Resident Director

alexisCome study in the birthplace of Democracy!

As a BCA student you will study under the auspices of College Year in Athens (CYA). Athens offers both the dynamism of a great European metropolis and the cultural riches of ancient Greece. Living in Athens you will come face to face not only with spectacular ancient monuments but also enchanting local neighborhoods that require a sense of adventure to discover.

The focal point of your study will be the concept of democracy. You will be able to study the development of Athenian Democracy; courses on peace and conflict resolution, and the challenges of creating robust and functioning democracies, offer you an opportunity to examine fascinating case studies drawn from recent developments in Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Further, you will be taught ancient Greek philosophy, and ancient Greek art and architecture on site at the Acropolis, walking through the Ancient Agora or visiting the National Archaeological Museum. You will be able to choose from Anthropology courses that help you understand contemporary Greek culture, but also provide a mirror with which to gain a deeper insight into your own, American, culture.

The CYA Academic Center is located next to the ancient marble stadium that was rebuilt to host the first modern Olympics in 1896, and today serves as the finish of the Athens Classic Marathon. The CYA building looks out on the Acropolis and is within walking distance of central Athens that contains the charming historical neighborhood of Plaka as well as all ancient monuments. The school is fully equipped with smart classrooms, a small but comprehensive library, computer labs, a student cafeteria that also serves as a student union, an auditorium, and a lounge area for students to mingle or do work. Taught by professors who are experts in the field, classes are small, allowing instructors to provide personal attention to their students and to develop meaningful relationships with them.

Service learning courses and volunteer activities allow students to immerse themselves in the community and take part in socially meaningful work. Students are also encouraged to take Modern Greek language. Although students can get by without knowing Greek, it is our experience that students who make an effort to learn the language are able to better integrate themselves into the local community.

Field trips, an integral part of the academic program, take students to Crete, the Peloponnese and northern Greece – to learn about the nation’s history and culture, and to see some of the most significant monuments from its ancient and medieval past. Ancient Mycenae, classical Epidaurus, the Byzantine city of Mystras, the site of Olympia, Minoan Knossos, the ancient Macedonian tombs of Vergina, are just some of the sites visited during school field trips.

Greece, at the crossroads between East and West, and within a few hours by plane from the rest of Europe as well as the historical cities of Istanbul and Cairo, is an ideal base from which to explore the region on your own.

Nothing can adequately explain why so many students studying at CYA fall in love with Greece. Perhaps you’ll have to come to Athens to see for yourself!

Alexis Phylactopoulos,

Resident Director of the BCA program in Athens and President of College Year in Athens