The National Kapodistrian University of Athens has taken a big step toward internationalization. On Tuesday, November 5 it welcomed delegations from the US Embassy and the Fulbright Foundation to present and promote its new Bachelor of Arts in the Archaeology, History and Literature of Ancient Greece, the first BA program to be taught in English at a Greek public university.
Aimed at non-European Union students only, the four-year BA program brings together three disciplines from the field of Classics: archaeology, history and literature. Its multidisciplinary curriculum was prepared by the Athens Philosophy School and the International Hellenic University. Combining “the strengths of the three disciplines in a single, innovative degree,” it will be taught by senior researchers and specialist scholars.
Set to launch on September 1, 2020, the program will invite students to “study Classical Greece in Athens.” Students will have the opportunity to visit some of the archaeological sites they cover in the curriculum in places such as Crete, Santorini, Delos, Olympia, Delphi, and Vergina. Additionally, students enrolled in the BA program are also encouraged to participate in the Departmental Archaeological Excavation in Marathon, which takes place in April/May.
Courses will be taught in the building adjacent to the Philosophy School’s library, which hosts the country’s second largest collection of books. Students who want to learn Modern Greek as a foreign language will have access to the university’s Modern Greek Language Teaching Center, which also offers a range of options for speaking practice and courses in Ancient Greek.
During the presentation, the US Embassy’s cultural attache, Jennifer Schueler, underlined that such programs can help to strengthen existing ties between countries. Athens University Vice Rector Dimitrios Karadimas spoke about the many international collaborations with US universities, including the Visiting Professor program, which allows faculty exchanges. He also mentioned Athens University’s participation in the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program, put together by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Fulbright Foundation, and funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
The Fulbright Foundation’s executive director, Artemis Zenetou, suggested that US professors be invited to teach in the new program. The Fulbright Foundation has awarded a number of scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year, allowing teachers, PhD candidates and postgraduate students to travel to the United States and professors in the US to collaborate in research with their counterparts at Athens University.
The second US-Greece Strategic Dialogue, launched by Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on October 4, was also at the focus of discussions. Both governments observed the importance of cooperation in the field of higher education, especially in regard to bilateral agreements and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to expand collaboration in the areas of education, culture and science. Amonth the priority goals set during the dialogue were encouraging cooperation between the two countries to share best educational practices, the expansion of English language learning opportunities and an increase in student exchanges. Athens University’s BA in the Archaeology, History and Literature of Ancient Greece perfectly fits in with this scheme. Not only is it attractive for second- and third-generation Greeks living in the USA, it also paves the way for new scholarship incentives for US students to come to study in Greece.
Greek Minister of Education and Religion Niki Kerameus presented the BA program to institutes of the Greek diaspora and Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on her most recent trip to the United States. She also met with the Institute of International Education’s executive director, Allan E. Goodman, launching a dialogue between both institutions.
Athens University currently has 847 agreements – both Erasmus and international exchange programs – with 450 universities from 65 different countries; a BA taught exclusively in English seems to bode well in this regard.
The application deadline for the BA in the Archaeology, History and Literature of Ancient Greece is March 31, 2020. Tuition fees amount to 6,000 euros per year. Students outside the Schengen zone are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible in order to anticipate any delays in visa processing. Nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a visa to study in Greece.
For more information, visit the BA’s webpage, baag.uoa.gr.