Eleni Bozori (AGI16) is a graduate student at St. John’s College in Annapolis. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
St. John’s College: Why did you decide to attend St. John’s?
Eleni Bozori: I came to Annapolis from Greece, from Athens, because my husband was offered a job as a maritime lawyer. I felt very excited [when I found] St. John’s because it’s a program about great books. I thought it would be exciting to read them and talk about them.
SJC: What did you enjoy most when you arrived on campus?
EB: It is like a family place—people are so friendly. I immediately started talking with people; they were friendly and helpful [and] it was such a close community. Speaking in class was difficult, but that was not because of the language. I am a shy person, but when you come to class and you speak in class and you say your ideas and people listen—you learn how to listen and how to be heard.
SJC: Did you read the ancient Greek texts in Greek?
EB: During my school years I studied and read ancient Greek, so I mostly understand the texts in ancient Greek. Sometimes I use the ancient text, the modern Greek text, and the English text, because I need to use my English. When I saw that we were going to read those ancient Greek texts, to tell you the truth I felt challenged; I felt like I wanted to see how people read them here—and I would do that 100 times again.
SJC: What is one difference between reading at school in Greece and reading here?
EB: In Greece, we would read the book and we would make the analysis of the text. But here you read the book on your own and then you go to class and you start speaking about the ideas, about the impressions, that you took from the text. In Antigone, for example, we value Antigone very highly [in Greece], but here at St. John’s we were asked, “Did she have any other motivations—selfish motivations for her act or was it just for her brother?” It was amazing to ask the question because we valued her so highly. St. John’s provides another approach.
SJC: What other activities and organizations have you been involved in at St. John’s?
EB: I participate in the gym activities, Zumba classes. It’s fun to meet other students. And I’m very proud to be a student employee at the Mitchell Gallery. Because of my background in Athens—I used to work in an art gallery—I was very happy when I saw that there is an accredited museum on campus. I think it is important for the campus and for the city of Annapolis.
SJC: What advice would you give to prospective international students?
EB: I would like to see more international students coming to the Graduate Institute because it’s a great program, whatever their background might be. I come from a different background, but I think it’s a life-changing program. I’m saying that as an international student and as a Greek: you’ve read some of the books, and you’re reading them in your language, but it’s not all about that. It’s about the method and community; St. John’s has something to offer everybody.
—Brady Lee (AGI14)