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. Some options for your second course include Cities of Film, Contemporary Greek Culture, Psychology of Addictions, and more! You can also join a third 3-credit course called “A Walk Across Greece,” which is a class that travels all around the country visiting important historical sites and monuments.
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 theatre 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 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. 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.
Founder and Executive Director
Reynolds graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with a degree in Theater and African and African American Studies. For an honors thesis Reynolds filmed, edited, and produced a full-length documentary in Kenya with Haba na Haba, a group using performance for education and social change in the slums of Nairobi. This project earned him the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award. A year later, Reynolds organized a trip to bring Haba na Haba to the United States for a tour of St. Louis and Washington University. Immediately after graduation, Reynolds worked in Rwanda as a filmmaker for Millennium Congregations, an interfaith organization connecting communities of faith in the United States with development projects in Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Reynolds then served two years with Teach for America, teaching in the South Bronx and receiving a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College. He completed a second graduate degree in African Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters thesis focused on the impact of donors on the creative process of Theatre for Development (TfD) groups in Kenya.
Reynolds has traveled extensively in Africa, spending time in Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also studied acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Reynolds is a two-time Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the inaugural recipient of the Dred and Harriet Scott Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, and the winner of two research fellowships. He was also a Dialogue Fellow for the Xenia Institute, has twice served as the co-director for the Roosevelt Institution’s International Diplomacy Center (Washington University branch), and was president of the Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) at Indiana University.
Reynolds lives in Northampton, MA with his wife Julia who is a professional costume designer and his daughter Lily who is a cute baby. In his free time Reynolds likes to play his guitar, go hiking, act in local productions, hit the karaoke bars, sing with his dog Captain (the best doggy singer in the universe), and play various yard games such as KanJam, cornhole, “cups”, and Kubb.
Sarah Mattison Buhl
Sarah first boarded a plane when she was 17, departing from her home state of Wisconsin. She comes to us from Amherst College where she is a research coordinator connecting students with community research partners. She is a licensed visual art teacher with an extensive background in theatre design and vocal performance. After earning her MA.Ed in museum education from The College of William & Mary, Sarah lived in Puerto Rico and has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. Sarah is passionate about connecting people with vibrant opportunities for experiential learning and personal growth. She is dedicated to setting the gears in motion for your unique, life-changing summer abroad through the performing arts as the PAA admissions assistant.
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.
Karachaliou Ermioni, Ph.D.
Greece Program Director, Study Abroad Programs
Dr. Ermioni Karachaliou acts as the university contact for PAA students studying at Hellenic American College. She 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.
Ermioni Karachaliou received her BArch and MArch from the National Technical University of Athens where she specialized in Architectural Theory of the Byzantine period, and her Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Manchester (UK). Dr. Karachaliou has taught several courses at the University of Manchester and for private vocational training institutes in Athens. She has also undertaken administrative positions as the Head of the Art & Design Department of IVT Akmi and Delta, has presented papers at numerous international conferences and has published articles in refereed journals. Prior to joining Hellenic American University, she was Curator A’ of the Artist in Residence Program at the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, with the exclusive donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Dr. Karachaliou is also a certified as a classical ballet and modern dance teacher from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and she has studied piano and Theory of Music at the Athens Conservatory. She is, also, a member of the National Technical Chamber of Greece, the Association of Art Historians, the Byzantine Studies Association of North America, and the Medieval Association of the Pacific. She is the Director of Student Affairs and International Programs at Hellenic American University since June 2018.
“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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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.