Greece Program

On-site classes are a must!On-site classes are a must!

The program in Greece offers an in-depth introduction to the rich legacy of ancient cultures in the Aegean world. Our explorations in art and archaeology take us from Minoan palaces and Classical temples to Byzantine churches and Medieval fortresses.

What our students say:

  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p style="text-align: right;"> <em>“As a business major, I first passed up the idea of the Program in Greece. But then I decided that was exactly why I should grab this opportunity to (literally) widen my horizons. I’ll always be glad that I did!”</em></p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p style="text-align: right;"> <em>“This course is totally unique… I think I have learned more during these past three months in Greece than in the past three years I have been in college.”</em></p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p style="text-align: right;"> <em>On entering the magnificently vaulted Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae: “Wow, I’m standing inside my art book!”</em></p></div>

While traveling through contemporary Greece, expert archaeologists train us to perceive the ancient Greek world as they do: as an object of analysis, love, and wonder that can teach us as much about ourselves as about the past.

Our classrooms are archaeological sites and museums, landscapes, and history itself. The shaping principle of the program is to explore the cultural and artistic resources that are uniquely accessible in Greece and around the Aegean Sea - rather than to conduct a traditional course in a classroom in Greece.  

Be ready to travel!

The program involves extensive travel. While students spend some time in Athens, the major portion of each course is spent in blocks of travel-study away from the capital, at important sites on mainland Greece and on the Greek islands. In addition to Athens, the major sites visited include Mycenae, Pylos, Knossos, Olympia, Delphi, Delos, and the Byzantine centers of Thessaloniki, Meteora, Mystras (Sparta) and Monemvasia. During the entire 3-month experience, students are immersed in the local culture. 

Course work

The program provides a foreign study experience with minimal prerequisites and no language requirement. It satisfies Lake Forest College’s cultural diversity requirement. Students can earn credit in a number of departments and programs: art, sociology and anthropology, philosophy, communication, history as well as religion and classical studies. To receive credit in a specific major or minor program, students should speak with the appropriate chairperson.

The program is structured as four sequential one-credit courses. A four-credit hour preparatory course is given on the Lake Forest College campus during the 7 1/2 week first half of spring semester, from mid-January to early March: Greek Civilizations 201, “Ancient Greece: Life, Thought, and the Arts.” The next three courses are taught on site in Greece, for roughly 3 1/2 weeks each, each carrying four semester hours academic credit. In these courses students discover and explore the Bronze Age, the Classical and Hellenistic-Roman periods, and Byzantine-Medieval Greece. Each course engages archaeological, historical, artistic, philosophical, sociological, anthropological and cultural aspects of the period covered.

Students completing the Program in Greece will thus receive 4 LFC credits for academic work in the spring semester. The program encourages students in the program to pursue the minor in Classical Studies, for which two elective courses are required in addition to the 4 credits from the program. For further information please go to the Classical Studies home page.

Students normally enroll for the sequence of four courses. Students pay spring semester tuition, plus a program fee and travel costs to and from the program in Greece. A summary of estimated expenses for student participants while in Greece will be posted on the web page in the second half of the fall semester (November). For more information, please contact the Program Chair.

Since first offered in 1970, the program has attracted students from virtually every liberal arts major, including those in the natural sciences. Upon return, many students continue their pursuit of classical studies through course work, tutorials and independent study on campus, as well as through other forms of study and work involving archaeology, art history, sociology, anthropology and other fields.


To be eligible for participation in the program, students must have at least sophomore standing, a good academic record (normally B- or better) and conduct record, and two faculty references, in addition to completing all required campus documents for off-campus study. 


Greek Civilization 202
Lion Gate, Mycenae
(Agamemnon’s Palace)

Greek Civilization 203
Parthenon, Athens

Greek Civilization 204
Osias Loukas, Central Greece

imageGreek Civilizations 202: Greece in the Bronze Age

Study of Minoan and Mycenaean cultures, e.g., the settings of Homer’s epics, with visits to such sites as King Minos’s palace at Knossos and Agamemnon’s citadel at Mycenae.

imageGreek Civilizations 203: Greece in the Classical to Roman Ages

  Study of some of the most important sites in Greek history such as Dephi (the site of Apollo’s oracle), Corinth (where St. Paul read one of his famous letters), Delos (the legendary birth place of Apollo and Artemis), and the Athenian acropolis.

imageGreek Civilizations 204: Greece in the Byzantine to Medieval Ages

  Study at major sites of the Byzantine Empire such as the monasteries at Meteora, perched on their rocky fingers, and the fortress and monasteries of Mistra, one of the busiest cities of the Byzantine world.