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*UA in Greece: Birth of Western Civilization
Athens, Greece; Delphi, Greece; Litochoro, Greece; Nafplio, Greece; Olympia, Greece; Pefkohori, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Thessaloniki, Greece (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer I
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer I
Fact Sheet:
Schools & Colleges: Arts and Sciences Department: Modern Languages and Classics
Class Standing:
Junior, Senior, Sophomore Program Type: Study Abroad
Program: Faculty-Led GPA Requirement: 2.2
Course(s) Offered: CL 333-800, CL 333-801, TH 412-800, TH 521-800 Credit Hours: 6
Applicants: Current UA Students, Non UA Students Housing: Hotel
Physical Requirements: Use of Local Transportation, Walking Excursions: Cultural Sites, Historical Sites, See below
Fields of Study: All Majors, Classical Studies Language of Instruction: English
UA Faculty Director: Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers, Maximum Participants: 25
Program Description:


UA in Greece photo border

logoUA in Greece: Birth of Western Civilization

Dates: June 8-July 1, 2017

The University of Alabama is offering students the opportunity to earn up to six course credits while visiting the most important archaeological and historical sites in Greece.

Starting with a pre-historic settlement on the island of Santorini (dating to the 17th century B.C.) and ending with a visit at the tombs of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, students get an amazing perspective on ancient Greece, where mythology and history cross paths at sites like classical Athens, the Sounion promontory, Agamemnon’s palace, Heracles’ birthplace, Apollo’s oracle.

We visit places that have had a tremendous impact on the development of Western civilization, such as ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were established in 776 B.C. and where the Olympic Torch is lit every four years for the modern Olympic Games, before it sets off for its journey around the globe.  Places familiar from modern literature and films, such as the battlefield at Thermopylae, where the Spartan King Leonidas and his men prevented the Persian hordes from invading Greece and continuing to subdue the rest of Europe, become the subject of our study, bringing to life events that became cornerstones for the most sacred Western ideals of love for one’s country and liberty.

Ancient cities, inhabited continually over the past 2,000 – 6,000 years, offer a unique view of how civilization started and progressed, reaching pinnacles of glory at the birthplace of democracy or the founding places of Western science, medicine, astronomy, engineering, architecture, and classical art.  It is not an exaggeration to claim that even the concept of automating calculations in the form of computers was also born in Greece, as we see a prototype of such a machine (the Antikythera mechanism) at one of the stupendous museums we visit.

Our journey ends at Pefkohori, a picturesque resort-town, where we get the chance to rest and refresh our spirit in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.  There students have the time to finish assignments, assimilate everything they have learned, and prepare for their return to the States, which they regard with renewed understanding and appreciation!


Locations: Santorini, Athens, Nafplio, Olympia, Delphi, Litohoro (Vergina, Dion), Thessaloniki, Pefkohori

Daily Itinerary

June 9: Arrive at Santorini late in the afternoon; when traveling to Europe from the US, you arrive on the next day. Check into your hotel room at Thera (a.k.a. Fira) and relax at the gorgeous outdoors pool! Spend the night at Thera.
June 10: Class lectures will begin this morning at 9:30 a.m. The introductory lecture is followed by a visit to the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Following that, you will be free to explore the island on your own and take in the breathtaking views of the most stunning, volcanic island in the world. Spend the night at Thera.

June 11:  The island of Santorini is the site of an ancient catastrophic volcanic eruption, the ashes of which have preserved Akrotiri, a prehistoric village of the 17th century B.C. We will travel to Akrotiri in the morning to study the amazing remains of the ash-covered village (picture left). In the late afternoon, we will visit the picturesque town of Oia and watch one of the 10 most beautiful sunsets in the world, as featured in international lists. Spend the night at Thera.
June 12: A visit to Ancient Thera, a Spartan colony on the rockiest, steepest, toughest mountain on the island, with the most stunning view of the Aegean Sea will give you an idea of the kind of terrain the ancients preferred for their settlements – and, no, we do not climb on foot all the way up! 
June 13: On this day, we will sail to Athens, the modern capital of Greece. Athens is known for many ‘firsts’ in history, being the birthplace of democracy, the mother of theater and the seat of the first university in the world, founded by Plato, his famous Academy. Many famous men of antiquity who shaped art, literature, philosophy, the sciences, politics, and, in general, western civilization lived in Athens, among whom are Socrates, Aristotle, Pericles, Sophocles, Hippocrates, and Herodotus. During your free time, you may want to visit the Old Town (Plaka) and the Monastiraki Flee Market, which are within walking distance from our hotel.
June 14: In the morning, we will visit the Acropolis, the Agora, the Mars Hill, the Parthenon, and the new Acropolis Museum, a state of the art building with an amazing collection of artifacts. In the evening, we will dine at “Ancients’ Tastes,” a restaurant that recreates famously ancient Greek recipes—impressive enough to have hosted former President Clinton! Spend the night at Athens.
June 15: After a stop at Syntagma Square to see the Changing of the Guard, we will go to the National Archeological Museum that holds among its many treasures the proto-type of a computer.  On the way, we pass by the University of Athens, the National Library, and the mansion of the first archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered the city of Troy, using the Iliad of Homer as his guide. In the late afternoon, we will travel to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon, where we will see a truly magnificent sunset in the horizon of the famed Attic sky. Moved by the incredibly romantic ambience at Sounion, Lord Byron dedicated a poem to it and inscribed his name on one of the temple’s marble columns. Spend the night at Athens.
June 16: On this day, we will leave Athens and travel to Nafplio, the most aristocratic of Greek cities and the first capital of Modern Greece. On the way, we will visit the ancient Agora of Corinth. After we settle at our hotel in Nafplion, you will have the chance to climb the steps to the medieval Castle of Palamides, explore the quaint Old Town, or rent a boat to the castle on the island of Bourtzi.
June 17: This day will take us back in time, to the world of Homeric heroes.  After a short visit at Tiryns where the unparalleled Heracles was born, we will proceed to Mycenae and walk on the royal road up to the Lions’ Gate and the pre-historic palace, where King Agamemnon met his death at the hands of his wife. Bring a flash light to the site to explore the dark, underground water cistern of the palace and famous “beehive” royal tombs. Spend the night at Nafplion.
June 18: The best preserved theater from antiquity (picture right), an ancient hospital, and a museum displaying surgical instruments dating to the 5th century B.C. constitute today’s destination.  At Epidaurus, visitors are amazed by the incomparable acoustics of the ancient theater, which, though exhaustively studied, have never been reproduced – a challenge for future generations! Spend the night at Nafplion.
June 19:  It is always a bitter-sweet day when we leave Nafplion behind, only to head to Olympia, the original home of the ancient Olympic Games.  Spend the night at Olympia.
June 20: Today we will visit the site of the ancient Olympic Games. Be prepared to participate in another time-honored UA tradition, the “UA Men’s and Women’s Olympic Footraces” at the ancient Olympic stadium; the winners in each group are awarded a kotinos, the ancient prize for Olympic victors. Wear running shoes and sunscreen, and have bottled water with you! At the site, we will marvel over the tremendous size of the temple of Zeus, that housed one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, his gold-and-ivory statue. Even more stunning, though, is the larger-than-life statue of Hermes of Praxiteles and the secret of his mysterious expression. In the evening, we will celebrate the victory of our Olympians with a splendid banquet. Spend the night at Olympia.
June 21: It’s time to leave Olympia and travel to Delphi, one of the most mystical places on earth, with stupendous views of Mt. Parnassus, chosen by the Nine Muses of antiquity as source of inspiration and joy. We will also visit the site of the oracle, where Apollo's Pythia gave predictions about the fate of individuals and nations alike. Spend the night at Delphi.
June 22: Today we will leave Delphi and travel to Litohoro at the foothills of Mt. Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece and the seat of the Twelve Gods of ancient Greece. On the way, we will stop at Thermopylae, the Hot Gates and the site of the legendary battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and King Xerxes of Persia (if you haven’t seen the movie “300”, do so before you leave for Greece – you will be inspired). Spend the night at Litohoro.
June 23: Dion was the religious center of Alexander the Great's kingdom, later rebuilt as a Roman colony. Ancient gods and goddesses were worshipped in this place side-by-side with newcomers from the east, such as Isis and Osiris. After the introduction of Christianity to Greece by the Apostle Paul, people flocked to Dion to worship at the Christian Churches that were built outside the pagan precinct. Spend the night at Litohoro.
June 24: A visit to the royal tombs of the family of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, and the magnificent burial of Alexander’s son at Vergina will take us once again back to the magnificent world of heroes who changed their world and shaped ours. The funerary pyre with which Alexander honored his father will show you a real Homeric funeral, similar to the one Achilles gave to his dear friend Patroclus in the Iliad. Spend the night at Litohoro.
June 25:  We will leave charming Litohoro today and travel to Thessaloniki, the city of Apostle Paul’s “Letter to the Thessalonians”. On the way, we will stop at Pella, the hometown and administrative capital of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian Kingdom. At Thessaloniki, we will visit the splendid Roman Agora and the underground catacombs in the Byzantine Cathedral of St. Demetrius, a Roman military officer of senatorial rank, who died a martyr’s death during the Christian persecutions under Emperor Diocletian (4th century A.D.). Spend the night at Thessaloniki.
June 26: A tentative plan for today includes a visit to the  White Tower, the Medieval fortifications of the city, and the Monastery of the Brothers Blatades, built near Jason’s house, where the Apostle Paul stayed while at Thessaloniki and from where he preached to the Thessalonians. Spend the night at Thessaloniki.
June 27: On this day, we will leave Thessaloniki and head to Pefkohori. On the way, we may visit the Petralona Cave, a pre-historic site, where anthropologists have discovered the cave residence and the skull of an Archanthropus, a hominid whose age is estimated to be about 700,000 years old. Our voyage will end at Pefkohori, a beautiful resort town with sandy beaches and crystal clear water.  Known also for its strategic location, as it was through here that the Persians passed on their way to invade Greece in 490 B.C., the town of Pefkohori will give you the chance to rest, refresh your spirits, and finish up your assignments for the class before leaving for the States. Stay at Pefkohori until the night of June 30.
July 1: Return to the US via Thessaloniki, a world-traveler, “wiser than before and so full of knowledge and experience,” as the Greek poet Cavafy says in his poem “Ithaca”!  Καλ? ταξ?δι!




Students are required to be enrolled in six hours of course work for this program (students enrolled only for 3 hours will NOT get a discount for the program). You may combine the courses, choosing either two CL courses with different section numbers for a total of 6 hours, or one CL course and one TH course for a total of 6 hours.

CL 333-800:  Greek Civilization: Myth, History, and Culture taught by Dr. Tatiana Summers (3 hours)
CL 333-801:  Greek Civilization: Myth, History, and Culture taught by Dr. Tatiana Summers (3 hours)
TH 412-800:   Architecture of Greece, Rome and Byzantium taught by Dr. Andy Fitch (3 hours)
TH 521-800: Architecture of Greece, Rome and Byzantium taught by Dr. Andy Fitch (3 hours)


The program lasts three weeks under the direction of Dr. Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers, a Classics Professor at the University of Alabama and native of Greece, and Dr. Andy Fitch, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance.

Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers
Associate Professor
Modern Languages & Classics

Andy Fitch
Associate Professor
Theatre and Dance


Students in Greece stay in double- or triple-occupancy hotel rooms with private bathrooms at quality hotels, a different one at each location we visit.

Here is a list of the hotels -- you can check them out on the Internet!

Blue Sky Hotel (Santorini)
Electra Hotel (Athens)
Hotel Agamemnon (Nafplio)
Hotel Europa (Olympia)
Hermes Hotel (Delphi)
Villa Pantheon (Litohoro)
City Hotel (Thessaloniki)
Adriana Studios (Pefkohori)


Cost:  $3,200 - for details reference the budget sheet above

Program Cost Includes:

     Transportation in Greece with coach bus, boat, and hydrofoil
     Group airport transfers within Greece
     Hotel rooms
     Breakfasts & a few group dinners (as funds permit)
     Tickets for entrance to museums and archeological sites
     CISI Insurance
     Tuition & fees for 6 hours of courses

Cost Not Included:

     Airfare tickets
     Lunch and dinner (with a few exceptions)
     Airport transfers within the United States
     Personal expenses


Check out the "Financing Your Study Abroad" page on the UA Education Abroad website for information regarding financial aid, scholarships and other financial matters.


Students are responsible for obtaining their own passport (must allow at least 8 weeks for the process).  U.S. citizens do not require visas or vaccinations to enter Greece.  At the orientation meeting to be held sometime in April, students will be given a booklet with information about Greece, tips on travel preparations, and a list of essential items to bring with them.

Airfare & Ticket Itinerary

Students should be aware that the cost of the program does not include airfare tickets. Participants purchase their own ticket. Students wishing to travel with the group must purchase their ticket through the program agent, Gabriele Williams, at International Travel Consultants (phone number 1-800-466-4660). I will set up our group itinerary tickets during the first week of March and then alert you to contact Gabriele to secure a ticket – airlines do not hold tickets for longer than 24 hours, so be ready to make your reservation.
If using another agent, participants should follow these instructions, when purchasing the ticket: 

- Plan to depart the U.S. on June 8, 2017, and arrive at Santorini, Greece, on June 9, 2017 via Athens, Gr – travelers lose a day traveling from the US to Europe. Students arriving to Santorini will be picked up at the airport by a hotel shuttle. June 10 is officially the first day of the program; we meet at the hotel lobby at 9:30 a.m.

- For the return, plan to depart Greece from the Thessaloniki airport on July 1, on a flight that leaves no earlier than 8:30 a.m., to allow enough time for the transfer to the airport.
Flight Itinerary Summary:
June 8, 2017: Depart Birmingham, AL (BHM) for Santorini, Gr (JTR) via Athens, Gr (ATH)
July 1, 2017: Depart Thessaloniki, Gr (SKG) for Birmingham, AL (BHM) (make sure to reserve
a flight that departs no earlier than 8:30 a.m.)
Though individual plans for extended travel are certainly possible, students should make their own arrangements for lodging and transportation on dates outside the program. There is no compensation from the program for any expenses incurred outside the program dates.  
June 10 is officially the first day of the program; we meet at the hotel lobby on the island of Santorini at 9:30 a.m.

If you (or your parents) have any further questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Summers at 

**The University of Alabama reserves the right to modify the program or its costs as necessitated by changes in the international economic situation or to cancel the program if necessary.

Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.
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