Greece is one of the world’s oldest and greatest civilizations. A historic gateway between Asia and Europe, for thousands of years the country has flourished as a global center of art, thought, and culture. Also encompassing some of the most beautiful islands and mountain landscapes that you will ever see, Greece is a premier destination for all high school students who want to experience the rich educative tradition of this influential Mediterranean country.
The geography of Greece consists of a highly mountainous mainland and peninsula, along with thousands of islands sprawled out across the east Mediterranean sea. Though it has a relatively small population and land area, Greece has nevertheless managed to wield a tremendous amount of influence throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.
Of the 11 million people who populate Greece, close to 4 million live in Athens, the country’s capital. Well over 3,000 years old, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities which is often considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization. Yet while the ancient Acropolis still overlooks the cityscape, today Athens amounts to much more than its history. It is the center of economic, political, and cultural activity in Greece, as well as a global city with a diverse population and important international connections in many areas.
Since many high school programs in Greece involve travel throughout the country, Athens is likely to be just one stop on your grand tour of Greece. Other popular locations where your high school program in Greece might take you include Paros, Crete, Delphi, Santorini, and Thessaloniki. You might be so lucky as to take a boat trip around the Greek islands, or to climb Mount Olympus as well!
High School Programs in Greece
Most high school programs in Greece are focused on studying the ancient Greek tradition and all the ways that it has influenced Western civilization. Many of the country’s oldest structures and important monuments are still standing (Greece boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites), making the lay of the land itself an imposing classroom environment. Philosophy, literature, history, and government are all popular subject areas taught through high school study abroad programs in Greece, which may even be offered for college credits.
While some some high school programs in Greece will offer you the opportunity for academic study, others are more focused on cultural exploration and adventure activities. You might have the opportunity to go trekking or scuba diving one day and volunteering in a community service project in a rural village the next. Some cultural exploration programs in Greece also offer course credit in a variety of fields, though less commonly than academic programs which stay rooted in one location.
Though it is possible to study abroad in Greece for a semester or full year at an international school, most high school students choose to enroll in a summer program instead. Summer high school programs in Greece tend to last anywhere from two to eight weeks and are guided by certified teachers or local staff. Don’t worry parents – high school programs in Greece take safety very seriously, so you can rest assured that students will be consistently looked out for!
Scholarships & Costs
Greece is one of the less expensive countries of Europe, although its economy has a history of instability. Prices generally tend to be on par with Eastern Europe more so than Western Europe, meaning that on the ground costs need not be a huge concern. Program fees themselves can be quite expensive however, so make sure to check out all of the scholarship and fundraising opportunities out there which can help you cover the costs of the trip.
Accommodation & Visas
The most popular housing option for high school students in Greece is to live with a host family. This is a great opportunity for students to have a total culturally immersive experience, while also forming connections with caring locals. For exploration programs that move around frequently from place to place, you might be staying in a variety of accommodations, such as hotels or dorms, with other international students and group leaders.
Greece is a member of the European Union, meaning that European citizens can join a high school program in Greece without obtaining a visa. If you are coming from outside of the European Union, then you may or may not have to apply for a visa, depending on your home country and the length of your stay in Greece.
Benefits & Challenges
Greece has been one of the most influential countries in the history of the world, and in many ways is responsible for the dawn of modern civilization. While this may seem like ancient history, high school students who travel the country and learn about its rich cultural tradition will begin to see just how much Greece’s influence still acts upon the modern world. The decision to participate in a high school program abroad in Greece is not an easy one to make, but you can rest assured your time will be well spent.