- Major International Educational Development
- Hometown Thessaloniki, Greece
Hailing from the small town of Thessaloniki, Greece—five hours from the country’s Athens capital—from a very young age Vasiliki, C’18 was fascinated by learning about new and different cultures. While financial barriers kept her family from travelling abroad when she was a child, over the years she spent time learning seven different languages, and in her teenage years, Vasiliki took advantage of every travel opportunity that presented itself and spent time in places like Spain, England, Argentina, and Korea.
In her senior year of high school, despite a lack of resources and doubts and unencouraging words from her teachers, Vasiliki set her sights on attending Penn. She pushed herself through the competitive college application process, the support and enthusiasm of her parents propelling her forward. “My parents believed in me and their confidence turned into my empowerment.”
“I think the moment that Student Financial Services informed me of my Named Scholarships and the donors who support those scholarships was even more thrilling than when I found out I was admitted. Finally it seemed like my dreams took a specific form and shape. I am going to the United States. I am going to Penn.”
The night she learned she was accepted to Penn was filled with joy and excitement for Vasiliki and her entire family, but still, the question of funding a Penn education still loomed. And then came the financial aid package that would set her off on her new journey. “I think the moment that Student Financial Services informed me of my Named Scholarships and the donors who support those scholarships was even more thrilling than when I found out I was admitted. Finally, it seemed like my dreams took a specific form and shape. I am going to the United States. I am going to Penn.”
At Penn, Vasiliki continued to fuel her lifelong passion for global affairs with a major in International Relations and minors in International Development and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. She’s traveled to and interned in China, Brazil, and her home country of Greece.
And because of all that Penn has to offer, she has grown outside of her academic focus as well. “Penn has also been the place where I grew and developed as an individual. At a time where I was scared of feeling alone, being an ocean and seven time zones away from the people that were the closest to me, I found a home in Philadelphia. My synchronized swimming team and our travels across the U.S. turned into a family.”
And all of this made possible because of her Named Scholarships at the University. “I couldn’t have asked for four more impactful, shaping, and exciting years. Thank you, Penn. You changed my life.”