This program was an incredible experience. It changed my life and helped me transition my career into cultural resources management.
It is also the kind of program where your own ambition and initiative are important factors. You will get out of this program what you put into it.
There are lots of reasons not to choose this program, and I'll lay those out early in this review.
- It's hard work. The first week will test your patience and your capacity for lectures. The next 3 weeks can be exhausting both physically and mentally.
- The food isn't great: very little protein.
- Quality medical treatment is hours away.
- Wifi is spotty and bad when you do get it.
- There's no good beer in town.
- The gear required for the program can be expensive, so is travel.
- Speaking of travel, the trip from California to Poros is 34 hours...
- I got ripped off buying cigarettes once.
- The location is quite isolated.
- There is no excavation aspect to the course.
So why would you want to go here?
- Poros is beautiful. The entire island is also, but Poros was especially so.
- The program is run by a wonderful group of multidisciplinary experts. Geology, oceanography, GIS, ethnobotany, biological anthropology, cultural ecology, maritime archaeology, archaeological drawing, architecture, and more. This means that you have access to an incredible amount of information. Use it. Don't be shy.
- The head of the program is willing to let you take the initiative and create your own personal project. This is so important! It allows you to scale the program to your own pace and ambition. If you want to make the program pay off for you in the long run, I encourage you to make it a priority to give this aspect of the program a significant amount of thought.
- The lithics you will find.... holy moly!! The weight of history is palpable here.
- The sea is so amazing! Swim snorkel survey and shoreline survey beats the heck out of survey in the rough desert.
- Talk to the people of Poros. The town is FULL of super interesting characters.
- You will have more opportunities than you will have time to fully explore. Choose what you want to focus on and dive in.
A Final Note:
This program can be an amazing experience that will put a capstone on your archaeological education, get you to the front of the line for grad school, or move your resume to the top of the stack. But it's up to YOU! Come prepared to take the initiative and direct your own personal project. Be alert in the field and in class. Use the lectures and practicals to try things out.