Basic Program of Liberal Education

Study in Greece: Spring Break in Greece

Sunset view of Athenian treasury at the ancient Delphi site in Greece.

The Graham School is pleased to offer an opportunity for Basic Program students to travel to Greece accompanied by Athens Centre archaeologists including Iris Plaitakis, along with Basic Program Cyril O. Houle Chair, Kendall Sharp, and trip coordinator Jan Watson. Experience firsthand many of the historic places that you have encountered in the Core Curriculum readings. Students will enjoy on site lectures visiting sites in Athens, such as the temple of Athena on the Acropolis, Socrates's jail cell in the Agora, and major museums. We will venture outside of Athens to visit Korinthos and Nemea, the Lions Gate in Mycenae the city of Agamemnon, the theatre of Epidaurus, Nestor's Palace in Pylos, Olympia, and Apollo's temple and the Oracle of Delphi. In addition to a pre-trip seminar, there will be time to discuss the sites in relation to the texts with Kendall Sharp and your fellow students.

Statue in Delphi museum, Greece.

All Basic Program students and alumni of the program are eligible to apply for the trip. Spouses and partners are cordially welcome.

The application period for Spring Break in Greece is now open. Prompt application is recommended as we expect this opportunity to fill quickly. To learn more about the program, we also invite you to view the recording from our online information session.

The synergy with the Basic Program courses is great. We read a lot of material over the four years and to actually see the locations made that come alive. I feel more attached to the Basic Program after visiting Greece and better appreciate the special bond the Basic Program creates among its students.

Past Participant in Basic Program Travel to Greece

  • Pre-trip seminar
  • Pre-trip reception
  • Double-occupancy hotel accommodations
  • Daily breakfast and lunch (except no lunch March 18), arrival day reception, welcome and farewell dinners.
  • Archaeologist and expert led site and museum tours.
  • Discussion sessions led by a Basic Program instructor. 
  • Entry to the ancient sites and museums.
  • Coach transportation to sites outside of Athens.
  • Support services provided by the Athens Centre.

Participants are responsible for their own air travel to Greece (and airport transfers) and meals other than those listed above.

Accommodations are in 3-4 star hotels in double hotel rooms located near the sites we will visit. Single travelers may book by paying the single supplement.

Participants should be aware that the trip requires considerable walking in ancient archeological sites. Ability to climb 2-3 flights of stairs and ability to stand for up to 60 minutes is required.

Greek Text Inscription on a rock in Delphi.

Readings are arranged based on locations we will visit.

Athens: A Place, a Goddess, and a Way of Life

  • The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War, Free Press, ISBN 978-0684827902.
    Please read Book 2.35 – 2.46 – Pericles’ Funeral Oration
  • Plato: Five Dialogues, Trans. Grube, Hackett 2nd Ed., ISBN 978-0872206335
    Please read the Apology, p. 22-44 and the Phaedo 115a-118a (p. 151-154)

At Home in Pylos with Nestor

  • Homer, The Odyssey (Fagles tr.), Penguin, ISBN 978-0140268867.
    Please read Book 3, where Telemachus visits Nestor at Pylos.

Gods, Games, and Gifts at Olympia & Delphi

  • Herodotus, The History (Grene tr.), University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0226327723.
    Please read Book 1.7-92 (Delphi), 6.99-140 (Marathon), 8.48-63 (Acropolis burned)
Lion Gate in Mycenae, Greece.

Basic Program Instructor Kendall Sharp will lead discussion sessions on the following topics.

  1.  Athens: A Place, a Goddess, and a Way of Life
  2.  At Home in Pylos with Nestor
  3.  Gods, Games, and Gifts at Olympia & Delphi
A golden death mask called the "Mask of Agamemnon."
Ruins of Appollo temple with fortress at back in ancient Corinth, Greece.
Thursday, March 9
  • Recommended departure to Athens (overnight flight)
Friday, March 10
  • Arrive in Athens
  • Check in to group hotel
  • Trip Overview session with Iris and Kendall
  • Cocktail reception
  • Welcome Dinner / Overnight Athens
Saturday, March 11
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to the Acropolis site
  • Lunch at a taverna 
  • Guided visit to the Acropolis Museum
  • Overnight Athens
Sunday, March 12
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to the National Archaeological Museum
  • Lunch at a nearby taverna
  • Guided visit to the Kerameikos site
  • Discussion session with Kendall Sharp
  • Overnight Athens
Monday, March 13
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to Epidaurus theatre, museum, and sanctuary
  • Guided visit to Korinthos and Nemea
  • Lunch
  • Continue to Mycenae for guided visit to site and museum
  • Overnight Nafplion

Tuesday, March 14

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to Epidaurus theatre, museum, and sanctuary
  • Lunch
  • Discussion led by Kendall Sharp
  • Overnight Nafplion
Wednesday, March 15
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Bus to Pylos
  • Guided visit to Pylos site and museum
  • Lunch
  • Bus to Olympia / Overnight Olympia
Thursday, March 16
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to Olympia site and museum
  • Lunch
  • Bus to Delphi
  • Discussion session with Kendall Sharp
  • Overnight Delphi
Friday, March 17
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to museum and Upper site, Sanctuary of Apollon
  • Lunch
  • Guided visit to Lower site, Sanctuary of Athena
  • Bus to Athens / Overnight Athens
Saturday, March 18
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to ancient Agora site and museum
  • Free afternoon
  • Farewell dinner / Overnight Athens
Sunday, March 19
  • Departure

Tuition fee $4,950 per person, double occupancy. Single rooms can be booked with a supplement of $700.

Price does not include airfare or airport transfers.

Deposit of $1,200 per person required at time of registration.

A $1,200 per person deposit is required upon application. The balance of the fee is due no later than January 26, 2023. All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing and will be subject to a $300 per person cancellation fee. Cancellations received between January 26 and February 9, 2023, will result in a forfeiture of 60% of the program cost per person. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after February 9, 2023. In the event of the cancellation of the program by the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, or by the Athens Center, a full refund will be given.

We strongly suggest that participants purchase travel insurance to protect against nonrefundable costs incurred when travel must be postponed on short notice. We are unable to make exceptions to our refund policies.

Participants may elect instead to waive this requirement understanding fully that the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies is under no obligation to provide a refund after cancellation dates have passed.

Participants should also confirm that their medical insurance covers expenses while in Greece or arrange for alternative medical insurance.

The University of Chicago, the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Athens Centre have no responsibility in whole or in part for any loss, death, damage, or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodation, transportation, or other services. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely. The right is retained to decline to accept or retain any person as a trip member should such person’s health, mental condition, physical infirmity, or attitude jeopardize the operation of the trip or the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of other participants.

For further information, please email basicprogram@uchicago.edu.

The application period for the Spring Break in Greece program is now open. Apply here. For more information, contact basicprogram@uchicago.edu.

Participants should be aware that the trip requires considerable walking in ancient archeological sites. Ability to climb 2-3 flights of stairs and ability to stand for up to 60 minutes is required.

A $1,200 per person deposit is required upon application. The balance of the fee is due no later than January 26, 2023. All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing and will be subject to a $300 per person cancellation fee. Cancellations received between January 26 and February 9, 2023, will result in a forfeiture of 60% of the program cost per person. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after February 9, 2023. In the unlikely event of the cancellation of the program by the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, or by the Athens Center, a full refund will be given.

The well-being of our travelers will be our highest priority. To that end, we will follow the health and safety guidelines of the U.S. State Department, CDC, and WHO, and the authorities of Greece. Participants should stay abreast of travel and entry requirements for the U.S. and Greece.

During the trip, should a participant test positive for COVID-19, they must promptly self-report by emailing C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu and agree to follow the instructions given by the UChicago COVID Response Team, which may include isolating away from the group and the group’s activities. Our partner in Greece, the Athens Centre, will assist an ill student with basic needs, and medical attention as needed and as available. Participants should be aware that treatments available in the U.S. may not have the same availability in Greece.

For more information on UChicago COVID-19 precautions please visit goforward.uchicago.edu.