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US Teenagers Discover Greek Nature at The American Farm School’s Cultural Immersion Program

Greek Summer 2011 participants at Ancient Nemea

The American Farm School’s renowned cultural immersion program for U.S. teenagers, “Greek Summer,” was based in the beautiful farming village of Nea Gonia, Halkidiki this year.

Each girl or boy lived with a different host family, while as a community service project, the group built a recreation and seating area around an historic stone springhouse for villagers and visitors to enjoy. They learned how to make stuffed “dolmadakia” at one of the village’s most successful enterprises, the organic food producer “Marianna’s Vineleaves,” operated by the family of AFS graduate Pangalos Kazakis.

Greek Summer participants were hosted for several days on the American Farm School campus, where they gained agriculture-related skills, such as dairy cattle care, making feta cheese, beekeeping, tractor driving, tasting Greek wines and cooking traditional Greek dishes.
In keeping with the more than 40-year tradition of the program, the Greek Summer group visited many of the country’s major historical sites, including Meteora, Delphi, Athens, Ancient Nemea, Mycenae, Epidauros and Nafplion, and concluded their more than five weeks in Greece by climbing to the summit of Mt. Olympus. Of the nearly 2,000 Greek Summer alumni, most call it one of the pivotal growth experiences of their lives.
For information on applying to be a Greek Summer participant or counselor in 2012, please contact or visit

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