Program Overview

Spend several weeks of your summer studying music abroad with instructors at the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in downtown Athens, and taking a Greek Music course from the Hellenic American College (HAEC) just down the street.

You will enroll in the 3-credit “Greek Music” course, and will choose from dozens of options at the conservatory, including one-on-one instrumental study, composition, conducting, music theory, ensembles, and much more. You also have the option to join “A Walk Across Greece,” which is a 3-credit class that travels all around the country visiting important historical sites and monuments. Please see the “Course Listing” button in the menu above for more details.

For those interested in other fields as well, you have the option of taking up to 15 credits over seven weeks if you add an earlier summer session with options to study theater, film, contemporary Greek culture, and more. Please see the Cost & Dates section below and contact us for more details.

Just one unforgettable experience. I made friends for life and I discovered what kind of path I want to make in my career. I also discovered things about myself I didn’t know before. I wish it never ended.

Performing Arts Points of Interest

Athens Concert Hall

The Athens Concert Hall was founded in 1981 and its administration of board members consists mainly of members of the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Ministry of Finance as well as appointees of the Friends of Music non-profit organization. The hall hosts a number of educational events to promote cultural knowledge in the community. Musical performances include but are not limited to classical, opera, contemporary compositions. The hall also hosts productions of dance, theatre and visual arts.

Dionysus Theatre

Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, agriculture and theatre, known to the Romans as Bacchus, hence the word Bacchanalia. The theatre is in the area of the Sanctuary of Dionysus, which also housed temples to the god. Excavations in the late 1800s rediscovered this important site and the Greek Government has recently announced its intention to restore the theatre. The theatre can sit up to 17,000 people and was the site where the plays of Sophocles, Euripedes, Aeschylus and Aristofanes were performed.

Habeat Records

Athens is home to a wide selection of record stores. For vinyl buffs, visit Habeat Records is a welcoming store in the heart of Athens. There you can find a selection of electronic and vinyl records alike. Check out the Vinylhub website to find more record stores in the Athens area.

Half Note Jazz Club

The Half Note Jazz Club is a jazz venue known for hosting an international artists. The seasonal program includes about 250 shows from October to end May, covering a wide range of music, from jazz and blues to latin, soul and funk. Dexter Gordon, Monty Alexander, Arthur Blythe, Steve Lacy amongst other have played here.

Onassis Cultural Center

The Onassis Cultural Center was opened in 2010 and its mission is to promote modern cultural expression, to support new Greek artists, to cultivate international collaborations, to educate and promote lifelong learning, as well as the co-existence and interaction of sciences, innovation and arts. The center houses the Aristotle Onassis theatre, the Christina Onassis hall, the Alexander Onassis Exhibition Hall, and an open air theatre.

PAA Home Base

Our headquarters in Athens are at the university where you will be taking classes, the Hellenic American College. The urban campus is in the heart of the city with a great view of the Acropolis and easy access to some of the best restaurants and bars in the city. The conservatory where you will be studying, the Philippos Nakas Conservatory, is a few blocks away just down the street.

About the Location

This program gives you the unique opportunity to study music in Athens, a city home to 148 theatrical stages, more than any other city in the world, including the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus, home to the Athens Festival, which runs from May to October each year. In addition to a large number of multiplexes, Athens plays host to open air garden cinemas. The city also supports music venues, including the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron Moussikis), which attracts world class artists. The Athens Planetarium, located in Andrea Syngrou Avenue, is one of the largest and best equipped digital planetaria in the world. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, inaugurated in 2016, will house the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera.

Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years. Classical Athens was an important and powerful centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, and home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments.


On this music abroad program, you will live in a student apartment in a double room (single rooms available at an extra cost). Your apartment will have a kitchen for preparing meals, complete with a microwave, refrigerator, stove, and basic amenities such as pots and pans and utensils. You will also have a washing machine for cleaning clothes, and a common area living room and bathroom shared only by your apartment. Please see the image gallery to the right for pictures of the apartments.


Your roommate on this program will be another Performing Arts Abroad summer student, or a summer study abroad student from one of our partner organizations. You will join a small cohort of other students for on-site activities with our Site Director, in addition to activities connected to the courses you will take at the university.

A Day in the Life

The Participant Experience

You wake early, and are greeted with warm air and light streaming through your shutters as you shuffle into your apartment’s kitchen to make yourself some breakfast. On your way out the door, you stop by the neighborhood coffee shop for the strong, rich coffee you’ve grown to love during your first week in Athens. The barista smiles as you walk in, and you realize that you’ve become a regular already! You grab your coffee and make your way to the conservatory where you will have one-on-one instruction in your instrument, followed by rehearsal with your ensemble. Later that afternoon, you’ll go with your friends to visit the Parthenon and you have weekend plans to visit the islands and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The history is alive and present everywhere you look, and the hospitality of the Greek people (and their DELICIOUS affordable food) make you never want to leave.

On Arrival

You will fly into Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, commonly initialized as AIA or ATH, in a time window we will give you upon acceptance to the program. You will meet your site director and other summer students at an agreed-upon meeting point in the airport, and once everyone has arrived you will be taken to your accommodations to settle in. The following day, you will enjoy an orientation to Athens, Greece, the program, and the university with details about everything from health and safety to how to get around and the best places for a cheap delicious meal!

A Typical Day

For your remaining time, you will be attending class at the conservatory and university, participating in excursions and cultural activities organized by PAA, and exploring Athens and the surrounding area in your free time. For a special treat, book a weekend trip to one of the famous islands like Santorini or Mykonos!

Host Group

Explore your studies beyond the classroom in one of the world’s oldest cities. Hellenic American University’s Athens campus, also known as Hellenic American College (HAEC), is centrally located in the neighborhood of Kolonaki in the heart of Athens. You can even see the Acropolis from the top floor of the building where you take classes! You will also take one-on-one courses in composition and individual instrument instruction at the Philippos Nakas Conservatory, which has a special partnership with HAEC. This conservatory is affiliated with Berklee College of Music, is a Steinberg Training Center, and member of the Yamaha Music Foundation.

To fully take in the culture, wander through the campus library that holds over 35,000 titles in English and Greek, as well as an online collection of over 250,000 digital books. In between classes, grab lunch at the Union Cafe for affordable Greek cuisine.

Hellenic American University (HAU) has educational sites in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Athens, Greece. Our programs in Athens are offered at Hellenic American College (HAEC) through an Agreement of Cooperation that the sister schools have signed. NECHE accredits all programs offered by HAU and therefore the credits you earn while studying at HAEC can easily transfer back, as students will receive a U.S. transcript issued by HAU.

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff



“The in-country staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and supportive. Just great!”

“Performing Arts Abroad (PAA) is a wonderful organization that allows you to gain valuable work experience, contribute to a new community, develop lasting relationships, travel and (in my case) learn a new language. PAA creates a comfortable experience abroad with their assistance and support.”

“It was amazing to meet people from all around the world that share with me passions and dreams. This goes over any cultural difference. The city was great and the classes very interesting and useful, I hope to have the chance to do another program like this again!”

How it Works

The information on this page provides details for a sample group program. Note that every group is different, and we will work with you to cater the experience to your group. To connect with us and begin organizing a program for your group, please follow the “Get Started’ button below and submit an initial questionnaire. We will then contact you to set up a discovery call where we can go into more detail about your group’s needs and what we can offer.

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