THE ASCSA SUMMER SESSIONS
The ASCSA Summer Sessions offer an unparalleled opportunity to experience the ancient sites, monuments, and culture of Greece first-hand, under the guidance of expert professors deeply familiar with the country and up-to-date with the latest research.
Every summer the ASCSA offers just two intensive Summer Sessions. Each Summer Session last six weeks and is limited to twenty participants. Summer Session groups are based at the ASCSA campus in central Athens. From there each Summer Session travels throughout Greece, from the Peloponnesus in the south to Thessaloniki in the north, and even the island of Crete. The itinerary includes not only well-known archaeological sites and museums but also amazing places off the beaten track.
Summer Session groups receive exclusive access to sites and storerooms inaccessible to others and enjoy presentations on ongoing excavations by preeminent scholars. Museum tours by the world's leading specialists offer Summer Session participants insightful, comprehensive overviews of Greek art, archaeology, and the full range of Greece's rich history– from the Bronze Age to the Classical Greek and Roman eras, through the Byzantine period, and into the twenty-first century.
Participants work together in cooperative learning projects, sharing their knowledge in on-site oral presentations and seminar-style discussions. Summer Session participants also deepen their understanding of contemporary Greece as they travel through it, converse with its inhabitants, and reflect on the relationship of past and present in this fascinating country.
See more images of 2015 Summer Session on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ASCSAthens
Participation in the Summer Session is open to graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and faculty from any accredited institution of higher education, and to primary and secondary school teachers. The language of instruction is English.
The program is both intellectually absorbing and physically challenging. Museum visits may involve long periods of standing, while many site visits require hiking uphill in the Mediterranean summer heat. Participants must be in good physical shape and be ready to work cooperatively as part of a close-knit Summer Session group.
Each Summer Session is based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Participants enjoy 24-hour access to the world-class Blegen Library, including a computer lab, wireless internet access, archives, and individual study space. Participants stay in the historic Loring Hall, where they will find a welcoming and supportive staff, home-style Greek cooking, gardens, and verandas that look out onto Mount Hymettus. The School also offers numerous opportunities for informal conversation, learning, and networking with professors and students working at the ASCSA, and with members of the international scholarly community in Athens.
For 2016, Summer Session I (June 13 through July 27) will be directed by Professor Denver Graninger, University of California, Riverside; Session II (June 20 through August 3) will be directed by Professor Amy Smith, University of Reading.
For additional questions or information, contact Professor Glenn Bugh, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Chair of the Committee on the Summer Sessions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications to the summer program can be found here. Application fee is $25. Deadline is January 15, 2016. Letters of recommendation are due by January 30 and are submitted online at
Please send this link to your recommenders.
A TYPICAL DAY
A typical day starts at 7:00 AM and ends at 7:00 PM. The program is intense and operates seven days a week, so there is rarely free time. There is much walking; many sites require a climb and the Mediterranean sun can be brutal in the summer, so members should be in good physical shape. There is a great deal of travel, the majority of which is done by bus. Lunch tends to be picnic style, and stops for swimming are scheduled whenever possible. Each member is expected to give two oral reports of about twenty minutes each during the summer. Topics are assigned by the director. Sample 6-day itinerary.
There are three extended trips outside of Athens. These vary from session to session, but traditionally include six days on Crete, 10 days in the Peloponnese and a week in Northern Greece. Of the ca. 60 sites and museums visited during these trips, the following are normally included: Knossos, Phaistos, Corinth, Isthmia, Nemea, Mycenae, Tiryns, Epidauros, Sparta, Mystra, Pylos, Bassai, Olympia, Thebes, Delphi, Thermopylae, Dimini and Sesklo, Vergina, Pella, and Olynthus.
While in Athens, members study many of the important monuments and sites in the city itself, such as the Acropolis, Agora, and Kerameikos, as well as those in the vicinity of Athens. Several day-trips are made to sites in Attica, which often include Sounion, Rhamnous, Thorikos, Aegina, Marathon, Brauron, and Eleusis.
An attempt is made to ensure that each session includes undergraduate students, graduate students, high school teachers, and college professors, though there is no quota for any category. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnic origin, or disability.
The American School is not a degree-granting institution. No grades are given for its programs, nor are transcripts provided. An optional final exam at the end of each Summer Session is given, and the director of a session will, upon request, write a letter to the member’s home institution recommending that credit be granted, provided that the member has satisfactorily participated in the program and passed the final exam.
The fee of $5,000 covers the entire six weeks in Greece. This includes tuition, meals in Loring Hall, lodging for the entire period, travel within Greece, and museum and site fees. International airfare to and from Greece, most meals (Saturday dinner and Sunday meals in Athens, and all meals outside of Athens), and incidental expenses are the participant’s responsibility. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships through the School. They are awarded on the basis of academic merit. (Rates and fees are subject to change without notice.)
The ASCSA offers a range of Summer Session fellowships. Several national and regional Classics organizations also offer scholarships specifically for Summer Session participants. Link to scholarship page: http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/index.php/programs/ss-scholarships
Any U.S. or Canadian citizen who plans to spend more than 90 days in Greece and/or any other member of the Schengen block of countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) within a six-month period must obtain a special visa BEFORE entry into the Schengen zone. This visa must be issued by a Greek consulate/embassy in a country where the applicant is a resident, and the application process can take two or more months. The summer sessions themselves account for 45 of these days and any participant who plans to combine, for example, a spring or fall study abroad program with the ASCSA Summer Sessions may exceed the 90-day limit. For further information, click here.