By Ioannis Kalimeris ’22 (Athens, Greece, placed by American Councils in Sauk Prairie, WI)
On December 13, 2022, the Ambassador of the United States to Greece, George J. Tsunis, invited the FLEX alumni community to his residence for a reception. Organized in collaboration with the U.S. Exchange Programs Alumni Association, the embassy hosted the reception to provide FLEX alumni a chance to reconnect with each other and with alumni of other exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. government, as well as to meet the ambassador and network with other prominent figures, such as the director of the Institute of International Relations.
As the alumni arrived, a team of staff from the embassy welcomed them. The event began with a welcome address from the ambassador, who spoke about the importance of education and the role that alumni play in the country’s development. He praised alumni programming for its commitment to excellence and expressed his appreciation for the contributions that its alumni have already made to society.
The highlight of the event for many alumni was an open discussion where the ambassador and attendees discussed their experiences, careers, and future goals. Mr. Tsunis spoke about the challenges faced in his career and even offered advice to the younger alumni in attendance. For example, the ambassador highlighted the importance of following a career in a field in which one is passionate, but also how crucial it is to listen to advice from one’s family.
The event, which lasted four hours, was a success, and many of the alumni left feeling inspired and motivated. “Networking with such a diverse body of talented individuals while meeting the ambassador was one of the most rewarding and inspiring experiences I have had as an alumna,” attendee Iliana Stavropoulou ’22 shared. The alumni association and the embassy both expressed their commitment to organizing similar events in the future to foster a strong and vibrant alumni community that can continue to make a positive impact in the country and beyond.
Iliana Stavropoulou ’22 (Athens, Greece, placed by American Councils in Raley, NC)