We at Performing Arts Abroad are incredibly proud of the Study Abroad programs we offer in Ireland, England, Italy, and New Zealand, as well as the participants who go on them. Students are applying now for Spring semester, and in honor…
Spend a month of your summer studying the process of producing a play in the place theatre was born. With the ancient city of Athens as your background, you will explore the roles of all the collaborators in a theatre production (director, actors, designers, composers etc.) and realize them in practice.
You will enroll in the 3-credit “Theater Production” course, and will have the option to choose a second course for a total of 6 credits. One option for your other course is “A Walk Across Greece,” which is a class that travels all around the country visiting important historical sites and monuments. Other options include Introduction to Poetry, Contemporary Greek Culture, American Jazz and Pop Music, and more!
For those also interested in music, you have the option of taking up to 15 credits over seven weeks if you stay for our Music Conservatory Summer Study in the second session. Please see the Cost & Dates section 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 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.
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.
About the Location
This program gives you the unique opportunity to study theatre in the place it was born. Athens is 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 program, you will live in an off-campus hotel located within 20 minutes on foot from the school. The hotel includes a full breakfast every morning, which you will eat on the roof overlooking Athens and the Acropolis. You will share a room with another study abroad student, although single rooms are available at an extra cost upon request. Please contact us to learn more if you are interested in that option.
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
The elevator opens and you are greeted with warm air, and light streaming onto the rooftop restaurant where you eat breakfast every morning. Rising up in the distance is the acropolis where the parthenon and other ancient monuments sit – including one of the original open-air theatres. The free breakfast spread is a great way to start your day and afterwards you will walk down the street to the university for your Theater Production class with a handful of other students. Every day is surreal as you find yourself in the place theatre was invented thousands of years ago. 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.
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 our 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 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!
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!
On campus, there is a community family feel. You’ll learn from international faculty in small class sizes, which means you’ll get one-on-one attention. More than 20% of the student body comes from countries outside of Greece, meaning you’ll have a diverse experience. To fully take in the culture, wander through the 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. The programs in Athens are offered at Hellenic American College (HAEC) through an Agreement of Cooperation that the sister schools have signed. NEASC 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.
Deb is the primary PAA contact for all participants once they have applied to their programs. She processes applications, conducts applicant interviews, communicates with overseas partners regarding acceptance decisions, orchestrates all pre-departure preparation, supports participants while they are on their programs, and oversees re-entry counseling as she ushers them into joining the ranks of our fabulous PAA alumni.
Deb grew up at a small, independent school surrounded by the languages, music and cultures of students from around the globe. Her passion for exploration has brought her to many out-of-the-way places such as studying variable stars at a Nantucket observatory, flying a small plane over the skies of New England and mapping ancient lava flows in southern Arizona. Without a doubt, though, her favorite place is anywhere in a theater. As an award-winning stage manager, Deb has collaborated on productions throughout the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts and always enjoys challenging and innovative theater. She happily admits to an obsession with all things organizational and considers a trip to the office supply store a totally valid form of therapy.
She has studied and traveled extensively in England and Scotland, has journeyed through parts of France and currently shares her space with cats, humans, and far too many books.
Erin Hardee Patterson
Erin advises everyone who expresses interest in PAA’s programs. She responds to e-mails, answers questions submitted in online forms, makes and receives phone calls about our programs, and communicates with those who begin an application.
Erin Hardee Patterson earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music, and her Master’s in Music Therapy from Florida State University. Her professional adventures as a cellist, singer songwriter, board-certified music therapist, event coordinator, admissions professional, project manager, and newly trained birth doula have helped her to live all over the United States – from her home state of Virginia, to New Orleans and Maine, to Tallahassee and Vegas (to name just a few!). In addition to her US travels, a ferocious case of wanderlust inspired Erin to travel to The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, France, and Belgium. (The wanderlust is no joke – this bio was written on a plane!). She enjoys practicing her conversational French and American Sign Language, and has aspirations of one day carrying on conversations in Spanish (hopefully on a beautiful balcony in Spain). Erin is a new transplant to the Northampton, MA area with her firefighter/paramedic spouse Max, their dog Eleanor, and 3 very fat house cats. She is passionate about tiny humans, music, yoga, beautiful bodies of water, succulents, two steppin’, empowering families to have joyous, satisfying births, and being a smiley muppet.
Greece Site Director
Evgenia supports all participants on our Athens programs, acting as the main point of contact throughout their stay in Italy. She coordinates airport pickup, leads cultural excursions, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Evgenia started her professional development as a lawyer having completed a Bachelor’s in Law at Athens University. She practiced law for several years until she decided it was time to follow her passion on understanding and supporting people and enrolled at a Master’s program in Psychology at Hellenic American College. Studying there proved to be a meaningful experience not only in terms of academic development but also through the merging and mingling with students from all different nationalities and background. The seed that had been planted years ago through her own studies abroad in the beautiful French Province started to sprout and Evgenia found herself applying her love for supporting and encouraging people to pursue their dreams and make the most of their experiences, through International Education. She has been the Greece Site Director for Students coming to study in Athens since January 2018 and she is so excited to be the host of what can be a milestone experience in one’s life!
When not sharing Greek cultural events with students, Evgenia practices Greek traditional dancing, as she has been a performer since her early childhood. She also loves to ride her bike uphill and take in the beautiful Athenian sunsets in the Mediterranean Sea.
Greece Program Director, Study Abroad Programs
Vassilis acts as the university contact for PAA students studying at Hellenic American College. He finalizes course schedules, coordinates university orientation events, provides academic advising, arranges housing, and acts as a liaison between PAA and Hellenic American College’s academic departments of music and theatre, including a special relationship with the Philippos Nakos Conservatory for music.
Vassilis Karapetsas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication & Public Relations from The American College of Greece- Deree College. During that period of time he worked as a Journalist for Attica Media Publications. In 2001 he was nominated as the recipient of The Onassis Foundation Scholarship for Graduate Studies in Marketing Communications and went to Boston, USA where he completed his MA in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College. While in Boston he took a Semester as transfer student at Harvard before completing his studies Emerson and worked as an Account Executive for Gray & Rice Public Relations. He returned to Greece in 2005, and for six years he worked for BCA College (Athens, Greece) as a Course Leader of the Communications Major. Specifically he introduced it from point zero as a validated Course of London Metropolitan University. In addition, while at BCA he functioned as Senior Lecturer in the subject areas of Communication, PR, Marketing and Public Speaking. He then worked as an International Student Services Coordinator for The American College of Greece – Deree College, and also served as a Communications and Marketing Advisor in a prestigious consulting institution in Athens until 2014. In 2015, he worked as an Admissions Officer and Senior Lecturer of Marketing and Public Relations for Mediterranean College. As of August 2016, Mr. Karapetsas is the Director of Student Affairs and International Programs at Hellenic American College and teaches Management and Marketing classes.
“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.”
“The in-country staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and supportive. Just great!”
From the blog
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