The below description has been provided by our implementing program administrator and is subject to change.

Program Overview

Study and Volunteer on a Greek Island in the Aegean!

For this summer program, students may choose to live in the vibrant city of Thessaoloniki or on the laid-back Aegean island of Samothraki.

Thessaloniki, the capital of Central Macedonia, is a 2,300-year-old city that still plays a vital and active role in international trade for much of Southern Europe. Thessaloniki holds a unique place in history as a symbol of the Byzantine Empire, a free state under Roman rule, a subject under Ottoman rule, and the city where the Young Turk movement began. Beyond absorbing the history and multicultural influences of this regional capital, a semester in Thessaloniki will involve the study of social activism, youth empowerment, and micro-enterprise.

If you’re interested in working closely with local Greek farming families while studying micro-enterprise, consider a summer study in Greece on the gorgeous island of Samothraki. Samothraki is one of the hundreds of Greek Islands along the sparkling Aegean Sea. Partially labeled a “Natura” protected area, the people of Samothraki embody sustainable living. Among other eco-friendly practices, they grow and produce cheese, olives, olive oil, and wine.

The language of instruction is English.

Where you’ll stay

If you decide to spend your summer in Thessaloniki, you will live with a local Greek family. Living with local families is part of the immersion experience, giving students the chance to learn what it’s like to be a Thessalonikian. All host families are carefully selected and trained in hosting students.

If you decide to spend your summer on the island of Samothraki, you will live in a comfortable local lodge and experience the laid-back attitude of this beautiful island. The “back-to-the-land” movement is just one example of this down-to-earth, environmentally-conscious lifestyle.

“The opportunity I had to travel to Greece has only deepened my sense of curiosity about the world: a panoply of beautiful landscapes, architecture, languages, cuisines, and cultures all existing on the same planet floating in space together: get out and explore while you can! My sense as a global citizen has heightened, my sensitivity to cultural chauvinism sharpened, and my feelings of humanism enriched. ”
Jake – Alum

Summer Study in Greece Eligibility

The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credentials. TOEFL equivalent 550. No Greek language required.

Academics

Thessaloniki Required Courses

COSA in Greece (Community Organizing and Social Activism)

The focus of this course is to study community organizing and social activism that can be used across cultures and countries. The course begins with a review of social change organizations, explores the history and ethics of international service, and studies past and present political and social movements and advocacy efforts in Greece. Students will learn the theories and realities of intercultural service-learning. Topics are examined through the lens of community service in Greek NGOs and other non-profits, and include intercultural communication, the mechanics of Greek non-profits/NGOs, citizenship in Greece, local civic engagement/advocacy efforts, and the exploration of civil society.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended US credits: 3

Modern Greek Language

This course is designed to enlighten students with the Greek language, its script, its history, and its idiosyncrasies. Its aim is to familiarize students with the Greek speech and script in a simple and comprehensible way, to discover the alphabet and understand how it became the basis for most European alphabets, to learn how and why the Greek language has dominated scientific and disciplinary terminologies, and how much of it is still used throughout the world. Students will also learn to identify the etymology and meaning of most major Greek words still used in the English language, (from democracy and tyranny to psychology and astronomy) and be able to hold short conversations in one of the oldest and most influential languages in history.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended US credits: 3

Samothraki Required Courses

COSA in Greece (Community Organizing and Social Activism)

The focus of this course is to study community organizing and social activism that can be used across cultures and countries. The course begins with a review of social change organizations, explores the history and ethics of international service, and studies past and present political and social movements and advocacy efforts in Greece. Students will learn the theories and realities of intercultural service-learning. Topics are examined through the lens of community service in Greek NGOs and other non-profits, and include intercultural communication, the mechanics of Greek non-profits/NGOs, citizenship in Greece, local civic engagement/advocacy efforts, and the exploration of civil society.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended US credits: 3

Micro-Enterprise in Rural Communities, Seminar, and Field Work in Samothraki Island

This course is designed to familiarize students with different types of enterprises in Rural Communities. You will explore national and international case studies, as well as opportunities and challenges in sustaining micro and small-sized enterprises (SME).

This course sets out the criteria for identifying whether a company is a micro, small, or medium-sized enterprise. These different categories – based on the number of employees at a company, and its turnover or balance sheet – determine a company’s eligibility for EU and national financial and support programs, especially in the more rural areas of Europe.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended US credits: 3

Grotto in Thessaloniki

Volunteer Service

Summer Study in Greece: Service-Learning

During your Greece study abroad program, you’ll be an active member of a volunteer team, and work to enhance the projects with your dedication, expertise, and experience. Your effect on other people’s lives will be both powerful and long-lasting. We try to match your skills and interests to the placement, but please remember that service is ultimately meant to respond to the needs of others.

Thessaloniki Service Opportunities:

  • Refugee work
  • English tutoring
  • Supporting homeless and at-risk youth
  • Working with disadvantaged preschool and primary school children
  • Environmental conservation of our oceans
  • Art and technology for community development
  • Social Service NGOs
  • Social integration and support of Roma communities
  • Educational work with disadvantaged populations

Samothraki Service Opportunities:

  • Animal welfare
  • Preservation with International Development Agencies
  • Sustainable Development projects with Island’s Coastal Zones
  • Sustainable Agricultural and Micro-Enterprise Research Projects
  • Micro-Enterprise with traditional Family Cooperatives
  • Community-Based Local Tourism
  • Agricultural Tourism and Adventure Travel

Seaside in Greece

Things to Do

Travel and Excursions

Travel is an integral element of studying abroad. Applying knowledge from the classroom through firsthand observation allows for greater comprehension and cultural understanding.

Mt. Olympus & Dion (two days, one night)

You will enjoy a hike up to Mt. Olympus, which is the home of the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greek Mythology.

Day Sailing Trip (Summer Only)

Sail to remarkable Chalkidiki, a region in northern Greece known for its prominent peninsulas, which feature Mediterranean forests that contain sandy beaches in sheltered bays.

Optional Excursions (for an additional fee):

Sailing Trip (four days, three nights)

An unforgettable journey to the three Aegean islands of Skiathos-Skopeleos and Alonissos and the National Marine Park.

Four Day Excursion to Zagorochoria in the Epirius Region

Zagorochoria, also known as the Zagori villages, rests on peaceful mountain slopes, tucked in the northwestern corner of Greece. These villages are the picture of tranquility and peace, with vast views of unspoiled nature and endless hiking opportunities!

Four Day Excursion to the Tzoumerka Region

Home to quaint villages and stone bridges, Tzoumerka contains stunning natural beauty including waterfalls, rivers, lush hiking trails, and breathtaking mountains.

In addition to the above trips, students taking the Greek Cultural Experience and other classes go on short excursions, including visits to museums and markets, organic farms and vineyards, and exhibitions and fairs.

Greek ruins