International Experience

Jonathan Shen

Jonathan Shen standing beside the alter, after his talk at Kato Zarko, Crete, Greece

Jonathan Shen standing beside the alter, after his talk on Kato Zarko, Crete, Greece

Thanks to funding through the Department of Classics, the University of Waterloo, and the NA Engineering Assoc. Inc. Award, I was fortunate enough to travel to Greece in the summer of 2012 to participate in the Summer Session program at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. It was a supremely rich experience.

I went to Greece to build my C.V., tmake connections, to improve my understanding of Classics. What I received was so much more. Rather unexpectedly, I made friendships and memories which would last a lifetime. Our shared experiences were forged in Greece. The American School Summer Session brought us hither and thither, from the Minoan sites like Knossos and Zakros, to Leonidas and the dead at Thermopylae, to the regal Macedonian tombs of Vergina.  

We met leading scholars and soaked in their knowledge at countless museums and sites. The Summer Session was particularly rewarding as it   affirmed much of the theoretical knowledge I had learnt in the classroom at UW architecture, art, language, and epigraphy. The great joy of meeting with many prominent scholars gave me greater insight into all facets of the Classical Greek world; Professor John McK. Camp II explained the finer points of Doric architecture; Drs. Vance Watrous and Kim Shelton explained the state of excavation at their respective sites of Gournia and Mycenae; Jonathan Flood showed to us Theran volcanic ash at Mochlos; and countless others. 

My research in the Ancient Mediterranean Cultures program is based on creating a prosopography of Rhodos. This project entails a fair amount of work with epigraphical material. Having studied Greek epigraphy in a graduate course with Dr. Sheila Ager, I was especially enthusiastic about the myriad of inscriptions that I encountered during the Summer Session at many different sites across Greece. Especially memorable was the occasion to sight-read and analyze several inscriptions at the Epigraphical Museum with Dr. Molly Richardson. 

This Summer Session experience was unique and can never be matched. I am grateful to the University of Waterloo, the supportive faculty in the Classics Department, the American School of Classics and Mr. Nick Aroutzidis for this opportunity. I highly recommend any aspiring classicist to apply to this program and too to know how wonderful Greece and the American School can be.

NA Engineering Assoc. Inc. Award

The NA Engineering Assoc. Inc. Award is granted to full-time undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from the Department of Classical Studies in the Faculty of Arts. The award is based upon demonstrated interest in the study of Greece and Classical Greek heritage. If you are interested in further information on this award, visit Student Awards and Financial Aid for undergraduate information as well as the Graduate Studies website.