The University of Chicago’s Spring quarter Athens program provides University of Chicago students with an opportunity to study the history and culture of ancient and modern Greece in Athens, the celebrated center of that culture and now the lively and cosmopolitan capital of contemporary Greece.
- Accommodation (with kitchen)
- Lunches on weekdays (except on overnight trips)
- Student support
- Program excursions
- Emergency travel insurance (ISOS)
- Round-trip airfare to and from the program site
- Transportation on site
- Course materials
- Personal entertainment and travel
- Communications (including cell phone usage)
- Health insurance and upfront payments for care
- Other miscellaneous expenses
The core of the Athens program is the three-course sequence “Greek Antiquity and Its Legacy,” taught in compressed form during the quarter. This sequence, which meets the College’s civilization studies requirement, treats ancient Greece from prehistory to the present day and pays particular attention to the role the classical past has played—and continues to play—in the more recent history of Greece. Classroom discussions of selected texts are supplemented by a series of excursions to museums and archaeological sites both within Athens and at other locations in Greece. In addition to the civilization studies sequence, participants take a fourth course in Modern Greek language. Please consider enrolling in the Modern Greek courses on campus, Accelerated Elementary Greek I and II, taught in the autumn and winter terms, respectively. If you enter the Athens Program having taken Accelerated Elementary Greek I and II, you will place into Intermediate Modern Greek in Athens. In addition to allowing you to hit the ground running in Athens, taking the full three-quarter sequence of Modern Greek will satisfy your on-campus language competency requirement. Alternatively, students with sufficient knowledge of Ancient Greek may substitute a text-based course in the ancient language in place of the modern, and should speak with the Athens Faculty Director Jonathan Hall.
The Athens program is headquartered at the College Year in Athens (CYA) Academic Center, located in central Athens, next to the Panathenaic Stadium and opposite the National Gardens.
Athens program participants are typically housed in furnished apartments, in groups of roughly three to seven. All apartments are usually in the Pangrati neighborhood about a ten-minute walk from the CYA Academic Center. A Chicago Graduate Assistant will reside nearby. Each apartment includes a common area, a kitchen (stocked with tableware and basic cooking equipment), bathroom, and balcony. Apartments are simply but fully furnished, with air-conditioned bedrooms and WiFi Internet access. Towels and bed linens, including sheets and blankets, are provided. Laundry facilities are available at the CYA Academic Center.
It is important to recognize the cultural context of student housing in Greece and understand that the amenities of the student apartments may vary. Although some of these differences may take some getting used to, remember that cultural differences extend to all aspects of your experience abroad. Having realistic expectations for your term in Athens will help you approach the study abroad experience with a positive attitude.
Participants in the Athens program remain registered as full-time students in the College. They take and receive credit for four courses: the three courses in the civilization studies sequence and the Modern Greek or Ancient Greek language course. The civilization sequence meets the College’s civilization requirement. Students who have already met this requirement may use these courses as electives. Their use, partial or total, in a program of study (major) must be approved by the undergraduate chair of the student’s respective major. The language course will normally count as an elective. Neither Modern nor Ancient Greek courses in Athens are keyed to Chicago’s Modern or Ancient Greek language sequences. Course titles, units of credit, and grades are placed on the College transcript.
Study abroad students pay regular College tuition, a program fee, and a nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and program fee are paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Precise figures for the Athens program during the 2024–2025 year are listed below:
Spring tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office
Study abroad administrative fee: $675
Athens program fee: $5,960
Program fee includes:
Out-of-pocket expenses include:
Previous program participants report spending in the range of $200 to $250 per week on meals and incidentals while on the program, though frugal students may spend less, and others could spend much more. Bear in mind that the cost of living in Athens is relatively high and that, while it is possible to live frugally, it is also possible to run short of money if you are unwary. It is therefore essential that you budget your funds prudently, apportioning your resources so that they last for the duration of the program. If you are planning to travel before or after the program or on weekends, you should budget accordingly.
Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our Tuition, Fees, and Funding section.
The Athens program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.
The program is designed for undergraduates in good academic and disciplinary standing who are beyond their first year in the College. While the program stipulates no minimum grade-point average, an applicant’s transcript should demonstrate that they are a serious student who will make the most of this opportunity. Because the civilization studies sequence is taught in English, there is no language prerequisite, although students are encouraged to take Modern Greek I and II on campus before the program begins.
Please be aware that the Athens program is physically challenging, with a good deal of walking on terrain that is sometimes rough. If you have any questions or concerns about this aspect of the program, please contact Dana Currier.
Because of the considerable demand for the Chicago civilization programs abroad, no student may participate in more than one of these programs. Each application is examined on the basis of the student’s scholastic record and personal statement. If you are interested in applying for this program please fill out the online application.
To discuss the Athens: Greek Antiquity and Its Legacy program and the possibility of participating, please contact Dana Currier.