Students meet Greek Prime Minister during two-week Athens adventure

A group of 14 students from Shrewsbury College have returned from a two week all-expenses-paid trip to Athens, where they met by chance with Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras.

Students studying Travel & Tourism and Hospitality & Catering spent two weeks in the sunny resort of Glyfada in Athens, giving them the unique chance to gain rich, diverse and cultural work-based and social experiences.

During the trip the students visited famous landmarks, including the Acropolis, the amphitheatre and Delphi. During a trip to a seafood restaurant, Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, along with his entourage of guards arrived at the same restaurant.

Jess Taylor, 17, from Shrewsbury, Studying Travel & Tourism, said: “We were just about to each lunch when loads of security guards and police arrived. Our tour guide, Anastasia, told us it was the Prime Minister and asked if we wanted to speak to him.

“He was really friendly and spoke to us in fluent English. He asked how our trip had been and if we had been enjoying our time in Greece. We didn’t expect at the start of the trip that something like this would happen and when I told my mum straight after we met him she thought I was joking.

“I think we were lucky to get chance to speak to him, there was a lot of people around and I think he was very busy, so it was definitely an experience I will remember. The whole two week trip was definitely the best experience I have ever had.”

Phil Castle, Progression Specialist at Shrewsbury College, said: “It was just an ordinary Sunday in Athens spent with the Prime Minister. We all thought it was a wonderful experience.

“I have been taking part in educational trips for over thirty years and they are always an extremely beneficial opportunity for students. This programme with Erasmus in particular, allows our students to take part in a rich and fulfilling two week trip with all expenses paid, which really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Nathaniel Orrells, 17, from Shrewsbury, also studying Travel and Tourism, said: “I loved the cultural day trips, especially visiting the Acropolis. The gala dinner and the graduation ceremony at the end of the two weeks were also highlights. We’ve all come back from Athens feeling like a family and I will definitely be staying in touch with people we met over there.”

The trip was funded by European Union Student Exchange programme, Erasmus, which has been in existence since the late 1980 and its purpose is to provide foreign exchange options for students from within the European Union. A bid of €60,000 was secured earlier this year by the College and will help fund two years’ worth of trips.

The College strives to offer students valuable and exciting work placements in their chosen industries, and wherever possible the opportunity to travel abroad.

To find out more information about Hospitality & Catering or Travel & Tourism courses at Shrewsbury College please visit www.shrewsbury.ac.uk or call 01743 342411. Alternatively you can come along to the Advice Event on January, 15, 5 – 7pm, at London Road, SY2 6PR.

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