Since the summer of 2002, when it was launched, a total of over 320 students from the four corners of the world have come to Greece, for an intensive five-week course on the theme of “Migrations and Boundaries: Reconceptualizing Mobility in the Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond”.

The program is considered as a strong, life-changing experience, as students, professors and guests describe.

Kathryn Gundersen (student, 2015)
“The Greek concept of νόστος, means homecoming, particularly returning home after a long journey that has changed you in some way. We’ ve joked about this term so much this summer (nostos or nah?) that sometimes it seems to have lost its meaning, but as I prepare for my own homecoming, I can’t help thinking about the impact Greece has made on me. I’m so grateful to have spent my first extended period abroad here, in a country that welcomed me with warm smiles and open arms during this time of national crisis, despite my short-lived presence. Some parts of me will always remain in Greece, floating on the moonlit Mediterranean, running through the ancient Olympic stadium, soaring amongst the steep cliffs of Meteora. I don’t know how to say thank you to the many people who have made this experience so incredible. Ευχαριστώ, Ελλάδα. Σ’αγαπώ. Εις το επανιδείν.”

Rishav Mukherji (student, 2013)
“It’s been great, Greece. The most wonderful five weeks I've ever spent and far far better than anything I’d ever imagined before leaving the US. I’ll be back!”

Parker Lawrence (student, 2010)
There's so much I could say!

Of course, most of my fondest memories are of time spent with my darling Sofia - sneaking away for a breezy study break on the patio above the Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplio, going for a late night swim in the moonlit surf of Monemvasia, or trying to keep pace with her on a run down the beautiful coastline south of Nafplio.

CHS GR - 15 Years CCS - Sofie and ParkerI also remember the food quite well. A lover of all things salty, I became a connoisseur of saganaki. I'm still so excited whenever I find it on menus in the U.S. - almost as much so as when I find Mythos beer!

Without a doubt, though, my favorite thing about the program was how tight-knit the group became, which I attribute to the program's holistic approach - focusing not just on its syllabus and time in the classroom, but also on shaping an enriching overall experience. Conversations that started in the classroom continued by the pool or on our trips, and our professors were available along the way. When guest lecturers came, we consumed their talks as a familiar (if not familial) unit. Those particularly interested in the topic at hand could then position themselves nearby the speaker at a meal afterwards and dig even deeper. My favorite example of this was when the program organized an off-the-cuff afternoon seminar with Michael Puett, who spoke to us about Classical Chinese government. It doesn't just seem random - it was, but that's part of why it sticks in my memory. Some might have passed on the idea, deeming it too far afield from the Greek studies curriculum, but our program's organizers embraced it, and the ensuing discussions became important parts of my experience.

Senem Erhun (student, 2008)
“This summer in Greece was an amazing, truly enriching experience for all of us! In me, it inspired a whole new horizon of thoughts on my own subject, the classics, but also on a huge range of other issues, such as the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, modern imperialism, and Mediterranean mentality. Most of all, though, I learned about this wonderful, richly historical country, Greece, and built up a really personal connection to it. The many wonderful individuals I got to meet and know really well in the course of the program—such as my fantastic Greek roommate—left a lasting impression on me too, and I will certainly keep cherishing the many memories we share. I know I will look back to this summer in Greece countless times with joy and infinite gratitude. Thank you so much to the faculty and organizers for allowing me to take part in this wonderful program!”

Back in 2011, the program celebrated its 10th anniversary, publishing two commemorative newsletters available here: Spring 2011 and Summer 2011.