The Present Past: Re-imagining Greece Through Heritage (Athens, Crete, Rhodes)

Greece has historically been in the crossroads between East and West, due to its geography, on the one hand, and contact with its eastern and western neighbors established early on, on the other hand. This has resulted into a rich, multifaceted, fascinating heritage, tangible and intangible alike, that is still present today, both in its capital city Athens and the periphery. Greek heritage is manifested on architecture, archaeological remains, culinary traditions, music, even more unconventional forms of expression, such as contemporary graffiti and street art in the metropolitan centers, Greek countryside and its islands alike.

The course focuses on a journey – literally and metaphorically – into aspects of Greek (and also world, as defined by UNESCO) heritage. We will delve into the past, as a complex and ever-present entity and unravel the constituent elements of cultural heritage in contemporary Greece. Among others, we will trace the presence and influence of the following: the classical Greeks and the Romans; the Knights; the Ottomans; the Italians in the S Aegean islands; the vernacular and its roots; the natural and the cultural; current receptions of the past; tourism management and the quest for authenticity in Greek sites and monuments; Greek heritage as it relates to world heritage.

The aim of this course is to help you form a solid and educated opinion with regard to what constitutes Greek heritage in the 21st century as well as how we can all contribute, as educated travelers, to the preservation and dissemination of this cultural knowledge.

Course Details


This course requires a minimum enrollment of 10, with a maximum enrollment of 16.


60 contact hours

Fee Discounts:

•  $100 per course for students who submit their application with full payment postmarked on or before March 1.
•  $100 per course for students who enroll and participate in two CYA summer  courses.
•  $250 per course for students from public universities.
•  $100 per course for CYA semester students who enroll in a summer course.

Essential Information

The course starts and ends in Athens.  Transportation between Athens and the island destinations of the course, as well as during day excursions, is included in the course fee.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This course involves extensive travel.  Be wary of overpacking.  Pack only what you can carry comfortably, because you will be required to check- in and out of accommodations for each stay / travel segment of this course. It will also be useful to bring with you travel-size cosmetics.

Enrolled students will have access to detailed arrival information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about residing in Athens. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: and

Housing & Meals

While in Athens, students will be housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in either CYA student apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens or in hotel accommodations arranged by CYA. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms. Towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided.

The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those students who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

A full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m.  A welcome and a farewell dinner are also included.

While traveling, Hotel accommodations will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, in air-conditioned rooms with breakfast included. No other meals are included while traveling

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