The Ikarian Centre on the island of Ikaria in Greece offers Modern Greek courses.

A new course specifically designed for archaeologists and classicists is on offer this June. The course will move at a brisker-than-usual pace, and the content will be tailored to
fieldwork/professional situations and focussed on antiquity more generally. Lectures and excursions will highlight the island’s archaeological sites; the programme also foresees a number of cultural activities (a vineyard visit, an interview-based project with locals, an evening at an Ikarian panegyri – a true Dionysiac festival – etc.).

Depending on demand, there are tentative plans for an optional short trip to the archaeological sites of next-door Samos at the conclusion of the course.

The course

More than 60 academic hours of intensive Modern Greek courses geared towards classicists and archaeologists with field interests in Greece.

Course dates: 13-29 June 2015 (arrival: 12 June – departure: 30 June)

Optional added excursion (depending on demand) to the archaeological sites of Samos, 30 June-2 July

Course organizers: Mihalis Kavouriaris (Director, Ikarian Centre), Johanna Hanink (Assistant Professor of Classics, Brown University, USA)

General Information

This course is designed for those who wish to learn Modern Greek to enhance their study of/work on Classical Antiquity. Texts and vocabulary will be targeted towards ancient and archaeological themes, as well as to the demands of professional communication in Modern Greek (in the field, at museums, with local authorities, etc.).

Courses are offered at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels (Α, Β, Γ).

Class sizes are small (no more than 8 students) for maximum speaking time.

The course provides 3.5 full hours (60′ / hour) of instruction daily (52.5h full hours in total: significantly more than a single semester’s worth [13 weeks semester x 4 class/week x 50 minutes/class = 43 hours and 20 minutes!]).

The course emphasizes all critical language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and so is appropriate for students preparing to take Modern Greek reading / translation exams.

Course Activities

(+26 full hours)
In addition to visiting the island’s ancient and archaeological sites (Nas, Drakano Fortress, the Castle of Koskina), students will:

Hear lectures by local and world experts about the island’s history, epigraphy, archaeology, & antiquities;

Cooking lessons: Learn how to cook local recipes — and enjoy the results of your efforts!

Learn how to sing Greek songs and dance local dances (the “Ikariotiko” is among the most famous dances in Greece!)

Harvest βύσσινα (sour cherry) and prepare sour cherry “spoon sweets”;

Hike the paths of the island and swim in the remarkably blue waters of the ‘Ikarian Sea’.

Visit local artisans, especially wine producers. Taste the island’s legendary ‘Pramnian’ wine – famed in antiquity, mentioned by Homer, disliked (apparently) by the Athenians – and see where and how it’s made;

An excursion around the island is also included!


Classes take place at the Ikarian Centre Campus, in the heart of Arethusa. There are several options for accommodation:

Free on-campus accommodation in dorm-style rooms (separated by gender) with 2-3 other students is provided for a limited number of students (enroll early to ensure a place!). Students are also welcome to pitch their own tents on campus and use the facilities (toilets, common kitchen, etc) for free. A free shuttle service will run on a loop for 6 hours daily from the guest house to the Centre, the nearby beach “Kiparissi” and Evdilos (the main nearby town).

Accommodation in private rooms (with kitchenette and private bathroom)  at the Centre’s guest house, 1.5 km away from the village of Arethousa. Accommodation fee: €450 (single occupancy, 18 days); €225 (double occupancy, per person). Breakfast is not served, however students may use the kitchenette in order to make their own breakfast and simple meals. A free shuttle service will run on a loop for 6 hours daily from the guest house to the Centre, the nearby beach “Kiparissi” and Evdilos (the main neearby town).

Accommodation at the Centre is not obligatory! Students may chose one of the hotels of the area. Free shuttle service (Evdilos – Arethousa and back) will be provided before and after the courses / activities, for students who choose to stay in the Evdilos area. We suggest Hotel Atheras, in the heart of the coastal village and port Evdilos ( Hotel accommodation fee: €540 (single occupancy, 18 days); €333 (double occupancy, per person). Breakfast is not included in these rates.

Students may choose to stay in private rooms or to double up. On the application form (link below) please indicate your preference of roommates and location (hotel or the Centre) on the online application form. We are also happy to try to pair students who will be traveling independently with roommates. For the location of the hotels, the villages, the guest house and the Centre’s campus, please consult the map:

Course fee

Course fee:  €1250
Price in Euros; pay online (PayPal) or by bank transfer

N.B.: Costs include travel on Ikaria; sites, tours; and activities, but exclude travel to/from Ikaria, food and incidentals.

Registration Information

1. Participation Requirements

1. Advanced undergraduate status (rising senior or graduating senior) or above;

2. One prior semester (or equivalent) of Ancient or Modern Greek;

3. Application form

2. Deadlines:

Registration deadline: 15 April 2015 (€150 deposit towards course fee also due)

FULL PAYMENT DEADLINE (for course fees): 15 May 2015

Early Bird Special: Register and pay your deposit by 1 April 2015 and receive a €100 discount on the course fee!

Getting to Ikaria

Course arrival date: 12 June

Course departure date: 30 June

More detailed travel information will be sent to registered students.

Please note: transportation to/from Ikaria is not included in the course fee.

A Note on the Method

Since 1995 our courses have assisted students in improving all aspects of their skills in Modern Greek (listening, writing, speaking and reading). The Centre makes each course a cultural experience. Through a wide variety of guided activities (interviews, projects,   lectures etc.), students are brought into touch with the local community and so have a chance to experience Greece ‘authentically’.

Our experienced teachers are Greeks who are specialists in teaching Greek as a foreign language. Small classes are centered around directed, active communicative exercises, and teachers pay close attention to individual needs. Students also learn about aspects of Greek culture, society and history through an assortment of activities, texts and videos.

For further information, interested participants should contact the director of the Centre, Mihalis Kavouriaris ([email protected].com).