Basic Program of Liberal Education

Study in Greece: September in Athens

View of Athens and the Acropolis.

The Graham School is pleased to offer an opportunity for Basic Program students to travel to Greece accompanied by an Athens Centre archaeologist, Iris Plaitakis, and Basic Program Instructor Noah Chafets. Experience firsthand some of the historic places that you have encountered in the Core Curriculum readings. Students will enjoy onsite lectures visiting sites in Athens such as the temple of Athena on the Acropolis, Socrates’s jail cell in the Agora, and major museums, with a field trip to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion and a visit to the ancient trireme replica. There will be free time to explore on your own and discuss the sites in relation to the texts with Noah and your fellow students.

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

Application for the program is open. This opportunity to study in Athens with a small group of students is expected to fill quickly.

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 discussion session and reception.
  • Double-occupancy hotel accommodations.
  • Daily breakfast and lunch, arrival day reception and dinner, welcome and farewell dinners.
  • Archaeologist-led site and museum tours.
  • Series of 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 double hotel rooms near the Acropolis area of central Athens, within walking distance of many major sites and museums of the city. 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.


Outdoor cafes in  Plaka, also called "Neighbourhood of the Gods", the old district of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis.

Readings are arranged based on locations we will visit.

Athens
Plato, Apology in Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo. ISBN 978-0872206335
Please read the Apology, p. 22-44 and the Phaedo 115a-118a (p. 151-154)
Pausanias, Guide to Greece, Vol. I. ISBN 978-0140442250
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War Book 2.35 – 2.46 – Pericles’ Funeral Oration, and Book 1.14, 90-95,128-139 - Themistocles and Pausanias. ISBN 978-0684827902
Plutarch, Life of Theseus, Life of Lycurgus, and the Life of Pericles in Plutarch’s Lives, Vol. I. ISBN 978-0375756764

Theater of Dionysus
Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis: Plays for Performance Series, Rudall, trans, ISBN 978-1566631112

Cape Sounion, Ancient Trireme replica
Herodotus, The History, Book 8.76-96 - Battle of Salamis. ISBN 978-0226327723

Further background reading
Hamilton, Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. ISBN 978-0446574754
Cartledge, Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction. ISBN 978-0199601349
Vitruvius, On Architecture, 978-0141441689

Basic Program Instructor Noah Chafets will lead discussion sessions on the following topics.

Sept. 14 Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis
(Reading - Euripides, Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis: Plays for Performance Series)
Sept. 15 Athens and Sparta
(Readings - Plutarch's Lives of Lycurgus and Theseus; selections from Book 1 of Thucydides' History about Themistocles and Pausanias) 
 
Sept. 17

Pericles and Socrates on citizenship
(Readings: Plutarch's Life of Pericles; The Funeral Oration from Thucydides' History; Plato's Apology)


Ancient marble statue of the Greek philosopher Socrates.

Panoramic view of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, with moored sailboats in the bay during dusk.
Saturday, September 10
  • Recommended departure to Athens (overnight flight)
Sunday, September 11
  • Arrive in Athens
  • Check in to group hotel
  • Cocktail reception at the hotel
  • Dinner at a nearby taverna
Monday, September 12
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to the Acropolis
  • Lunch at a taverna near the Acropolis
  • Welcome dinner at a traditional Plaka taverna
Tuesday, September 13
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to the Acropolis Museum
  • Lunch at a nearby taverna
  • Walking orientation to central Athens
Wednesday, September 14
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to the Dionysos theatre and the area below
  • the Acropolis, recently opened to visitors
  • Lunch at a nearby taverna
  • Optional visit to the Cycladic or Benaki museum
  • Discussion led by Noah Chafets

Thursday, September 15

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to the Agora and Agora museum
  • Lunch at a traditional taverna
  • Optional walk in the Anafiotika area above Plaka
  • Discussion led by Noah Chafets
Friday, September 16
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Bus to Piraeus
  • Ferry to the island of Aegina
  • Guided visit to the temple of Aphaia
  • Visit to the last traditional pottery workshop on the island
Saturday, September 17
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to Kerameikos site and museum
  • Lunch in the area of Kerameikos
  • Discussion led by Noah Chafets
Sunday, September 18
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Bus to see the trireme
  • Bus to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion
  • Lunch at Sounion
  • Bus returns to the hotel
Monday, September 19
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to National Archaeological Museum
  • Lunch at a traditional taverna
  • Visit Symtagna Square
  • Farewell dinner at a traditional taverna
Tuesday, September 20
  • Departure

Tuition fee $4,600 per person, double occupancy. Single rooms can be booked with a supplement of $650.

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 August 12, 2022. 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 August 12 and August 20, 2022, will result in a forfeiture of 60% of the program cost per person. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after August 20, 2022. 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 Jan Watson, janwatson@uchicago.edu

September in Athens is open to Basic Program students and alumni. Partners are cordially welcome to apply.

We will begin to accept applications on Friday, July 22, 2022. To apply, please click on the ‘Apply’ button, then fill out and submit the Application Form. Prompt application is recommended as we expect this opportunity to travel in a small group to study in Athens will fill quickly.

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 August 12, 2022. 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 August 12 and August 20, 2022, will result in a forfeiture of 60% of the program cost per person. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after August 20, 2022. 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.

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 at 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.