Applications opened today for the Premier’s Spirit of Democracy Study Tour, a two-week tour of Greece that is intended to deepen students’ understanding of citizenship and democracy.

The prize is open to Year 9, 10 and 11 students in government, Catholic and independent schools.

“Understanding the origin and evolution of democracy will help our students better understand the way contemporary Australia and Victoria operate,” state education minister James Merlino said.

“Our 'education state' aims to expand students’ horizons and shape their futures, we want to encourage Victorian students to learn about the history of civic and political life in the home of democracy.”

Participating students are encouraged to submit a written response exploring democracy, with reference to classical Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.

Applications close on December 12.