The Greek culture is like no other. Modern and Ancient Greece has been around for years. The culture is eye opening, everyone was friendly and would say kala mahra (good morning) and there is a... Maggie Gossman
I love Paros!
Submitted by Leigh - baltimore | June 09, 2015
I'm a pretty radical painter and I've never quite felt, let's say, 'well-received' in university art programs. In the end I was ready to drop out of college but found my way to HISA though a family connection, stayed for about a year and it totally changed my life. I love the school. Barry, the director, is an amazing philosopher. Our class conversations were beyond what I've experienced in any other classroom: challenging, at times agitating and totally necessary. I felt like the open, creative, free and philosophical environment fed my artwork and understanding of readings and helped me grow personally. I have new favorite poets I didn't know existed. I can passably communicate in Greek! This island is my new home, I'm going to come back!
Amazing, Beautiful, and Life Changing
Submitted by LLJC - new mexico state university | June 06, 2015
I attended HISA for their 2014 fall and 2015 spring semesters. I had the most amazing, life changing experience. The faculty members were kind, helpful, and highly intelligent; they care for their students, and will go above and beyond expectations to ensure student comfort and security. Paros offers beautiful landscapes and hiking trails for those who love the outdoors, and an active night scene for those who enjoy night life. The people who live on the island are friendly and giving, and the environment/culture is relaxed and laid-back. I will return to Paros the first chance I get!
Submitted by Maggie Gossman - Port Huron, Michigan Saginaw Valley State University | May 03, 2015
The Greek culture is like no other. Modern and Ancient Greece has been around for years. The culture is eye opening, everyone was friendly and would say kala mahra (good morning) and there is a cista, where everyone takes naps. It was a wonderful and safe place to study. The program director is a wonderful man with the most lively energy and spirit. There are a few things that I needed to get use to, but all minor, such as taking baths instead of shower and not being able to drink out of the sink. The walk to school was close to ten minutes and the night hikes were wonderful. Studying in Greece, was the best decision I have ever made.
Personalized Art Program on Exquisite Island
Submitted by Kate Gillispie - Santa Barbara Hendrix College | June 06, 2015
If you are interested in living in a charming hostel tucked away close to the ever beautiful sea shore and immersing yourself in painting, photography, poetry and late night discussions than this program would likely be a good fit!
Overall I had a delightful experience studying and living on Paros with HISA. It was lovely to have prearranged weekend trips to different islands (as well as a longer trip to Turkey!) that expanded our immersion experience. The painting teacher was wonderful- I was totally captivated by her teaching style and grew SO much as an artist (starting out a novice) under her instruction. Because the program size is kept small, class sizes were intimate and it was incredibly easy to bond with everyone who was there during the semester that I studied abroad.
A focus on night life (dancing and drinking in local venues- often times with locals) was something I was not expecting but found to be enjoyable. (As someone who is relatively low key, it was fun to have the option available, although there were many times when I chose to explore the island or cook at the hostel with friends instead). It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience such a friendly, wholesome and cheerful community of people who live and work on Paros island. We easily became friends with people from all over the island, and the sleepy evenings were a perfect time to sit in the sand and watch the truly indescribable sunsets. I miss the island and the school every day.
All that being said, my only complaint about the program is I found the school work to be overall lacking in gusto. Although the relatively light work load aloud for exploration and bonding with friends (something I do treasure) I sometimes found myself feeling bored and wishing for a little more substance to my classes.
Overall, if Greece is a desirable location for your study abroad experience (and rightly so), than HISA is an experience you won't regret.