About the Greece: Food & Culture Studies of the Aegean: Athens & Greek Island of Crete Program
Our program is based on experiential learning and focused on the senses-- the sight, aroma, and taste of the diverse foodstuffs that comprise the acclaimed Mediterranean diet. Students learn how the cultivation, trade and ritual celebration of foods like olives, grains, honey, cheese and grapes played a major role in the development of Greek culture and the artwork of their ancient civilization and-- just as important, how these foodstuffs inform cultural practices in Greece today!
From museum and archaeological site visits, to interactions with food producers, market vendors and chefs; to meetings with Greek and Migrant Women's Associations in Athens; to biological tours and field trips to seaside and mountain villages on the beautiful Greek island of Crete, students experience how the Mediterranean diet (derived from wild and cultivated sources like olives, olive oil, wine, honey, grains, legumes, nuts, seafood and meats) is not just a way of eating---but a lifestyle rooted in biodiversity, sustainable community-based food production and long-standing cultural traditions of art, music, and dance!
Upon arriving in Athens we are greeted by our hosts, representatives from the renown Athens Centre. Located in the Athenian neighborhood of Mets, just a fifteen minutes walk to the Acropolis and the Parliament building downtown, the Centre and its lovely courtyard will be our “homebase” during the time we are in the city.
Link here: www.athenscentre.gr
While in Athens, we attend lectures on Greek mythology and art, exploring its relationship to native plants and foodstuffs.Guided by an Athens Centre representative, we visit local and central markets of Athens and go on a guided tour of the ancient Acropolis and the award-winning Acropolis Museum which sheds further light on associations of Greek gods and goddess with foodstuffs. We also tour the ancient Agora, view a temple dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of grain and note the vital ways the marketplace was at the center of Greek philosophical thought, democracy and artistic endeavors. These guided excursions, along with lectures and discussions with Greek archaeologists, scholars and artists and meetings with restauranteurs, chefs and producers and distributors of olive oil and honey deepen students' experience of Greek foodways and cultural practices. Moreover, discussions with migrant women of the Melissa Network https://www.melissanetwork.org/homepage/
underscores the meaningful ways in which migration continues to inform contemporary Greek foodways, art, culture and politics.
After five stimulating days in Athens, we set out for the beautiful Cycladic island of Crete. Over the next week, we travel by van through the diverse landscape of the island, learn about local food-related practices and the roots of Mediterranean cuisines in the biodiversity of local herbs and plants.
Located south of Athens in the Aegean Sea, Crete is the largest of the Greek islands--160 miles (260 km) across, west to east, and 37 miles wide at its widest point.
Heraklion is the largest port city, with over 100,000 inhabitants and Hania the port city which is second in size.
Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization from around 2700 to 1420 BC. A volcanic eruption on the neighboring island of Santorini some 3600 years ago (circa 1600 BC) caused tidal waves that led to the demise of this ancient Minoan culture. Wall paintings from the thousand year old village of Knossos illustrate the flavor of life in those times. Adding to the compelling history, art and cuisine of the area, a variety of cultures occupied the island since that time: Mycenaeans, Romans, Byzantines, Emirate of Crete (Iberian Muslms), Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
A guided visit to Knossos and local ethnographic museums on Crete testify to not only the vast trade network in antiquity that stretched from Crete to western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa but the ways in which the peoples of island continue to retain and incorporate cultural and culinary practices.
Utilizing the cities of Heraklion and Hania as our base on Crete, we make daily excursions to seaside and mountain villages to view food production sites and meet with cheese, bread and wine makers who reveal the lyric history, beauty, and healthful practices associated with foodways on the island. We engage in a cooking lesson with local women in a mountain village, taste traditional goat cheese and the highly prized wine of the region, spend time an eco-village where we participate in a guided walking tour of local herbs and plants and venture forth to seaside towns with fabulous seafood.
Arriving back in Athens, a week later, we present some of our findings at the Athens Centre, and end our journey at a restaurant within sight of the Acropolis.
Please contact faculty-leader, Dr. Christine Zinni at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Housing and Orientation
Housing in Athens will be in the Athens Centre apartment in Mets near the ancient pan Athenian Stadium. Students will stay in hotel accommodations (doubles or triples) for the duration of the program on the Greek islands.
Greece: Food and Culture of the Aegean
Budget sheet for Undergraduate Program Summer 2019: $4,374.82 (Estimated)
- Tuition (3 Credits)
- Program Acceptance Fee
- Pre-departure orientation materials
- On-site orientation
- Accommodation in double or triple occupancy hotels
- Some meals
- Transfers to/from airport on arrival and departure if students arrive on a group flight
- Transportation between Athens and Crete
- In country transportation
- Program activities and excursions
- Entry fees to sites and museums
- 24 Hour Emergency Assistance
- SUNY International Health Insurance*
- Brockport's Study Abroad Office Services including a Brockport Faculty director
- Various campus-specific fees** (college fee, technology fee, etc.)
Does NOT include:
- Transportation to/from Greece
- Additional meals
- Miscellaneous Expenses (this includes entertainment, souvenirs, laundry, postage, etc.)
The actual amount that you will spend depends heavily on your style of living, and will vary with each individual's personal spending habits, entertainment preferences and travel choices.
Financial aid applies towards fees.
*The SUNY International Health Insurance is mandatory and will be included on the student's Brockport invoice.
**Varies depending on the SUNY campus at which the participant pays tuition.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to cover loss of luggage, cancelled/ missed flights, missed/cancelled program, etc. In the event that you cannot attend a program (for example, with a medical emergency or U.S. State Department Travel Warning) such insurance can cover loss of program fees resulting from a cancelled program.
*This summer program is contingent upon having a sufficient number of participants enrolled in the program.
Students will earn 3 upper-division credits.
May 19th- Depart USA
Monday, May 20th-- Arrival in Athens
- Van to Achilleas hotel near Acropolis
- 3:15-6:15pm Walking orientation in central Athens with Athens Centre (AC) Representative
- 7:30pm Welcome dinner at To Kafeneio in Plaka area underneath the Acropolis
Tuesday, May 21st
- Program Orientation at Athens Centre (AC)
- Optional Lunch at Varnava Square
- 2-4pm Class with Dr. Zinni at AC
- 5-7pm Modern Greek language class at AC
- 7pm Dance class at AC
Wednesday, May 22nd
- 8:45am Meet licensed guide
- 9:30-11am Acropolis site
- Short break for snack
- 12-1:30pm Acropolis Museum
- Free Afternoon and evening
Thursday May 23rd
- 9-11am class meeting with Dr. Zinni at the hotel
- 12pm Guided tour of Athens Central Market
- Workshop with Greek culinary experiences
- 7:15pm van transfer from hotel to the port of Piraeus
- 9pm Boat to Iraklion Crete (Overnight trip)
Friday, May 24th
- 8am Meet at the reception area of the boat
- Van to hotel
- 8:15 Breakfast at the hotel
- 9-10 am class meeting with Dr. Zinni
- 11-2pm visit Lasinthos group lunch
- 3-4pm visit Knossos site
- 5:30-6:30pm visit Archaeological museum with Archaeologist/guide
- 6:45pm check in/Free evening
Saturday, May 25th
- 9am Bus to Zaros Village
- 10:30-2:30pm Cooking workshop with Vivi
- 3-4pm Ethnographic museum
- 4:30-6:30pm Matala beach
- 6:30pm Optional tour in Iraklion town and dinner at “Peskevi” restaurant
Sunday, May 26th
- 9am Van from hotel
- 10am spend the day at Enagron
- Ecotourism village
- Engage in following activities: botanical/herbal tour, bread-making in traditional oven.
- Break: swimming in pool, relaxing group lunch
- Class Meeting with Dr. Zinni
- 7pm Van back to hotel in Iraklion
Monday, May 27th
- 8:30am bus to Marathos
- 9-10am local women’s organization
- 11:30-12pm Hatziparashos workshop
- 12:30pm Group lunch at “Pigadi” taverna
- 2-3:30pm Bus to Ag. Gallini
- Check into hotel
- 6-7pm class meeting
- Free Evening in Ag. Gallini
Tuesday, May 28th
- 9:30-11am Class Meeting with Dr. Zinni
- Free afternoon and evening in Ag. Gallini
Wednesday, May 29th
- 9-10:30am Class meeting
- Check out of hotel
- Bus to Kriti hotel in Chania
- Check in
- Optional Tour of old port and market
- Free Afternoon for exploring one of the most beautiful cities in the world
- Group Dinner at Halkinina taverna with live music
Thursday, May 30th
- 9-10:30am class meeting
- Noon Bus- Visit Ag. Triada monastery
- Bus to Marathi beach
- Travel to Souda Port
- Boat to Athens (overnight trip)
Friday, May 31st
- Early arrival in Athens, breakfast on boat
- Work on presentations
- Check in at 2PM
- Free day in Athens
Saturday, June 1st
- Morning presentations at Athens Centre
- Optional activities including visit to puppet theatre or dance
- 7:30pm Farewell dinner at To Kafeneio
Sunday, June 2nd
- Student departures
- Van transfer to airport
"I am currently a Junior at SUNY Brockport, pursuing a Bachelors degree in Political Science and a minor in International Studies. I decided to study in Greece because I wanted to learn about Greek food and culture in a non-traditional way. My reward for the investment of my time and money is memories that will last a lifetime, and knowledge of the region which can only be achieved through a hands-on learning process. Before studying abroad, I couldn't be 100% sure that I chose the right majors/minors. Within 5 minutes of landing in Athens, I KNEW I had made the right choice. International Studies is absolutely my niche and I have my study abroad experience to thank for that realization. After graduation, I plan to pursue a Masters degree in International Studies with certification in Middle Eastern Studies. I can not wait to have another wonderful learning experience outside of the U.S."
- Tiffany Staats, Past Participant
Summer 2019: May 19 - June 2, 2019