Cultural Internships in Greece
The Summer Internship Program, sponsored by the Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece, brings together a group of American and Greek undergraduates for five weeks each summer in Nafplion where they work in teams for a variety of cultural institutions. Interns apply their academic experiences in practical settings while learning from each other and their supervisors. The program also emphasizes scholarly development and community service.
The American students take an intensive course in Modern Greek, designed specifically to help them perform their responsibilities as interns more productively, while their Greek counterparts attend a series of seminars on American culture during the civil War. A number of weekend excursions supplement the educational program in Greece. Additionally, in October, the Greek interns travel to Washington, DC to visit the CHS campus, and to Boston and Cambridge, MA to visit Harvard University.
The 5-week program will begin May 26 and will end June 28, 2013. All participants will arrive in Athens on May 25th. After a weeklong orientation, interns will begin their work at their institutions.
The CHS will provide shared, furnished apartments for the interns in Old Town, Nafplion. The interns will receive a generous stipend to offset costs associated with travel, meals, and incidentals.
Living and Working in Nafplion
Interns live in apartments in the Old Town of Nafplion within easy walking distance from the center, which is located in the Iatrou Building on the corner of Philhellene Square and King Otto Street. The apartments are fully furnished and accommodate 3 to 4 students. The interns are responsible for their own meals, laundry, and other incidentals, and for maintaining a clean and orderly living environment.
The CHS has formed on-going partnerships with six institutions to develop internships that enable the students to explore their academic interests and develop their talents and skills while contributing to projects that directly support the goals and activities of the institutions. Interns generally work five hours a day, Monday through Friday. The students gain experience working with and learning from professionals in a variety of fields. The interns work in teams that include both American and Greek students. This arrangement increases the range of tasks they can undertake and allows them to gain as much from collaborating with each other as they do from interacting with their mentors and supervisors.
The American and Greek interns participate in a weeklong seminar that introduces the American students to the history and culture of Modern Greece and provides opportunities for intercultural conversations. It also gives the Greek interns a chance to learn about American culture through first-hand interaction with their American counterparts. Among the themes the program usually covers are the relationship between ancient and modern Greece; the role of philhellenism in the creation of the Greek state; the function of religion in Greek life; contemporary politics; family, gender and occupational roles; literature, poetry and music; and contemporary cinema. The approach of the course is comparative, presenting aspects of contemporary Greece, whenever possible, in comparison with the United States. With a schedule of required readings, the seminar relies heavily on the participation of students and the free exchange of ideas. This format is less typical in the Greek system, so Greek interns will gain new perspectives on American education, which not only prepares them to work more effectively in teams with the Americans but also sets appropriate expectations for their seminar on American culture.
The American interns participate in an intensive, full-immersion course that aims to develop and strengthen their speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills in Modern Greek through the cumulative acquisition of vocabulary and systematic conversational practice. The course includes at least 48 hours of classroom instruction over the five weeks of the program. On average students spend 10 hours in class, review sessions, and office hours. They also attend one lecture, and participate in one field trip each week. The methodology of the course, supported by the technology available in the Iatrou Building, incorporates traditional techniques of instruction into a background of full linguistic and cultural immersion. While grammar drills, vocabulary quizzes, and translation exercises constitute the course’s instructional foundation, students benefit from a wide range of opportunities to practice the newly acquired material outside of the classroom and to bring into the classroom their everyday experience. In particular, the language program takes advantage of the focused linguistic domains of the internships and of the students’ daily interactions with their native-speaking peers.
Seminar on American Culture
While the American students work on acquiring Modern Greek, their Greek peers attend a seminar on American culture. Designed to parallel the development of the Modern Greek state, the survey focuses primarily on the literature, history, art, and popular culture of the 19th century. The first two weeks feature selections from American romantic writers, so students can see how the cultural forces that helped give rise to the Greek independence movement manifested themselves in America. The third week focuses on the Transcendentalists, the westward expansion of the United States, the abolition movement, and events leading up to the Civil War, most importantly, the raid on Harpers Ferry. The fourth and fifth weeks look more closely at the Civil War and its aftermath, including an introduction to baseball. The seminar also introduces students to the visual arts as represented by the Hudson River School, the American Barbizon School, the Realist painters, and the American Impressionists. The readings and discussions provide the background for the students’ trip to the United States where they will visit Washington, D.C., and Boston, MA in the fall.
SYLLABUS 2013 (coming soon)
Past Syllabus: 2012
While living and working in Nafplion, regular excursions provide students with the opportunity to visit other places of historical and cultural importance in the Argolid and beyond. A series of half-day trips will take students to the archaeological sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus, and locations in the eastern part of the region, such as Kranidi, Ermioni, and Franchthi Cave. On full-day trips, students will travel to the islands of Hydra or Poros. Interns also spend a weekend in Athens where they visit the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the Parliament, and the National Archaeological Museum. This excursion includes free time, so students can visit other sites of personal interest.
Students interested in applying should
- fill out the online application,
- include in the application contact information for two references* and
- attach a PDF copy of his/her most recent transcript and a PDF copy of his/her résumé to the online application.**
*We ask that you provide us with the contact information for two faculty members who can speak to your academic work and evaluate your plans for participating in the internship program. If you cannot supply the contact information for two faculty members, please provide information for high school teachers, employers, or mentors who know you well. We will contact them directly about their recommendations.
**Application attachments MUST be in PDF format or they will not go through the system.
The CHS will contact finalists to schedule an interview.
PLEASE NOTE: Currently, only students from partnering institutions are eligible to apply. If your institution wishes to cooperate with the CHS in order to provide students the opportunity to participate, please contact us via our contact page.
Eligible institutions are:
In the USA:
- Harvard University
- Rhodes College
- The American College of Greece, Deree
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
- Democritus University of Thrace
- Ionion University
- National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
- Patras University
The requirements are intellectual curiosity and a readiness to engage directly with other cultures. Knowledge of English is a must. Knowledge of either ancient or modern Greek is welcome but not required. Only current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are eligible to apply and participate. The minimum GPA is 3.0/4.0 or 7.0/10.0.
Students who have participated in CHS programs in the past are eligible to apply. However, students who have never had a CHS internship will have priority.
The CHS welcomes inquiries from colleges and universities in the United States that are interested in forming partnerships that would allow their students to participate in the program. The annual cost to an institution for securing a place in the program is $6,100 per student. From that amount the program provides a stipend to the student for travel to and from Greece and for food and incidentals during the program. The remaining funds go toward expenses associated with the program, which include renting apartments, group meals during the program, providing logistical, administrative, and instructional support, and excursions. The CHS requires that partners in the program not pass the cost of their institutional contributions onto their students in the form of fees or other charges. This ensures that all of the interns participate in the program on an equal basis. If your institution would like to partner with us, or if you would like more information, please contact us.
If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please do not hesitate to contact a programs coordinator.