Program Details

Beginning in Athens and concluding in Istanbul, this experiential education program will allow for cultural immersion opportunities in relatively untrammeled regions of both the Greek mainland and islands. As with all Global LAB semesters, our survey of t
Location:
Athens, Greece
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
High School
Term:
Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:
Most would be content with cobalt waters, postcard beaches, whitewashed villages, iconic ruins, a token dance with a friendly islander, and an irresistible diet of olives, feta cheese, and baklava. But shouldn't the Alpha of western civilization - and its many fascinating permutations and contemporary anomalies - deserve more attention than the cliched formula doled out every summer for tourists? Shouldn't the culture whose literal translation of "hospitality" is "love of the stranger" (philoxenia) beckon one beyond ouzo and bouzouki in search of authentic off-season Greece and Greeks? It is easy to surrender early to this country given its staggering scenery, weight of history, and wealth of monuments. Yet for the curiously-committed, the Greece semester program of Global Learning Across Borders (Global LAB) offers students an opportunity to uncover Hellenic dimensions and depths beyond the familiar.

Beginning in Athens and concluding in Istanbul, this experiential education program will allow for cultural immersion opportunities in relatively untrammeled regions of both the Greek mainland and islands. As with all Global LAB semesters, our survey of the culture will be broad, engaging, and multi-faceted: home-stays with warm and welcoming Greek families; basic Greek language instruction; cultural discussions on topics including Greek Orthodoxy, Byzantine history, Classical Greece, the arts, contemporary gender issues, and state relations with Turkey and the Balkans; service activities ranging from planting trees near Olympia to volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitator on the isle of Aegina; independent study projects (ISPs) which could explore diverse topics such as Greek cooking, ancient and contemporary music, philosophy, shepherding, mythology, local folklore, spiritual traditions, pottery, painting, ship-building, or archaeological preservation; and select excursions to locales both grand and subtle - from a circuit of the spectacularly perched monasteries of Meteora and a trek around and atop fabled Mt. Olympus, to encountering little-trafficked nooks on the isles of Chios and Samos - calibrating the daily native rhythms - and sharing a coffee and conversation with a village elder at the local kafeneion (cafe).

For students desiring an experiential education of Greece during the more placid off-season--and in regions often overlooked by most--this program provides numerous opportunities for authentic cultural interaction. The final week's crossing into Turkey and transition from Europe to Asia (and from Christianity to Islam) are symbolic of Global LAB's mission: deconstructing misperceptions across borders and enhancing an awareness and understanding of the many shared traits and aspirations of different communities and cultures.
Setting Description:
Over the course of the semester, students will experience a broad range of both urban and rural settings, many of which are off-the-beaten path and unfamiliar to typical tourists. Locales include: Athens; the Peloponnese; Ikaria and other remote Northeastern Aegean islands; Thessaly (including Meteora); Macedonia (including Thessaloniki); Epiros; and Istanbul, Turkey.
Cost:
$17,595, excluding international airfare.

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