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General News

Free Summer School on Greek Culture and Civilization for Greeks Abroad from the U.S.

HOUSTON, TX – The Birthright Hellas Committee of the Hellenic Cultural Center of the Southwest (HCC-SW), in collaboration with the Hellenic Open University, announced 25 places for a free summer school on Greek Culture and Civilization from Ancient Times to Modern Era which will take place in the historic medieval settlement of Mystras in Laconia, Greece, July 25-August 7. The program will include applications from Greeks abroad from the U.S. who are U.S. citizens. The program is under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Classes will be held at the Institute of Byzantine Studies of the University of Peloponnese in Mystras: http://inevyp.kalamata.uop.gr/?page_id=149&lang=el.  Participants will stay at the nearby Mystras Palace Hotel: https://www.mystraspalace.com/el/.

Excursions and guided tours will be organized in the wider area of Laconia and Messinia.

The program consists of three-hour daily lectures and discussion meetings on the three periods of Greek culture and civilization (ancient, medieval/Byzantine, and modern/ contemporary). Furthermore, there will be corresponding activities on the topics covered by the meetings, mainly guided tours and excursions.

Among the sites to be visited are Αncient Sparta and Sparta’s Archeological Museum, Ancient Messini (Ithomi), Diros Cave and Kastania Cave, Monemvasia, the Koumantareios Portrait Gallery (Sparta), Cape Tainaron and Oracle, and the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil (Sparta).

Free accommodation, meals, and transportation

Accommodation will be offered for free with double rooms for 14 nights including breakfast and one meal per day. Transportation to the sites of excursions and guided tours as well as entrance fees (where applicable) will be covered by the organizer.

The organizer will not cover transportation to Mystras from Athens airport or any other airport and back.

The participants in the summer school must be between 18-28 years old; be students (undergraduates, postgraduates, or doctoral students) or have a background of tertiary education; have a Greek ancestral background (1st or 2nd or 3rd generation or more Greek ancestors); send a motivation letter, which will state the reasons for participating in the summer school – the Motivation Letter template available here: https://shorturl.at/agBS3.

Results will be announced in May 2024.

The criteria for selection: Greek ancestral background, the evaluated Motivation letter, and enrollment for undergraduate or postgraduate studies at a higher institution (60% of the participants will come from the undergraduate level and 40% from the postgraduate level).

For more information and to complete the two-step application to the program, visit: www.hcc-sw.org/projects/summer-school-2024.

About Birthright Hellas Committee

In addition to the support of the Greek Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HCC-SW Birthright Hellas is also proudly supported by several prominent Greek-American organizations, including the Federation of Hellenic Medical Societies of North America, Pancretan Association of America, Hellenic Bioscientific AssociationNational Hellenic Students Association, and United Hellenic American Societies of California.

A news release notes: “The supporters share the commitment to preserving and promoting Greek heritage and culture. Their combined efforts are a testament to the importance they place on connecting individuals with their roots and providing opportunities to explore and experience Greece. Join with the initiative of these leading Greek-American organizations and make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The organization extends a special invitation to parents, grandparents, uncles, and young Greek-Americans to share the exciting news about HCC-SW: Birthright Hellas. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are encouraged to inform their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. All young Greek-Americans are also encouraged to spread the word among their peers. By sharing this program, you can help provide a meaningful and life-changing experience for the next generation of Greek-Americans. So, reach out to your loved ones and let them know about HCC-SW: Birthright Hellas today: https://www.hcc-sw.org.”

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