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Athens, Greece

Program Site: The College Year in Athens (CYA) center, located next to the Marble Stadium (site of the firstmodern Olympics) and within walking distance of the Acropolis. 

Eligibility: Minimum 3.0 GPA. No language requirement.

Description: The birthplace of ancient poetry, theater, art, politics and philosophy, Athens has long been an intellectual capital of the world. Today, the city is a sprawling metropolis of four million, central to  economic, financial, political and cultural life in Greece, and is rapidly becoming a leading business center in the European Union. Students who choose to spend their semester in Athens will find an exciting, modern city where they can enjoy thousand-year-old monuments and historical sites, museums featuring ancient as well as modern art, great restaurants, shopping and some of Europe's best nightlife.

Established in 1963, CYA was the first study abroad program for English speaking undegraduates in Greece. Today it welcomes about 150 students each semester and should appeal to classics majors as well as any student interested in history, archaeology, art history, philosophy, international relations or political science.

Academics: Classes are organized into three tracks: Ancient Greek Studies, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, and European and East Mediterranean Studies. Students in all tracks participate in faculty-led site visits throughout the semester; courses make full use of the city’s resources and, in general, of what can be seen or experienced directly. Students can also arrange to do independent research.

Sample Ancient Greek Studies courses:
-    The Origins of Ancient Greek Civilization
-    Greek Philosophy: The Nature of First Principles and of Ultimate Reality
-    Ancient Greek Mythology and Religion

Sample Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies courses:
-    The Culture of Modern Greece: The Ethnography of a Society in Transition
-    A History of Byzantium: The Eastern Roman Empire and its Lasting Legacy
-    Byzantine Art and Architecture

Sample European and East Mediterranean Studies courses:

-    Gender and Sexuality in Modern Greek Culture
-    Contemporary International Politics: The Mediterranean Dimension
-    The Religions of the Middle East: A Comparative Approach

***New course for Fall 2012: Understanding the Greek and European Crisis. Co-taught by a political economist, historian, and an anthropologist, CYA students will understand the crisis from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Course Load and Credit: Students must take five courses per semester, regardless of the number needed to graduate. One of these courses must be ancient or modern Greek language. The maximum number of USC units granted per semester is 16. 

Activities and Other Program Features: CYA organizes a number of extra-curricular activities including Greek dance and cooking lessons, hiking trips, debates and lectures on a variety of subjects, talent shows, potluck dinners and social events of all kinds. The Student Affairs office can also help students locate volunteer and community service opportunities. 

Accommodations: Shared, furnished apartments in the Kolonaki or Pangrati areas of the city, within 10-20 minutes walk from the CYA center. Lunch is provided Monday through Friday in the CYA cafeteria.

Dates: Fall, Spring or Year. Fall semester runs from early September to mid December. Spring semester runs from mid-January to mid-May. 

Estimated Semester Cost: 

Additional Expenses*..........$14,452

Cost Updated: 1/7/2015
Text Updated: 6/28/12

*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information.


College Year in Athens
Greek Consulate in Los Angeles
Greece Tourist Information
Athens Guide


more videos >

Dornsife Year in Athens

CYA produced this short video about various students experiences studying in Athens for a year.

Video by CYA