York Students Enjoy Internship in Greece

Two York College, CUNY Aviation Management students had the summer internship of a lifetime and have returned to campus filled with gratitude.

Dianna Rodriguez and Thinley Wongmo both received internships at Athens International Airport under the supervision of Hellenic American University.

The students, now entering into their lower and upper junior year respectively, spent two months living in an apartment on the campus of Hellenic American University, both report that the whole experience was the opportunity of a lifetime for them.

“It was amazing, I didn’t want to come back home,” said Rodriquez. “They treated us like family. We cried when we were leaving.”

For the internship Wongmo, a native of Tibet, was assigned to “Passenger Services” while Rodriquez interned in the aviation unit. They were also given projects to complete at the University and each earned three college credits toward their degrees at York.

“The internship gave me an idea of how much [more] I have to learn; and helped me [appreciate] what I have learned in college,” said Wongmo who added it wasn’t just about the work, but the people as well.

The study abroad in Greece experience was facilitated by Dr. Triant Flouris, provost at Hellenic American University. Dr. Flouris once served as director of the CUNY Aviation Institute at York College.

“They are precious and we are doing our best in taking care of them,” Flores noted in one report to Dr. Chun-Pin Hsu, current director of the Aviation Institute at York, proving his point with a photograph of the two smiling students flanking him.

Asked if they were impacted by the Greek financial crisis, the students gave a resounding “no.” They explained that their apartment at the university in Athens was near the Constitutional Square where the protests took place but it only happened at nights; but for the benefit of tourists, nothing seemed amiss in the daytime.

Their experience was according to Wongmo, “Transformative!”

Both students expressed gratitude to Athens International Airport, which in addition to the internship and discount coupons for food, funded all their ground transportation; and Dr. Hsu, their York mentor.

“I am glad that the CUNY Aviation Institute can move a further step toward internationalization,” said Dr. Hsu. “This success teaches us that everything can happen if you have faith and are willing to put efforts into it. Dr. Flouris and I started this internship project about 10 months ago and we spent a lot of efforts in getting governmental approval and finding financial supports.”

Dr. Hsu added that he appreciates Hellenic American University and Athens International Airport’s “generous support to make this internship possible and hope more enterprises can be inspired by our enthusiasm in helping our students and financially sponsor us so we will be able to deliver more success stories.”

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