CurrStudent Studies Abroad in Greece

York College students continue to pursue study abroad experiences to enhance their in-class, on-campus experiences and Yssed "David" Tobo is one such student.

Tobo, a Social Work major, spent most of January in Greece for his Sociology 240 class (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationalism). Home base for the experience was University of America in Athens, where he attended as part of CUNY’s Queens College’s Study-abroad program.It is no surprise that Tobo, a member of York’s SEEK Program, would venture afar to broaden his educational horizons.

He is one of York’s most visible students, both for his activism and for his white attire, part of a current spiritual transformation. As a member of York College’s Student Government, Tobo has made numerous trips to Albany to lobby state legislators on behalf of York, of the Social Work program and of CUNY in general.

Tobo, who while in Greece, also learned how theatre and other civil society norms came about; and visited the Acropolis known for having some of the oldest structures in the world, wanted to take full advantage of the rare opportunity.

As someone quite used to meeting and lobbying politicians, he was also quite at home meeting Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the president of Greece, at an event organized by Nicholas Alexiou, the professor leading the program. His group also participated in the "Invisibles Tour," to see how the homeless live.

“This offered us an understanding of life for folks who are homeless in Athens, Greece,” Tobo explained. “The agency works with this population in various capacities and the component I found the most interesting was the street paper project. It gives folks the opportunity to sell newspapers created by the agency, as a means of income. 

Ever the activist, the Richmond Hill, Queens resident also joined in an anti-Trump rally in Greece during the now-president’s inauguration on January 20. Asked if he thought other York students should follow his lead and take advantage of study abroad opportunities, Tobo gave an enthusiastic endorsement.

“I would definitely recommend it to others because you learn so much about yourself and the greater world around you,” he said. “I know more about the Hellenic Republic, its people, some of its rich history and have placed foot on the same places as Socrates. And I saw lots of bridges from the past to the present.”

For more on York’s Study Abroad program contact Dr. Hamid Bahri.

CurrStudent Studies Abroad in Greece
Yssed "David" Tobo (left, in white) was among the students meeting President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a study abroad trip to Greece