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 the Greek students attend an American Culture seminar. A number of excursions supplement the educational program in Greece. Additionally, in October, the Greek Students will visit Washington, DC and Boston, MA.
The 5-week internship program will begin May 26 and will end June 29, 2014. All participants are required to arrive in Athens on May 25th. After a week-long orientation, interns will begin their work at their institutions.
The CHS will provide shared, furnished apartments for the interns in Nafplion. The CHS will reimburse the American students up to $1500.00 for airfare to and from Greece. All interns will receive a stipend once they arrive in Nafplion to offset costs associated with meals and incidentals.
Living and Working in Nafplion
Interns live in apartments in 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 ongoing partnerships with various 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 Orientation Seminar on Modern Greek Culture is also meant to introduce the students to their internships and help them frame their work into a research project, which they will present at the end of the program.
SYLLABUS 2014 (coming soon)
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 2014 (coming soon)
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 one-day trips will take students to the archaeological sites of Mycenae and Argos, and locations in the eastern part of the region, such as Kranidi, Ermioni, and Franchthi Cave. Interns also spend a weekend in Athens where they visit, among others, 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 may travel independently during the free weekends of the program, and are encouraged to do so together with their fellow classmates. Submission of their prospective itinerary to the coordinators is mandatory for prior approval. However, traveling outside Greece during the five weeks of the program is not permitted.
The application deadline is February 12, 2014.
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 the system will reject them.
Harvard students who wish to combine this program with the Harvard Summer School Program in Olympia should fill out a CARAT* form for Harvard OIP. Please contact us if you need a budget sheet.
The CHS will contact finalists to schedule an interview.
The program requirements are an 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.
Eligible institutions are:
In the USA:
Students from any institution are eligible to apply.
- The American College of Greece, Deree, School of Fine and Performing Arts or the School of Liberal Arts
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of History and Archaeology
- Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Greek Philology or Department of History and Ethnology
- Ionion University, Department of Archives, Library Science and Museums Studies
- National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Philology or Department of History and Archaeology
- Patras University, Department of Philology
- University of Ioannina, Department of Primary School Education or Department of Philosophy, Education and Psychology
If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please do not hesitate to contact a programs coordinator.