Understanding and communicating in another language is one of the most rewarding aspects of the human experience. It is a known fact that studying a second language can improve memory, decision-making, academic performance as well as deepen a person’s understanding and connection with a particular culture.

As a migrant growing up in Australia I never lost the touch of the Greek language. It is the first language I was exposed to.

Growing up Greek in Australia was a challenge. Learning English as a second language required the extra effort to not lose the connection that I had with my first language, Greek. I stopped Greek school at an early age, yet I remained attached to the Greek language by using it as the primary source of communication with my immediate family.

Studying at La Trobe University, I was fortunate to pursue two of my biggest passions: studying Law and Modern Greek. The Modern Greek Studies Program at La Trobe University provided me with the opportunity to study Greek at any of the three levels that I felt comfortable with.

During class, we are exposed to contemporary literature and films, as well as grammar and oral activities.

As students, we are also fortunate to be able to utilise the Dardalis Archives that are situated at La Trobe University, as well as the variety of cultural subjects that are offered that can accompany Greek Studies. I will forever be grateful to have been able to enrol in an enrichening yet challenging Major, that will further assist my future goals and endeavours.

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The decision to Major in Modern Greek Studies opened up many possibilities. I was fortunate to form a close relationship with the tutors, especially the current Coordinator of the Program Dr Stavroula (Stephie) Nikoloudis. During my time as Co- President of the La Trobe University Greek Society and now the current ambassador of the Modern Greek Studies Program, myself, Dr Nikoloudis and the staff with the support of the Department of Languages and Linguistics, hosted a seminar on the Mycenaean period and the development of the Greek language as well as the ‘Speak Greek in March’ Podcast.
By majoring in Modern Greek Studies and being a passionate advocate in promoting the Greek language, I am able to continue our important work, in raising awareness of the amazing opportunities that the Modern Greek Studies Program offers to its students.

The Modern Greek Studies Program is structured to accommodate any student who wishes to undertake Greek as part of their tertiary education. It consists of three levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced, which students can choose based on their level of competence. Students can enrol in Greek as an elective, choose Greek as a Major in a Bachelor, complete Greek in a Diploma of Languages or study Greek from a different university in Victoria, as part of the cross–institutional subject. The Modern Greek Studies Program has made it accessible for students who desire to further their Greek education at a tertiary level.

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Thus, majoring in Modern Greek Studies at La Trobe University can enrich a student’s understanding of one’s culture and provide endless possibilities in the future. I am fortunate to be able to graduate with a degree in the language that I love, as well as be able to assist the Greek Studies Program to further encourage students to undertake Greek at La Trobe University.

* Anthea Banousis is a current student at La Trobe University and the Ambassador of the Modern Greek Studies Program.

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