Summer: Rutgers- Food and Mediterranean Culture

Athens, Greece | Kalamata, Greece | Nafplio, Greece

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Summer 2025
Mar 01, 2025
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
Good Academic Standing

This program is not running in 2024. It will resume in 2025. 



Program Advisor

The Program

Through a combination of in-class lectures and experiential learning, students will gain a deep understanding of the historical, cultural and culinary aspects of food production and consumption in the Mediterranean region.

This course will provide in-depth knowledge and analysis of food production and consumption in the Mediterranean region using a food systems approach. Students will learn about the various components of the Mediterranean Diet pattern, its health, economic, social and environmental considerations and trade-offs, as well as how to measure its adherence.

Marini Art Farm

Program Locations

Peloponnes Peninsula



This course will begin in the Greek capital of Athens before moving to the Peloponnese region of Greece, specifically the cities of Kalamata and Napflio. The Peloponnese peninsula is in southern Greece. The mild Mediterranean climate of the peninsula creates the perfect growing conditions for the produce that makes up the foundation of the Mediterranean diet.


By completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the historical, cultural and culinary aspects of food consumption within the Mediterranean region
  • Describe the Mediterranean Diet model and its health and environmental implications
  • Measure and critically analyze adherence to the Mediterranean Diet model
  • Analyze the ways in which local food systems can better support the production and sale of food resources in accordance to a Mediterranean lifestyle
  • Formulate strategies to promote a Mediterranean lifestyle in both Greece and the United States

Click here to read the syllabus for this course. 

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.

This program counts as an elective course for School of Public Health Students, particularly in Global Public Health.

The course is also open to graduate students from other universities admitted to the School of Publick health in non-matriculated status. Registration priority will be assigned as follows:

  1. Graduate students from Rutgers School of Public Health
  2. Graduate students from other schools at Rutgers
  3. Graduate Students from other universities
  4. Undergraduate Seniors.

Housing and Meals

Students will be staying in hotels and local B&Bs throughout the two-week courses. During the week (on class days) students will be provided breakfast and lunch and will be responsible for their dinner. On weekends (non-class days) students will be provided breakfast and will need to provide their own lunch and dinner.

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
Graduate $5,169 $6,621
Program Cost includes:
  • Tuition (3 graduate credits School of Public Health)
  • Housing
  • Local transportation in Greece
  • Most meals
  • All Excursions
  • Administrative Fees
  • Emergency Medical Access Abroad

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 $1,200
Meals $100
Books and Classroom Materials $50
Personal Expenses $100
Total $1,450.00
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, while some of these expenses, such as meals and personal expenses, 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.

Rutgers School of Public Health will offer scholarship opportunities for students registering in the program. Please, visit the SPH website and  contact them for more information.

Available to study abroad students who receive a Pell Grant.  For more information about the scholarship and additional eligibility requirements please visit the Gilman website.

Faculty Leaders

Shauna Downs

Shauna Downs, PhD, MS (FOOD SYSTEMS RESEARCHER) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban-Global Public Health at Rutgers School of Public Health. Her research focuses on two main areas: 1) the role of policies and interventions to reorient the food system towards the sustainable production and consumption of nutritious foods and 2) the implementation of food policies. She conducts research in India, Senegal, Myanmar, Kenya, Canada and the US using mixed-methods approaches. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Shauna was a Hecht-Levi Fellow with the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and an Earth Institute Fellow at Columbia University where her research focused on the impacts of intensified horticultural production, complemented with nutrition education, on nutrition outcomes in Senegal. Shauna received her PhD in Public Health from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney. She also has a Master’s of Science in Nutrition from the University of Alberta, Canada.