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Ben Abbott and Amelia Lyte

Ben Abbott and Amelia Lyte Expand Their Horizons through Study Abroad

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Recently, two of our majors in Classics (the study of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Mediterranean worlds) had unforgettable experiences while studying abroad. Ben, a junior with interests in ancient history, spent the summer at the College Year in Athens program in Athens, Greece. Amelia, a senior with interests in law, spent last spring at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. And they brought home pictures - click here for the slide show!

Why study abroad? According to Ben, when you're as interested in ancient Greece as he is, it's completely different to see it in person: "There's a big difference between studying history or culture from five thousand miles away and being there where they lived and seeing the landscape." According to Amelia, "Everything I love about classics is in Rome, and I always wanted to go there, and pictures don't do it justice."

But it's not just about being there and seeing it all. For Amelia, who serves as a student study-abroad adviser in the Office of International Programs, study abroad builds character: "It's all about expanding your horizons and building your self confidence. It's more than a vacation. I was on my own, we had to figure everything out by ourselves - it takes a lot of guts. It's not just a party." Ben adds, "It depends on what you want to make of your study abroad. It's also about meeting people, about finding out what it's like abroad. Being on a train for 20 minutes and talking with Greeks. I played basketball with a local kid and talked to his dad - things like that that give a face to the place."

Amelia at Carthage - click for slide showHow does study abroad fit into Ben's and Amelia's studies at BU? As Ben explains, he is a Classics, Greek and Latin major (ancient Greek and Latin language and literature) with a minor in history. As a classicist, he focuses more on Greece than on Rome. So for Ben, going to Greece offered that up-close dimension mentioned earlier. As Ben explains, "It was nice having a classics course taught by a classical archaeologist" - Ben was learning from an expert at the same time that he was experiencing first-hand the things he was learning about. Like several others who have passed through our programs, Amelia double-majors in Classical Civilization and PPL (Philosophy, Politics, and Law). She sees practical benefit in her choice of majors: "A funny statistic is that people who major in classics get higher LSAT scores and do better in law school" (she's right, see

Ben at Delphi - click for slide showSo pursuing your passion can be a door to intellectual enrichment that is both practical and personally satisfying. States Ben, "Classics has gotten me used to critical thinking and to looking at things with a critical eye." Amelia thinks so, too.

Is study abroad just about study? Not for Amelia or Ben. Both found additional ways to enrich their experiences. Amelia volunteered in Roman schools, where she helped students with their English. Both Amelia and Ben traveled a lot, and brought home photos - click here to start the slide show!

Last Updated: 1/8/19