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Greek Universities Go West!

7 April 2015

The U.S. Embassy in Athens is sponsoring a 10-day study-visit for staff and directors of Greek university career centers to the United States. With the aim of helping Greece increase job opportunities for its young people, particularly new graduates, the U.S. Embassy has arranged a series of visits to public and private universities, as well as meetings with members of the business community, with representatives of non-governmental organizations working on higher education issues, and with members of local government throughout the dynamic state of California.

The program's goal is to help provide tools and examples of how American universities help students find jobs through a variety of programs and web-based services such as online counseling, online job search databases, and e-recruiting. The program also examines how career centers in the United States contribute to youth entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation. The delegation of four Greek career center professionals learned about U.S. associations that support professional development for career center staff.

First stop: San Diego, California!

Representatives of the career centers of the National Technical University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace, and the University of Piraeus travelled to the birthplace of California to explore how university career centers operate in the U.S. to contribute to youth entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation.

The visitors held meetings, among others, with the University at California at San Diego (UCSD), San Diego State University (SDSU) Career Center, and the San Diego Workforce Partnership to learn more about governmental support for skills development programs; public-private partnerships that lead to young adult job placement; and programs aiming to retain young adults in high-impact sectors. In their spare time, the group visited many of the cultural sights of the sunny San Diego.

Second stop! Riverside, California

Riverside was the second city in California that the career center representatives of the National Technical University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace, and the University of Piraeus visited during their U.S. study tour.

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Riverside is well-known for its strong interest in education and successful public-private partnerships; its growing knowledge-based economy is centered around prominent global engineering firms. The group visited the University of California Riverside, one of the 10 campuses of the UC system, and held meetings with representatives of the Career Center and the International Education Center to learn about fundraising models for career services centers and management of study abroad programs. The participants also explored the role of the business community in connecting graduates to jobs during their meeting at the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, and discussed career initiatives at high-school level at the John W. North High School.

Final stop! San Francisco, California

San Francisco, the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California, was the final stop of the 10-day study-visit for staff and directors of Greek university career centers to the United States.

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San Francisco is one of the few truly international cities in the United States, a place noted for its picturesque beauty and open hospitality. It is also a major financial and insurance center, an international port, and the gateway to Silicon Valley, America's premier high technology center. During their study tour, the career center representatives of the National Technical University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace, and the University of Piraeus visited, among others, the career centers of UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and Mission College to discuss student and alumni services; establishing successful connections with Silicon Valley businesses; development of web-based tools for career centers and alumni relations; and community college career development and apprenticeship programs.

 

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