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Service Learning

Summer: Rutgers- Engaging with Greece in Transition

Thessaloniki, Greece

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Summer 2020
Jun 18, 2020
Jul 24, 2020
Mar 15, 2020
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
Rising Junior
Rising Sophomore
Good Academic Standing

Open to all majors. 

Program Type
Service Learning


Program Advisor

The Program

Καλώς Ήρθατε! Kalos Irthate! Welcome!

Study and experience the critical challenges modern Greek society faces in a time of major political, economic, and social change. Provide public service in programs, organizations, and agencies addressing issues of youth, health and medicine, social dislocation, and reintegration. Expand your proficiency in modern Greek, or learn some basics if you have no prior knowledge.

students in the Parthenon

Program Location




With a population of over 310,000 and more students than any other Greek city, Thessaloniki is the quintessential urban-style college town. Facing the Thermaic Gulf, the city sprawls upwards along broad, tree-lined streets and through parks and squares to the medieval citadel. While the “feel" of Thessaloniki is distinctly modern, pockets of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past abound—it has more surviving Byzantine churches than anywhere else in Greece. The city also has world-class archaeological museums, theaters, and family-run tavernas serving regional cuisine.


Please reach out to Katherine Kourti at if you have any questions about the coursework.
The Engaging with Greece in Transition program aims to give students a close-up, hands-on introduction to the ongoing transitions of Greek society, including its political, economic, and social dimensions.  Most importantly, it aims to answer the following question: in the face of political and economic uncertainties, how do Modern Greeks continue to meet their own needs at the individual and community level?  Students will address this question through coursework in history, contemporary Greek culture and society, and regular community-based service placements.
Students on this program will enroll in two 3-credit classes:
Service learning: Engaging with Greece in Transition:
The syllabus for this course will be available in the Spring. 
The core academic component of this study abroad experience, the Engaging Greece in Transition seminar and service learning experience, combines regular volunteer service in local community-based organizations (CBOs) with weekly reflection sessions connecting public service to the modern societal issues. Service placements will include working with girls and young women at a center for at-risk youth; assisting in administrative functions of a local clinic, fundraising for a local community development organization, and assisting with children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities.
Students will receive a certificate from the service learning site. Examples of service learning sites from past years are (not a complete list):
  • Melissa Girl's Orphanage,
  • Soma Filon AMEA, a rehabilitation center for children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities
  • Refettorio Elpida, Community center for refugees and other members of disadvantaged groups
  • Bensusan Han, The site is a historical building that used to be an Ottoman caravanserai and presently hosts a large variety of cultural events, including art exhibitions, theater performances, workshops, seminars and more. This site encourages students to create their own art projects.
  • Assisting in Health and Medical Agencies
  • Engagement with heritage preservation in the Jewish Community
  • Eleftheriades Library
* If you are interested in a different field contact Faculty Director Katherine Kourti for suggestions and ideas for new service learning placement sites. 
History of Thessaloniki: A City and its Inhabitants
To view a preliminary syllabus please click here.
A course taught by local instructors at the American College of Thessaloniki, providing an overview of the history of Thessaloniki as a point of intense multiethnic cohabitation and vibrant intercultural exchange from early Byzantine through the Ottoman periods to the modern Greek nation.  This course will help provide context for students' engagement with issues in modern Greek society.
For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website. Students will fulfill a 21 Century learning goal by taking these 2 courses. 
The program cost includes several cultural field excursions, as well as overnight trips to Athens and Delphi and one day trip to Vergina. Other optional field excursions, such as sailing and canyoning and a camping trip, will also be offered for an additional cost. Additional trips offered to Meteora and Ioannina. 

Housing and Meals

The American College of Thessaloniki will provide students with off-campus accommodation in downtown Thessaloniki.  Rooms are all fully furnished (including kitchen appliances in individual studios or in common areas). Off-campus housing locations are well served by the city’s reliable bus system with buses running at 10-15 minute intervals.  Meals are not included in the cost of the program.

Financial Information

Program Costs

This is the billed amount that will appear on your Rutgers term bill during the term you study abroad.
NJ Resident non-NJ Resident
Undergraduate $6,600 $7,180
Graduate $6,960 $7,510
Program Cost includes:

•    Tuition 
•    Housing
•    Administrative Fees
•    International SOS Health Insurance

Out-of-Pocket Costs

These are estimated expenses that are not part of your term bill. Students will need to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.
Airfare $1,300
Meals $300
Books and Classroom Materials $25
Personal Expenses $300
Total $1,925.00
Out-of-Pocket Cost includes:

The above costs are estimations and represent the known out-of-pocket costs students encounter during their time abroad. 

Some of these expenses will be paid for prior to going abroad, such as an airline ticket and visa costs, while some of these expenses, such as meals and local transportation, will be paid in-country as part of your daily expenses. As you plan, you will need to budget these costs and spend wisely throughout your time abroad.



Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website.


Katerina Kourti

Mrs. Kourti-Gavalas teaches modern Greek language and film in the Rutgers Modern Greek Studies Program. A native of Greece, she has experience teaching Greek language and culture at all levels, and in leading study abroad programs, as well.

Summer 2017

"As I reflect on my experiences and what I expected for when I arrived in Greece, it was everything I had hoped for and so much more. I could never express in words how this experience had made me feel. I met amazing people, got to visit historical sites, and took a vacation to one of the Greek islands. I would not agree that my expectations were realistic. I would say from what I experienced this was something like a dream. This trip was one adventure after another and I would not have changed anything from my mistakes to my successes. If something went wrong, I made it my priority to build and grow from it. Everything, in my opinion, is deserving of recognition, even mistakes. My money and time management skills were greatly improved after this trip. I made sure to plan everything from my budget to my assignments that were due accordingly to my schedule. Once I managed this, I could allow myself more free time to enjoy Greece to its fullest."