Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Professor Naji Oueijan accompanied between May 21 and 26, 2018, two of his students, majoring in English Literature, Ghina Awdi, a graduate, and Yara Baz, a senior undergraduate and first prize winner for her research work in the “English Writing Competition,” to the “13th International Student Byron Conference” organized by the Messolonghi Byron Society, Messolonghi, Greece, Byron Research Center.
As Joint President of the International Association of Byron Societies (IABS), Professor Oueijan used his influence and position to obtain two student grants from the IABS to cover a part of their conference expenses as well as air and ground transportation.
The conference included students and professors from Greece, England, USA, and Lebanon. The students’ presentations were met with much praise due to their research, language, and academic skills. In fact, the Panel of Professors took a unanimous vote in favor of Awdi’s presentation as the best student paper. They also acknowledged the high academic standards of NDU.
The trip to Greece was an enriching experience on both the academic and the cultural level. Meeting and socializing with international scholars and students widened our perspectives and introduced us to new ideas. In addition to the scholarly enrichment of the experience, the tourist attractions that we visited were also just as significant, since they showed us a practical side to our field that transcends theory. It was also an honor to represent NDU, and I believe that this experience is necessary for students, since it introduces them to new ideas that are relevant to their field and even to their general knowledge.
Yara K. Baz
The entire trip was an abundantly fruitful experience. It was beneficial to get to know different people pursuing the same major as me as well as people from various international universities. I was exposed to students in other universities and had a better understanding of my level and the universities’ standards with reference to others. I was also introduced to several professors at other universities, who have a wealth of experience in the field of English and specifically academics. It was beautiful to hear and learn from them, and to understand more about the multiple options my field has to offer. I gained insight into the many graduate programs I can pursue and the careers I can branch into. I also got to hear papers from both professors and students, which added to my knowledge. The chance to present in front of them was a way to challenge myself and build my character, and also to gain professional experience. In addition to everything, the trip was a time to rest and a reward following the academic year, as we were give the opportunity to tour Greece and learn more about its traditions and its culture through our exposure to its citizens.