Study Abroad

*Not offered in Summer 2023

Columbia Summer in Greece: Athens Curatorial Project

Columbia Summer in Greece: Athens Curatorial Project invites students to engage in the cross-disciplinary and diachronic study of Greece and to or an exhibition in which they participate as both artists and curators. The program is structured around the study of texts, films, and cultural artifacts that offer a lens onto Greek history and culture and links between past eras and the present; site visits, fieldtrips, and walking tours that explore remnants of the past (classical, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman) in contemporary urban settings; and workshop sessions in which students learn the stages of curating and creating art for an exhibition. Working closely with Columbia faculty and Greek artists and curators, students gain first-hand experience in the theoretical and practical challenges of organizing and presenting an exhibition.

  • Intensive summer curatorial workshop grounded in a seminar highlighting historical, anthropological, and literary approaches to examine aspects of Greek history and culture
  • Earn 6 points of credit upon the completion of the course
  • Travel to locations in the region to explore sites relevant to the course themes
  • Live in local apartments in Athens
  • Present work at final public art exhibition
  • Currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students of any institution may apply
  • All students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA

Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application” button above. If the button doesn't appear above, the program is not yet accepting applications. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:

  • Application questionnaire(s)
    • Personal Statement
  • Letter(s) of recommendation

NOTE: This program includes an interview process for admission.

Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.All students will be enrolled in the following course:

GRKM 3930. A History of the Greek Present. 6 points
Instructor: Ioannis Mylonopoulos

In this course students engage with historical, anthropological, literary, and artistic approaches to examine Greek history and culture, and they are given the opportunity and training to present their acquired knowledge in an art exhibition. Through a focus on this year’s theme of “expeditions,” we will consider how Greek society, history, and landscape have been imagined and studied from perspectives ranging from Ottoman travelers and Bavarian botanists to European Union technocrats and contemporary art curators. The course is structured around classroom seminars centered on the study and discussion of texts, films, and cultural artifacts; site visits, fieldtrips, and walking tours; and workshop sessions in which students learn about and gain experience in all stages of curating and creating art for an exhibition. Students can expect to develop a historically, socially, and politically informed understanding of Greece; learn through cross-disciplinary and multi-modal exploration, collaborative work, and a project-based approach; and gain broadly applicable skills in curation, artistic practice, and social scientific research.

The program is based in Athens and includes visits to places such as Nafplio in the Peloponnese, Thessaloniki in the Macedonian Gulf, and an archaeological excavation in Thebes.

This course counts towards the Hellenic Studies major/concentration and the Art History major/concentration. Other departments (history, sociology, anthropology) may grant credit upon review of the syllabus.

**Please note that attendance at all class meetings, workshops, and field trips is mandatory.

Prior to the start of the program in Greece, there will be three pre-departure seminars to prepare you for the work you will do once in Athens.

Once on-site, the program involves a full schedule of activities and students should expect to devote their time in Greece to the program and complementary activities. Weekday seminars dedicated to the discussion of assigned materials (ranging from Homeric poetry to Freud to contemporary film). Seminars are followed by walking tours (led by faculty, artists, architects, and curators) and afternoon workshop sessions focused on exhibition preparation. Weekends are reserved for field trips. Please see the syllabus for more details.

Upon successful completion of the full program, Columbia students will receive both credit and grades directly in SSOL. Barnard students should review the guidelines for Credit and Transcripts.


In Athens students share furnished apartments in the city center, within a walking distance to the program’s premises. During the trips to Nafplio and Thessaloniki, students stay in hotels.


No meals are included in the program fee and there is no meal plan. However, there are grocery stores, pastry shops, delis, and bakeries where students can buy food supplies for casual dining. A week before the beginning of the course, participants will receive a list with restaurants, diners, and supermarkets located in the center of Athens and its immediate vicinity.


As part of the course, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves into the vibrant Athenian art scene, visit museums, art galleries, and artists’ workshops, and explore sites rarely seen by visitors to Greece (such as the former industrial center of Elefsina and the Byzantine chapels in Mesogeia).


Schedule for a typical day:

9:00-10:30: Seminar: “Nation-building and Classical Heritage” (19th century Greek political history)
10:30-1:30: Field visit: Walking tour of Athens “Making the Greek capital” (Syntagma Square; Athenian Trilogy, Omonoia Square, National Archaeological Museum) with architect Paschalis Samarinis
1:30-3:00: Lunch
3:00-4:30: Project: “What is Curation?” Discussion with curator Galini Notti (American College of Greece)


Seminars take place at Elika Gallery, a contemporary art gallery that we refashion into a learning lab for the duration of the program. Workshops take place at 3 137, an artist-run space that also hosts the final exhibition. Walking tours and fieldtrips introduce students to diverse neighborhoods in and around Athens, and each explores a different theme (e.g., the Ottoman past, the military regime, the Greek ‘60s)..


Ioannis Mylonopoulos is an Associate Professor of Classical art and archaeology at Columbia University, where he has taught since 2008. His research focuses on sacred space, the archaeology of religion, the iconography of the Divine in ancient Greece, as well as the visualization of emotions and violence in Greek art. Educated at the University of Athens and the University of Heidelberg, from which he received his Ph.D., Dr. Mylonopoulos began his academic career in 2001 at the University of Heidelberg’s Institute of Classical Archaeology and has subsequently taught at the University of Vienna, the University of Erfurt, and Columbia University. He has also been a senior research associate at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, Oxford, a Fellow at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and twice visiting professor at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Dr. Mylonopoulos has been the director of the excavation of the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos on Boeotia since 2014. Dr. Mylonopoulos has received more than a dozen fellowships, grants, and awards and is the author of numerous scholarly articles, bulletins, review articles, and translations, as well as books including his award-winning book on sanctuaries and cults of Poseidon on the Peloponnese.

Program Fee for Summer 2020 is $6,150. It includes tuition, housing, and course-required excursions.

Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information on additional estimated expenses.


If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to studying abroad. In general, summer financial aid is not available to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering students, but may be available to School of General Studies students. Non-Columbia students should check with their home schools for funding availability.

Funding Your Summer in Greece

For more general information and resources on financing your time abroad, please see the pages below:


If you decide to withdraw from the program once it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and the office policies by clicking here.