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Students Study Abroad in Paros, Greece – combining service learning, coursework and real-world experience

October 6, 2015

SoIC Study Abroad ParosThis past summer, eleven students and two faculty members from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI traveled to the Greek Isles to use their knowledge of informatics to help preserve and celebrate a nation’s culture and history. This unique service-learning course, “Documenting Historical Cultural Artifacts and Traditions in Paros, Greece”, was offered during Summer Session I.

Paros is part of the Cyclades island group in the Aegean Sea. Inhabited since 3200 BC, Paros is one of the Cyclades’ most picturesque islands, known for its exquisite beaches, traditional villages, hilly countryside, vineyards and incredible food. Today, the island is one of Greece’s most popular destinations for international visitors.

The service-learning course engaged students in the creation of a video about a unique archeological site on the nearby island of Despotiko. Students finished the entire project in three weeks, developing and producing all the necessary digital media, including video, 3D animations, graphics and photography.

The main documentary, Despotiko: An Unknown Treasure, is showcased on the local Paros website,, and also on the School of Informatics and Computing website and can be viewed at this link:

Some shorter videos culled from interviews were also produced and can be viewed here:

The Essence of Parian Marble

The Birth of Apollo

The Discovery of an Unknown Treasure

In the classroom, students met daily to discuss production techniques regarding how to document cultural artifacts and historical sites, as well as to provide updates on project management and works-in-progress. In addition to being immersed in the local daily life of Paros’ main town of Parikia, where the group was housed in a small villa, everyone enjoyed field trips to archeological sites, museums, and a snorkeling trip.

Project leaders Albert William, and Thomas Lewis, both lecturers in the Media Arts and Science program at the School of Informatics and Computing, were very pleased with the efforts of the students and the resulting videos. “The residents of Paros expressed a great appreciation for all of the efforts that went into the project and how it has been able to bring a greater understanding of a little known, but very significant, cultural treasure,” said William. The hope is that more IUPUI students will be visiting Paros in future years to document more cultural sites that are not well known. Currently, plans are in the making to return for Summer Session I in 2016.

Study Abroad in Paros, Greece is offered May 19 through June 10, 2016, and is open to all IUPUI students in good standing. Applications are being accepted through the Study Abroad Office until January 15, 2016. The Study Abroad Office can be reached online at, through email at, or by phone at (317) 274-2081.

To learn more about the Paros, Greece program and view previous work done by students in the Study Abroad program visit: Study Abroad in Greece

Students may contact Albert William at or Thomas Lewis at for more information about the course. Students are also invited to attend information sessions. Visit the Study Abroad page for updates on dates and times.

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic