Each year Mundus MAPP students head to a new destination in order to learn about policy in practice. The 2015-2017 cohort decided on Athens, a city chosen in light of the recent events and crises happening there. Over three days, the cohort visited various political parties, NGOs, think tanks, and more. The cohort met with the political party SYRIZA, Member of Parliament Harris Theocharis (from POTAMI), the Greek Forum of Refugees/the Greek Council for RefugeesSolidarity Now, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)Generation 2.0, and the Institute of European Integration and Policy, Department of Political Science and Public Administration (IEIP).

At each institution, students had the opportunity to engage with representatives in order to gain an insider perspective on a various current policy problems. Students were encouraged to ask questions after the presentations, concerning individual topics of interest. At the end of this trip students will be able to put their newfound knowledge to paper, by writing a policy brief or academic paper on a topic that caught their attention during the institutional visits.

This trip was the first time the entire Mundus MAPP cohort met, as one group studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and the other at Central European University (CEU). While visiting the institutions was both interesting and eye-opening, the students saw this first meeting as the highlight of the trip. The group enjoyed finding their way (and getting lost) in the streets of Athens, discovering the city while getting a fuller picture of the policy context. The cohort self-organized for further aspects of the trip: going on walking tours, visiting famous landmarks, visiting Greek islands and lakes, and even celebrating the birthdays of two people in the cohort! Students of the 2015-2017 cohort cited the cappuccino freddo (iced cappuccinos) and pita gyros as some of their best discoveries, while others enjoyed looking at all of the intricate graffiti art throughout Athens.

The trip coordinator was Professor Karim Knio from ISS.
Authors: Tara Cavanagh, Alexandra Wagner and Mihnea Catuti