Richards, a student participant, said.  

Cultural Immersion and Educational Growth Abroad 

Richards’s favorite part of visiting these locations was the fantastic scenery. She loved seeing the convents and monasteries of Meteora built around the rocky terrain of Northwest Greece. Richards thinks the beauty of the area can only be experienced in person because even the best photographs will fail to do the views amazing views justice.  

Richards found that traveling with her fellow classmates and professor helped enhance her experience and gave her an open mind when learning about the history of other cultures. She thinks it is easy for people to get comfortable and form daily routines that inevitably close them off from the rest of the world. However, traveling is an excellent way for them to venture outside their personal bubble and discover something new.  

“My advice for students in the future is just do it; you won’t regret it!” Richards said.  

 Lindsay Findlay, another student who participated in the trip, expressed similar feelings. One thing she took away from the trip was that no matter where they went, the locals all had a strong sense of pride in their culture and history.  

Findlay has always wanted to travel abroad but didn’t have the opportunity before attending PBA. This trip interested her because she wanted to learn more about Greek and Turkish History. The stories she had read about in classrooms came alive by traveling to important landmarks.  

“I think traveling is so important in shaping your worldview and creating a well-rounded education,” Findlay said.   

One of Findlay’s favorite places to visit was Paul’s jail cell in Philippi, Northwest Greece. When the group arrived at the excavated site, they read Acts 16, which depicts the events that led to Paul and Silas’ imprisonment. Findlay says this enhanced her experience by allowing her to see the story she had heard since childhood in a whole new light.  

Findlay encourages other students to be open to going on trips like this one, explaining that they will be forever grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime memories and friends they will make. The fellowship and experiences will stay with them forever.  

“Getting to travel with friends and professors is an amazing experience. I became friends with students who I hadn’t ever met before the trip and grew closer to friends who I knew before. I loved getting to know my professors outside of the classroom, and it made me feel a lot more involved in the PBA community,” Findlay said. 

Learn more about PBA’s Honors program here. Explore other passions and discover programs that offer travel as a part of the academic experience at www.pba.edu 


Photo: Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, taken on May 18

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