Congratulations on being selected to participate in the study abroad program in
This program is offered by International Academic Programs (IAP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Penn State University. This program is offered to institutions that are members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and Alliances for Expanded Study in Overseas Programs (AESOP) consortium (which includes the University of Wisconsin-Madison).Throughout the course of your study abroad experience you will be communicating with both IAP and Penn State University staff. It is essential that you pay close attention to all information provided to you from both organizations. This IAP Program Handbook supplements handbook(s) or materials you receive from Penn State University as well as the General IAP Study Abroad Handbook and provides you with the most up-to-date information and advice available at the time of printing. Changes may occur before your departure or while you are abroad.
Penn State University handles the program’s day-to-day operations. Generally, questions about aspects of your program abroad should be directed to Penn State University (ie. housing information, program facilities abroad, extracurricular activities offered as part of the program, etc.) Questions relating to your relationship with UW-Madison or your academics should be addressed to International Academic Programs at UW-Madison (ie. course credits, equivalents, UW Madison registration, etc.)
This program handbook contains the following information:
Contact Information 1
Spring 2010 Program Dates 3
Preparations Before Leaving 3
Travel and Arrival Information 3
The Academic Program 3
Living Abroad 5
Student Testimonials 6
Penn State Contact in U.S. 2010 Penn State Faculty Director
In case of an emergency, call the main IAP number (608) 265 6329 between 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; after-hours or on weekends call the IAP staff on call at (608) 516-9440.
Program participants who are U.S. citizens must register at the U.S. Embassy before departure as this will help in case of a lost passport or other mishap. You can register on-line at . If you are not a U.S. citizen, register at your home country’s embassy or consulate.
Refer to the Pre-Departure Checklist on pages four and five of the IAP Study Abroad Handbook for essential information.
All U.S. citizens will be required to obtain a passport and a student visa prior to going to Greece. By this time, you should have already applied for your passport. If not, do so immediately. Please read the information provided by Penn State University regarding the visa process and follow the directions carefully. It is recommended that you proceed with applying for your student visa as early as the process allows (ie. completing whatever steps you can, even if you cannot complete others). If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact your home country’s embassy or consulate for details on passport and visa requirements.
Travel and Arrival Information
Travel and Arrival Information will be provided by Penn State University.
The Academic Program
The Athens Centre is the headquarters for the program and is a Greek non-profit organization that sponsors academic and cultural activities. In addition to its work with Penn State University, the Athens Centre cooperates with several other U.S. colleges and universities.
The program is interdisciplinary with instruction taught by faculty from both the Athens Centre and Penn State. All instruction is in English, although a required course in Modern Greek emphasizes the use of this language. In addition to classroom instruction, the program includes visits to several major archaeological sites in Greece such as Crete, Aegina, Olympia, Delphi, Sounion, Corinth, Mycenae, and Epidauros. The sites vary from year to year.
All academic information for the program is included in the documents you received from Penn State University. However, please note that as a UW-Madison student, you must also abide by the academic policies listed here and provided in the IAP Study Abroad Handbook.
You will enroll in five 3-credit courses on this program for a total of 15 credits. Three of the courses remain the same each year and are taught by Athens Centre faculty are:
Archaeology of Ancient Greece (3 credits): A survey of the major historical monuments and sites from the prehistoric period to classical times. Includes field trips.
Taught by: Dr. Steven Diamant (Athens Centre)
Roman and Byzantine Greece (3 credits): A survey of medieval Greece from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, through the rise of the Byzantine Empire, to the Ottoman conquest of the 15th century. Includes field trips.
Taught by: Dr. Vasso Penna (Athens Centre)
Modern Greek Language and Culture (3 credits): An intensive introduction to spoken modern Greek designed to enable students to use the language in their daily contact with the Greek people.
Taught by: Athens Centre Staff
The two additional course options vary from year to year, depending on the expertise of the accompanying Penn State faculty member. The departments of Art History, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, English, History, Philosophy, Kinesiology, or Speech Communication provide these faculty members on a rotating basis. For Spring 2010, the two additional courses taught by Penn State faculty are:
The Trojan War in Archaeology, Literature and Legend (3 credits): This course will examine the Trojan War in its larger archaeological, historical, literary and mythic contexts.
Taught by: Ann E. Killebrew
Crete: Past and Present (3 credits): Students will explore the impact of Crete's rich heritage and constructed past on modern Greek identity and tourist views of culture - past and present. The course will conclude with a five day field trip to Crete.
Taught by: Ann E. Killebrew
Students are automatically registered for the five required courses prior to arrival in Greece.
Equivalents and Course Equivalent Request Form (CERF)
Each course you take abroad must be assigned a UW-Madison “equivalent” course in order for your grades and credits to be recorded on your UW-Madison transcript. In order to establish UW-Madison course equivalents for your study abroad courses, you will submit a Course Equivalent Request Form (CERF) by the end of your fourth week of classes. Information on the UW course equivalent process is available in the IAP Study Abroad Handbook.
Credits will be converted on a one-to-one basis. A 3-credit course in Greece will receive 3 credits at UW-Madison.
Limits and Load
Students must take15 credits.
Please refer to the IAP Study Abroad Handbook for Academic Policies. Students may not drop below the 15 credit minimum. The Pass/Fail option is not encouraged.
Grades and Grade Conversions
It is not possible to receive an "Incomplete" for course work abroad. Failure to complete a course will result in an "F" grade. Grades will be converted according to the following scale:
Penn State/Athens Centre
Educate yourself about your host country. Read the Preparing to Live in Another Culture section of the IAP Study Abroad Handbook. Consult the following resources as well as travel books and program binders in the Study Abroad Resource Room (250 Bascom Hall). Remember – It won’t be possible to prepare yourself completely. There will be situations you will not have anticipated and your flexibility will determine in great part the kind of experience you will have while abroad.
www.athenscentre.gr/ Websites of Interest – General Orientation Information:
(includes topics such as culture shock, international travel, etc.)
U.S. State Department:
travel.state.gov U.S. State Department Students Abroad site:
Center for Disease Control:
www.cdc.gov/travel/ Current Exchange Rates:
www.x-rates.com Portals to the World-Greece:
Useful Travel Books:
Fodor’s Berkeley Budget Guides
Frommer’s Travel Guides
Let’s Go Guides
Lonely Planet Guides
Also check the International Travel Health Guide by Stuart R. Rose, MD.
When making calls, keep in mind time zone differences: (www.timeanddate.com/worldclock). To make an international call to the United States, dial the access code for the country from which you are calling plus the United States country code (always “1”) followed by the appropriate U.S. area code and local number. To call internationally from the United States, dial “011”, the country code, city access code (if necessary) and the phone number . Country and city codes can be found online (www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/dialing.html). Some of above steps can vary if you are using a calling card.
The testimonials below are from past participants; they reflect various students’ experiences and are included to provide different perspectives. IAP does not endorse any specific view expressed in this section.
Preparations Before Leaving:
Allow yourself ample time to complete the pre-departure requirements. You will need to be on top of the emails coming from Penn State and Wisconsin. Get a passport early, so you don’t have to rush order it like I did. Try to pack light, and leave extra room in your suitcase, but remember, Greece does have a winter so bring a winter coat and a rain coat, but also bring summer clothes too because it will get warm by April. Travel and Arrival Information:
Check STA Travel for flights, they had the best deal when I went. Buy a flight that has flexibility on departure dates because your plans will likely change. Have about a hundred Euro (in small amounts) on you when you land in Europe, because otherwise you will need to pay a surcharge to exchange money at the airport in order to pay for your taxi to your apartment. Penn State and the Athens Centre will coordinate your arrival times and directions from there. Again, stay in good contact, via email, with Penn State and Wisconsin. You can buy train tickets in Europe, so unless you have a flexible Eurorail pass, I wouldn’t get one. Travel from Greece to other European countries can be expensive because it is so far south. Look for train deals and ferries in addition to flights if you are going international. However, flights from Athens to other parts of Greece, including the islands, are relatively cheap; check Aegean Air and Olympic Air. There is also an STA Travel in Athens that can help you with travel plans. Academic Program:
Expect to spend more hours in class than you would at UW-Madison, but with less outside work. Your teachers understand you are there to see the city and the country and not study for hours in books, but you will be expected to write papers and will have midterms and exams. I would say on average, people spent about one hour per weeknight on homework, with extra hours for papers and exams. Living Abroad:
Living in Athens is great. Your apartments are in a great location, 10-15 min. walk outside the downtown in a quiet neighborhood. You can walk to the grocery store, gyro place, bakeries, markets, and several restaurants and bars to get meals between classes or cook in your apartments. Many of these places are inexpensive, you can get souvlaki or a gyro or spanikopita or a sandwich for less than 2 Euro. Many bars and cafes are located just south of your apartments and your school is only a five minutes’ walk away. If you have specific brands of products you like, bring them with you because you will not likely find the same brands in stores of Athens. However, you can buy clothes and household items very cheaply, so don’t overpack! Bring adapters, but don’t bring things like blowdryers because they will likely “blow up” even with a converter. You can get a blowdryer at the grocery store. Talk to the staff at the Athens Centre about attending cultural events or with any questions you have, about anything—they are extremely nice and helpful!