Summer Study Abroad Program 2015

More than 100 US students participated in ACT's 5 week summer study abroad program this year, and were given the opportunity to enroll in academic courses, visit significant and exceptional sites in Greece and enrich both their academic and social engagement.
 
ACT’s Summer 2015 Study Abroad program began on the 10th of June, when American students started arriving in Thessaloniki, Greece. Past semester, American College of Thessaloniki hosted three different programs in its unique campus, with students from across the US continent: 22 students arrived for the Hellenic Birthright Program, students that are Greek - Americans and have never been to Greece before; 15 students from the American University in Washington, accompanied by their professor; and last, but not least, 66 students came to Thessaloniki for our ever-growing 4-week Summer Study Abroad program, from almost 30 different colleges in the United States.
 
The students from all three different programs attended classes and went on many trips and joined various activities. Some of these trips and activities are common for the ACT student body, while others are planned specifically for different programs and our study abroads.
 
A trip through Myth and History
American students enjoyed their time visiting three major archaeological sites of Greece: the wonderful Temple of Parthenon in Athens gave students the chance to explore the Greek Capital. Their trip continued to the PanHellenic sanctuary of Delphi (in Central Greece) where the famous Oracle of Apollo shared his prophecies, and in Vergina, in northern Greece, where they visited the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia and learned more about Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.
 
Thessaloniki: In the student hub of Greece
Let’s not forget Thessaloniki, the student hub of Greece. A bustling city full of wonders and surprises, ancient monuments, ruins, interesting museums, quaint little streets, open markets and busy cafes. US Students planned visits to all museums of the city, walks around the walls of the ancient Thessaloniki, tours of the city markets and lots of side activities with their residence assistants, who helped them and guided them throughout the whole program.
 
 In Halkidiki!
The summer was the perfect opportunity to hit the beach. Students made the short trip to Halkidiki in the beginning of their semester and found themselves in total relaxation, enjoying the sea. Another beach trip to Sani beach resort, where the sophisticated annual Sani Jazz festival takes place, gave them the chance to fall in love with the sound of jazz and join in the festivities during the premiere night.
Quite a full schedule for our study abroads!
 
Engaging with Greece through Service Learning
Students of Rutgers University who attend the Summer Study Abroad program at ACT had the opportunity to gain hands-on cultural experience and expand their world view through an immersive array of service learning activities. Students were placed at various organizations: At Melissa Girls' Orphanage, students offered creative play activities or assist in fundraising. At "Soma Filon AMEA", an organization providing support and services to physically and mentally disabled individuals, they participated as classroom assistants in creative evening workshops. At YMCA and the War Museum, they created outreach materials such as photographs or short video presentations. An animal sciences major with a special interest in small animals was placed at a veterinary clinic to shadow the vet and assist with the care of stray cats and dogs brought to the clinic. Not only did students provide valuable service to the community but they also got an insider's view of Greek society, including its challenges and triumphs.

 

And even more…
 
…meeting with the Greek gods
 
A trip to the world famous Mt. Olympus took place during the last weekend of the program. A significant number of students signed up in order to participate in one of the most popular trips throughout the semester – students couldn’t wait to visit the glorious “Home of the Greek gods”!
 
…climbing rocky Meteora
 
Another trip, this time to Meteora, was planned in July, when more than 90 courageous and adventurous students climbed all the way up to the world-renowned Byzantine monasteries of Meteora, in Central Greece. Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Greek Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos, and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.