What’s Next For VHS ’18: Engineering In Greece


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Caitlin Klose will spend her first three months at Northeastern University studying abroad.

While most students will be packing their bags to get ready to move into their dorms, Verona High School senior Caitlin Klose will have a little more time before loading hers onto an airplane and heading off to Thessaloniki, Greece. This city, which is the second largest in Greece next to Athens, is home to The American College of Thessaloniki (ACT), where Klose will be studying for the first three months of her freshman year as part of Northeastern University’s “” program. The program costs about the same as a traditional semester, and the travel costs to and from Greece are included.

Klose admits she was initially apprehensive about the idea of immediately going abroad before getting adjusted to life at Northeastern’s campus, but the more she learned about the program the more open to it she became, as she says, “I definitely knew I wanted to study abroad at some point, so I figured why not do it now?” She also felt comfort knowing she would get to know plenty of classmates while there, and that she and the 180 other students going to Greece would all be returning to Boston at the same time.

The program sends over one third of Northeastern’s freshman class abroad each year, to a variety of countries whose colleges have partnered with the university. Klose had a few locations to pick from, but ultimately chose Greece due the combination of her interest in the country’s culture and location as well as the fact that Thessaloniki offered an engineering program, while some other partner colleges did not. She plans on getting a dual degree in physics and mechanical engineering, so an engineering program was a must-have at the host institution she chose.

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“I’m very interested in space exploration, and physics and mechanical engineering are the first steps into the field,” Klose says. “Northeastern has a degree that combines the two, and it’s great that I’ll be able to start studying right away at ACT”.

There is an undoubtedly rigorous curriculum for this major, but Klose feels the classes she took at VHS have very much prepared her, especially for the math and science classes she will be taking as a freshman. In high school she took many high level math and science classes, including honors and AP Chemistry, AP Calculus, and AP Physics C, which is a calculus-based physics class.

“I feel really prepared knowing that I’ve had a lot of exposure to these subjects already, and know that what I’ve learned in these classes will help me understand new material,” Klose says. “It’s not going to help me with my Greek Language and Culture class, though,” she jokes.

In addition to these classes, she is also required to take a “Global Experience” class, one that she is particularly excited about. Its goal is to teach the students how to be a global citizen and how to make a positive impact while abroad, and part of this will be partaking in community service in the area, through teaching Greek children English at the local kindergarten, and helping clean the Thessaloniki beaches and graffiti.

When she has a break from her studies, Klose is eager to explore the area, which is in the far northeast of Greece on the Aegean Sea. “There is so much to do,” she says. “Thessaloniki is in a great location, and there are going to be a lot of opportunities to travel, both through the university and on my own time with other students.” While there she hopes to visit ruins and museums, travel to neighboring countries, and to just soak up the Greek culture.

Overall, she is thrilled to begin this unique journey in the fall. “It’s honestly going to be a pretty traditional college experience,” she says. “It’s just taking place in a completely different country!”

“What’s Next” is a series of profiles about what members of each Verona High School class intend to do after graduation. MyVeronaNJ has been publishing the series since 2010 and you can read all of them here.

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