Exeter’s Summer School allows students to interact with others from around the world, despite their countries’ disagreements. The environment here allows for friendships strong enough to overcome home countries’ politics, at least when it comes to choosing friends.
The conflicts between Germany and Greece, countries that are both represented at Summer School, began in World Wars I and II. They fought on opposing sides. However at the end of World War II, Greece was one of 22 countries that contributed to Germany’s bailout or financial rescue. Recently, the tide has turned and now Greece is the country seeking help. Since 2010, billions of euros have been put towards Greece’s bailout loan, with Germany being the largest contributor.
At Exeter, with 15 Greeks and 16 Germans, many of whom are friends, past and current issues are able to be put aside. As Foivos Mavridis, a student from Greece says, “Here at Exeter there is zero problem.”
When asked if politics is a common conversation topic, most students reply that it is not. Attending Summer School allows students to escape their lives at home, and not deal with the difficult situations that may be occurring.
Hannah Scheithauer, a student from Germany says, “The attitude of Greece as a country doesn’t affect my view on the people here.”
Every student here is representing his or her country, whether there are many others that came with them, or they are the only one. With news about Germany, Greece, and their relations coming out during our time at Summer School, it is amazing how many friendships are able to be maintained.
As Dimitris Kanellopoulos from Greece sums up, “Conflict between countries shouldn’t come between friendships.”