The Department of Classics

Study Abroad

Printable Version
(Adobe Acrobat Reader required)

Our students have many opportunities to explore the classical world in its own setting, through study-abroad programs such as the College Year in Athens and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.


Crystal Daining '07 discovers an ancient coin while excavating in Greece with Prof. Melissa Morison.

Many study abroad programs are open to you. Imagine reciting a speech of Cicero in the Roman senate house, enjoying fresh seafood while gazing across the Straits of Actium, running a footrace at Olympia, or strolling through the dusty streets of Pompeii.

Click here for an essay by a GVSU Classics alumnus about his experiences studying abroad.

As a Classics major, you can easily meet program requirements while gaining a unique perspective about life in ancient Greece and Rome. Through study abroad you'll also set yourself apart from other job-seekers and graduate-school applicants in an increasingly competitive market.

Study abroad can help you...

  • expand your cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills.
  • broaden your academic horizons.
  • improve your language skills.
  • build confidence in yourself personally and professionally.
  • gain a deeper understanding of Classical cultures -- study abroad provides a context in which ancient history and literature come to life.

Can I afford to study abroad?

YES! Early planning for study abroad helps you make cost-effective program decisions, and it also helps you prepare your finances through savings, scholarships, and financial aid. Financial aid applies to study abroad and, in some cases, your loan eligibility will increase to cover additional expenses.

Grand Valley State University's Padnos International Center offers grants and scholarships to qualified participants in several study abroad programs. The Padnos International Center provides resources on these and a variety of other scholarships available to undergraduate students.

Stop by the Padnos International Center to learn more about your options.

Do I need to speak a foreign language?

NO! Most study abroad programs offer instruction in English, even in non-English-speaking countries.

Will I take longer to graduate?

NO! With good advance planning, you can take courses that satisfy elective requirements in the Classics major or the general education program.

What are my next steps?

Set goals and plan for results

Classics students can study abroad at any time during their four years at GVSU. Students should be aware, however, that the Classics capstone -- which normally should be taken in the senior year -- is only offered in the Winter semester. Be sure to discuss your plans with your Classics advisor as early as possible.

The process of selecting a study abroad program is similar to selecting your major or minor:

  • Begin at least six months in advance of your study abroad. It is never too early to start planning, so that you don't miss application deadlines.
  • Set some goals. There is not just one program best suited for all Classics students. There are many good study abroad programs, and the best one for you depends on what you want to achieve during your time abroad.
  • Prioritize your goals. Consider your long-term academic and professional goals, as well as your on-campus degree requirements.
  • Prepare academically. You may need to take language or other prerequisite courses for your chosen program.
  • Give yourself time to research programs and talk to Classics students who have studied abroad. Classics faculty also have direct experience with a wide variety of study abroad programs.

1st meeting with your Classics Department advisor

Once you have decided that you are interested in study abroad programs in Classics, meet with your Classics advisor. Discuss with your advisor your interest in study abroad. Consider ways that specific study abroad programs can best address your interests and plans. Some students enjoy the opportunity to live abroad for a year or a semester while others benefit from participation in highly focused summer programs. The best program is the one that best addresses your personal goals and interests.

Attend an Information Session at Padnos International Center

Gain additional information about study abroad resources and advising by attending an Information Meeting at the Padnos International Center. See www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad or call 616.331.3898 for the latest schedule.

2nd meeting with your Classics advisor

Classics students planning to study abroad will need to communicate closely with their academic advisors throughout the planning process. When you decide on the program that will work best for you, you should begin an online study abroad application at www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad. Be sure to pay close attention to application deadlines.

Be sure to meet again with your advisor at least three months prior to departing for your program. The Classics department must approve any Classics courses you wish to take to insure that they will be counted toward your degree requirements. Bring the course descriptions of the courses you would like to take abroad to this meeting along with the credit transfer form provided by the Padnos International Center.

Keep in mind that students are also able to fulfill GenEd requirements abroad, such as a custom theme. Students who wish to complete a custom theme abroad should contact the Padnos International Center directly for information on the appropriate process.

Academic Considerations for Classics Students

Review the following reminders and suggestions from the Classics Department before beginning your planning for study abroad.

Recommended learning outcomes for study abroad in Classics

  • Increased understanding and appreciation of the monuments and other physical remains of ancient Greek and/or Roman culture, and of the climate(s) and landscape(s) that shaped those cultures
  • Increased understanding and appreciation of the living cultural legacy of ancient Greece and/or Rome, and of the ways that ancient cultures are understood by their successors in the Mediterranean world
  • For semester-and year-long programs: Ongoing development of skills in ancient Greek and/or Latin at levels that sustain degree progress

Classics Major: Emphases

  • Within the Classics Major there are five emphases: Classical Languages, Greek, Latin, Latin Secondary Education, and Classical Tradition. Each emphasis serves students with different academic interests and career goals, and each has a different focus with respect to specific coursework requirements in Greek and Latin. Students should consult with a Classics advisor to discuss study abroad programs that best address the focus of their chosen degree emphasis and other interests. (See Suggested Program Options below.)
  • Please note that several study abroad programs offer Greek and/or Latin, but not necessarily at advanced levels equivalent to the 300 level at GVSU. Students should be sure to discuss this issue with a Classics advisor as part of the study abroad planning process. Plan carefully so that you do not find yourself out of step upon return to GVSU.

Classics Major: Core Classes

  • Regardless of emphasis, all Classics Majors must complete a basic Language Core and a Cultural Core.
  • To fulfill the Language Core, all students must complete 7 hours of Latin or Greek at the 200-level or above.
    • To fulfill the Cultural Core, all students must complete one of the following sequences: a) the Honors Classical World sequence: HNR 211/212 and HNR 221/222
    • OR b) HST 350 or CLA 121 / 131, AND either CLA 250, CLA 320, or PHI 301
  • Classes taken as part of a study abroad experience may be counted toward the cultural or language core, subject to department approval prior to participation in the program abroad.

Classics Major: Capstone

  • Regardless of emphasis, all Classics Majors must complete CLA 495, the Classics Capstone; normally this class should be taken in the senior year.
  • The Capstone is currently offered in Winter semesters only.
  • Because the Capstone functions as a shared culminating experience for all GVSU Classics majors, it is unlikely that courses at other institutions will be regarded as appropriate substitutes for this class.

Major courses: Classical Languages emphasis

In addition to the Core courses, the Classical Languages emphasis requires a minimum of 20 additional hours of either Greek or Latin; at least 6 hours in one language at the 300 level or above and at least 6 credits in the other language. Subject to department approval, advanced Latin or Greek classes taken as part of study abroad may be counted toward fulfillment of this requirement.

Major courses: Greek emphasis

In addition to the Core courses, the Greek emphasis requires an additional 18 hours of Greek at the 300 level or above. Subject to department approval, advanced Greek classes taken as part of study abroad may be counted toward fulfillment of this requirement.

Major courses: Latin emphasis

In addition to the Core courses, the Latin emphasis requires an additional 18 hours of Latin at the 300 level or above. Subject to department approval, advanced Latin classes taken as part of study abroad may be counted toward fulfillment of this requirement.

Major courses: Latin Secondary Education emphasis

In addition to the Core courses, the Latin Secondary Education emphasis requires an additional 15 hours of Latin at the 300 level or above AND Latin Prose Composition. Subject to department approval, advanced Latin classes taken as part of study abroad may be counted toward fulfillment of this requirement. Students should be aware, however, that most study abroad programs do not offer appropriate substitutes for Latin Prose Composition.

Major courses: Classical Tradition emphasis

In addition to the Core courses, the Classical Tradition emphasis requires an additional 6 hours of Greek or Latin at the 300 level or above. Classical Tradition students also complete 15 hours of departmental and nondepartmental courses according to an approved study plan, and a Senior Integrative Essay. Classes taken as part of a study abroad experience may be counted toward the above 15 hours, subject to department approval prior to participation in the program abroad. Work with your advisor to select the program that best suits your particular interest(s) and ideas you plan to explore in the course of your study of the Classical Tradition.

Suggested Program Options for Classics students

Europe

Greek World

College Year in Athens (Year, Semester, Summer)

College Year in Athens is a study abroad program focused upon the history and civilization of Greece and the East Mediterranean region. Its mission is to offer each student an academically rigorous program of studies combined with the vibrant experience of day-to-day contact with the people, monuments, and landscape of Greece -- a rapidly changing country with a uniquely varied past. For more than four decades, College Year in Athens has offered unparalleled learning opportunities in Greece. Incorporated in 1962, College Year in Athens was the first study-abroad program in Greece for English-speaking undergraduates.

Program focus: Classical Greek culture, art, archaeology; Ancient Greek; Modern Greek language and culture

Best suited for: Any student interested in Ancient or Modern Greek language, history, and culture; students with interests in service learning opportunities while in Greece

www.cyathens.org

Arcadia University / Arcadia Center for Hellenic, Mediterranean, and Balkan Studies (Year, Summer)

Both academic year and summer study with Arcadia offer you the opportunity to explore Greek life and culture beyond Athens. Many courses include excursions to sites of historical and cultural importance. The unique "Greek Key" immersion course was designed to aid students in the cross-cultural learning process and involves students in Greek community life. The new "Myths and Monuments" summer program combines study in Athens, Rome, and Sicily (with emphasis on ancient Greek culture).

Program focus: Classical Greek culture, art, archaeology; Ancient Greek; Modern Greek language and culture

Best suited for: Any student with particular interest in modern Greek culture, politics, and cultural immersion as well as ancient history and culture, broadly defined

www.arcadiacenter.edu.gr

See also arcadia.edu/abroad/default.aspx?id=14630 for the "Myths and Monuments" summer program.

Special considerations: Offers both Greek and Latin at all levels, as well as comprehensive course offerings in Greek history and philosophy; special coursework in Byzantine and Modern Greek culture.

American School of Classical Studies in Athens (Summer)

In 1881 scholars from nine American universities banded together with a group of leading businessmen to establish the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Today, the School offers an unparalleled academic venue for students in Greek history, literature, and archaeology through the Regular Program and the Summer Sessions. The Summer Sessions of the American School of Classical Studies are an intensive introduction to Greece from antiquity through the modern period. The program emphasizes the topography and monuments of Greece in their historical context, the interpretation of literature and historical writings, and how ancient sources may be used to interpret archaeological discoveries. Each of the two sessions has twenty members, and each session lasts approximately six weeks. Three weeks are spent in and around Athens, and three visiting the major sites in other areas of Greece.

Program focus: Greek art, architecture, archaeology and topography

Best suited for: Advanced students with serious intent to pursue graduate study in Greek archaeology or art history

www.ascsa.edu.gr

Special considerations: Intensive instruction, physically and emotionally demanding. Primarily for graduate students; only a very limited number of openings are available to undergraduates. Normally, only exceptional undergraduates with significant program-related career goals and prior preparation -- including prior study abroad experience -- are admitted.

Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Sicily (Semester)

Based at the University of Catania, in a city with a rich ancient, medieval and Baroque history, this program offers extensive local academic resources and close proximity to both the mainland and other towns on the island. Throughout history, Catania has been dominated by many different conquerors. The city was founded by Greek colonists in 729 BC and then conquered by the Romans in 263 BC. Since then, it has been home to Arabian, Norman and Spanish civilizations. Catania was rebuilt following two earthquakes, once in the 1100's and again in the late 1600's. Positioned at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Catania is home to amazing collections of antique Greek and Roman treasures.

Program focus: Classical languages, history, and civilization

Best suited for: Students interested in an intensive overview of Greek and Roman architecture, topography, and cross-cultural Mediterranean connections, and continued focused language study

Special considerations: New program. Both Greek and Latin will be regularly offered at intermediate and advanced levels. Coursework in Italian is also required for all students in this program.

Kentucky Institute for International Studies (Summer)

The KIIS program in Greece offers students the chance to study and travel for five weeks in a country of dramatic natural beauty and rich cultural traditions. The fascinating culture of modern Greece provides the ideal setting for learning about the ancient Greeks whose literature, political ideas, philosophy, art and architecture continue to shape our lives.

Program focus: Greek art, archaeology, drama

Best suited for: Students whose interest is primarily in ancient Greek, especially drama, who want an overview of Greek art, architecture, and topography.

kiis.org/portal/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=24

Special considerations: As noted on the KIIS website, "Prospective students should be aware that the Greece program is very strenuous. You should be prepared to 1) walk at least a mile or two each day; 2) walk over stony, rough or slippery paths at archaeological sites; and 3) protect yourself in the hot Mediterranean climate by always carrying water, wearing hats, etc. 4) be prepared if susceptible to motion sickness, as we will travel extensively by bus and ferry."

Roman World

John Cabot University (Year, Semester)

John Cabot University was founded in 1972 as a college of liberal arts and sciences. All courses are taught in English except Italian language and literature. The main campus in Rome is near the Vatican. Students are surrounded by thousands of years of history and art.

Program focus: Roman history, topography, architecture; Art History; Literature

Best suited for: Students interested in Classical Tradition, Art History, Archaeology

www.johncabot.edu

Special considerations: Advanced Latin and Greek offered by individual arrangement only, not as regular classes.

Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (Semester)

The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS) was established in 1965 by representatives of 10 American colleges and universities; the number of member institutions (including GVSU) has now grown to over 100. It provides undergraduate students with an opportunity in Rome to study ancient history and archaeology, Greek and Latin literature, and ancient art. Many classicists currently in the field are alumni of the ICCS Rome program and look back fondly on their experience at the Centro.

Program focus: Roman history, topography, art, and architecture; Latin and Ancient Greek

Best suited for: Students interested in an intensive overview of Roman architecture and topography, who also want to continue with focused language study

studyabroad.duke.edu/home/Programs/Semester/ICCS_Rome

Special considerations: Appropriate Latin and Greek instruction for advanced students offered every semester.

Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Sicily (Semester)

Based at the University of Catania, in a city with a rich ancient, medieval and Baroque history, this program offers extensive local academic resources and close proximity to both the mainland and other towns on the island. Throughout history, Catania has been dominated by many different conquerors. The city was founded by Greek colonists in 729 BC and then conquered by the Romans in 263 BC. Since then, it has been home to Arabian, Norman and Spanish civilizations. Catania was rebuilt following two earthquakes, once in the 1100's and again in the late 1600's. Positioned at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Catania is home to amazing collections of antique Greek and Roman treasures.

Program focus: Classical languages, history, and civilization

Best suited for: Students interested in an intensive overview of Greek and Roman architecture, topography, and cross-cultural Mediterranean connections, and continued focused language study

studyabroad.duke.edu/home/Programs/Semester/ICCS_Sicily

Special considerations: New program. Both Greek and Latin will be regularly offered at intermediate and advanced levels. Coursework in Italian is also required for all students in this program.

University of Arizona / Orvieto Institute of Classical Studies (Year, Semester, Summer)

Located in scenic Umbria (Italy) U of A's Orvieto Institute offers a full range of classes in the classical languages (as well as Italian), art history, archaeology, anthropology, and architecture. The program also includes site visits to Rome, Pompeii, Assisi, Cerveteri, Tarquinia, and Paestum, as well as courses in Vergil and Livy designed especially for students interested in teaching Latin at the secondary level. The Institute is located in Orvieto's central town square, next to the famous Orvieto Cathedral, one of the most beautiful and historic locations in all of Italy. The Institute's modern facilities are housed in a 14th-century building and offer students high speed internet access. The Institute is located near the train station from where hourly trains reach Rome in just 45 minutes.

Program focus: Etruscan and Roman art and culture; Latin literature

Best suited for: All students interested in an intensive overview of Etruscan and Roman art and culture; of special interest to Latin Secondary Ed. students

University of Reading

The University of Reading has a long established tradition of welcoming study abroad students from all over the world. The University is situated in a beautiful, safe location and offers a wide range of courses in Greek and Roman history, literature, and civilization.

Program focus: The School of Human and Environmental Science offers courses in the archaeology of Roman Britain and related topics. The School of Humanities offers courses in Greek, Latin, and Greco-Roman history and literature.

Best suited for: Students with special interest in Roman Britain; students interested in integrating Roman archaeology and language study.

www.reading.ac.uk/studyabroad/incomingstudents/vso-incomingstudents.asp

Other Programs

In addition to the programs listed above, numerous opportunities exist for summer archaeological fieldwork at ancient Greek and Roman sites throughout the Mediterranean. These programs provide excellent opportunities to gain first-hand knowledge of Greek and Roman material culture and to experience traditional Mediterranean village life. With some exceptions, archaeological field training programs are often limited to a few years' duration and therefore opportunities in this area change regularly.

These programs also vary widely in research focus, duration, price, accommodations, and academic prerequisites. If you are interested in pursuing an archaeological field training program specific to ancient Greek or Roman culture, consult a designated Classics department advisor for current information and suggestions regarding an appropriate program for you.

Please be aware that application deadlines for many field training programs fall early in the academic year, and many programs require significant financial deposits well before the summer work begins.

Printable Program Brochure (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
Contact the Department of Classics

 

Page last modified December 15, 2014