ACT: The Road Less Traveled, The Experience of a Lifetime

September 18, 2021

For the Greeks living in America, Greece will always be home – a land of mythical proportions, great natural beauty, and classic postcard images.

ACT, the American College of Thessaloniki, situated in Northern Greece, stands at the crossroads of cultures and civilizations, a place of beautiful contradictions where one can relive history and trace the evolution of western thought. For years, Greek American youth, alongside students from across the globe, have enrolled as Study Abroad students, for a summer, a semester, a year, or to complete their studies at ACT, pursuing degrees in Business, Tourism, Political Science and International Relations, Computer Science, Psychology, English, and Communication Studies.

Students get the chance to be acquainted, and re-acquainted with the Hellenic culture, language, history, and hospitality, while also building their resume through certificate programs, internships and practicums.

ACT is a division of Anatolia College, one of the leading educational institutions in Greece. Anatolia, offering Pre-K to postgraduate education, was established in 1886. ACT carries on a long tradition of academic excellence, promoting both innovative learning and community engagement.

The undergraduate and graduate programs at ACT are taught in English and are accredited in the United States by NECHE – the only institution to have such an accreditation in Northern Greece – and validated in Europe by Open University. Available certificates also include Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Oracle, Hellenic Studies, and Sea Sailing.

Its vast campus encompasses the 4,500 square meters Bissell Library, one of the most sophisticated, private facilities of its kind in Southeast Europe, and the Stavros S. Niarchos Technology Center, which gives students access to the latest tools in information technology. It is the ideal environment for ACT’s diverse and multicultural group of students, faculty and staff, as it facilitates learning through the sharing of experiences.

What makes learning there inspiring, however, is definitely the highly-skilled ACT faculty. With degrees from leading universities in the United S, the UK, and Greece, they are passionate about teaching and strive to instill in students the desire to pursue academic and professional excellence and personal enrichment. The small class sizes, consisting approximately of 20 students each, helps faculty tailor their courses to student needs, and students’ contributions are acknowledged, with plenty of opportunities for personalized attention.


Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece; a true crossroads between East and West, and a gateway to Southeastern Europe. Founded in 315 BC, historic Thessaloniki is now a modern seaport city at the heart of a region of over one million inhabitants, renowned for its wide avenues, quaint squares, tree-lined streets, neoclassical buildings, Byzantine monuments, historical museums, modern theaters, ancient ruins, and warm hospitality. Visitors discover tasteful restaurants, hip cafes, bustling clubs, and elegant shops.

Most importantly, Thessaloniki is a lively university town with well over 100,000 university students. Literally, more than 1 out of every 10 residents is a student. With a large student population, this vibrant city invites and welcomes young people from all over the world.

The beautiful Chalkidiki peninsula is an easy jaunt away from Thessaloniki and ACT for a weekend or even a quick swim on a day trip. With more than 350 miles of coastline, Chalkidiki offers some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, including 46 that have been awarded the Blue Flag. But Chalkidiki is more than sun (it boasts a near tropical climate with minimal rain), sea (turquoise waters – the closest thing to the Caribbean away from the Caribbean), and beaches. It is home to numerous entertainment and cultural events, more than 20 archaeological sites, extraordinary monasteries dating back to the 10th century, and historical sites such as Stagira (where Aristotle was born in 384 BC) and the Kokkines Petres caves at Petralona where the 700,000-year-old ‘archanthropos’ skull was discovered. Each of the three finger-like peninsulas of Kassandra, Sithonia, and Mount Athos have their own unique look, history and style.


Student life at ACT is as vibrant as the city around it. Students can join a wide range of clubs, societies and organizations, an active student government, cultural events, athletics, workshops, and special lectures. They can check out the city’s art, folklore, science venues, and museums. They can also participate in the Thessaloniki Contemporary Art Festival and in the International Film Festival for a chance to meet artists and filmmakers from around the world. For those into athletics, ACT offers sailing, tennis, basketball, soccer, scuba diving, mountain trekking, skiing, and canyoning.

Joining ACT trips is an ideal way for students to get the most out of their stay. Trips include guided walks around the city of Thessaloniki and its ancient walls, visits to nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Royal Tombs of the Macedonian dynasty in Vergina, or the monasteries of Meteora. Hikes on Mt. Olympus, a day of relaxation in Pozar hot baths, and sailing around the Mediterranean on a private boat also beckon. Not a minute goes to waste when you’re in Thessaloniki!

The full list of available trips offered can be viewed at  www.act.edu/trips.


An interactive approach to academics allows students to interact with the course content in unique ways such as field work, workshops, conferences, site visits, internships, and practicums.


ACT’s Student Services Office operates one of the largest community service programs in Greece. ACT collaborates with over 40 NGOs, providing students with the unique opportunity to volunteer and give back to the community while learning about the local culture, history, customs, and economy. Selected volunteer opportunities are available for students who are interested in developing or exercising skills in an environment tailored to their interests and studies.


Merit aid scholarships are available during the fall and spring semesters. ACT awards a $1,000 merit scholarship applicable towards the semester's tuition to study abroad students who have reached sophomore status at their home institution and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.6/4.0. Accepted students will be given the opportunity to apply for the scholarship by sending their most recent transcript to the admissions office.

Hellenic-American scholarships are also available and cover half tuition to eligible Hellenic American applicants. The friendly and helpful staff at the ACT International Programs Office is dedicated to assist students with all their needs, from as early as pre-departure.

ACT provides so much more than your typical semester abroad! The location, size, and distinctive academic and service learning opportunities make ACT an exceptional study abroad location unlike any other. Start your adventure and make the most of your studies abroad. Experience all that ACT has to offer and get more information on how to apply at abroad@act.edu or visiting www.act.edu/studyabroad. A complete schedule of classes can be found at www.act.edu/studyabroad/course-offerings.


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