Margaretville grad to study in five European countries this summer

By Julia Green
Margaretville Central School graduate Eun Lee, daughter of Sunny and Joon Lee of Margaretville, will be traveling to five European countries this summer as part of a study abroad program.
Lee, a rising senior at Emory University in Georgia, will be traveling as part of the university’s European Sephardi Jewish Culture Program, a six-week intensive course devoted to Spanish Jewish culture Europe. Students in the program travel to Spain, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece, following the footsteps of the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 through Europe, where they established thriving communities after the expulsion.
The course looks at over five centuries of Sephardi Jewish culture in Europe in the context of general European culture, and emphasis is placed on the interaction and communication of Jews with Christians and Muslims in Europe during that time period. The program is divided into two parts: the pre-1492 study in Spain and post-1492 study in France, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece.
Students will have the opportunity to visit people and sites, participate in celebrations at home and in community centers, and attend lectures and discussions.
“We’re studying roughly 500 years in six weeks with different community leaders, professors and experts,” Lee said. “So this is quite a trip.”
The group departs the United States for Madrid on May 26 and will end their journey in Athens, Greece, on July 1. Cities students will visit on their trek include: Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Cordoba, Seville, Girona and Barcelona in Spain; Paris, France; Amsterdam, Holland; Venice, Bologna and Rome in Italy; and Corfu, Thessaloniki and Athens in Greece.
In addition to participation in activities during the journey, students are required to read various materials, keep journals chronicling their activities, make presentations, and take two exams.
A history major, Lee is looking to take a break after completing her degree to either join the Peace Corps or teach English in a foreign country, after which she hopes to attend graduate school to study more history or law or business. Her concentration is in European history, so she said the program fits in well to her area of interest.
“I want to study different groups of people and eras,” she said. “The past events and relations between different groups and identities of people intrigue me in the way it affects us today as human beings and part of a ‘modern’ society.”
Lee has received roughly $6,000 in scholarships and grants from Emory to help cover the cost of the trip.