Hellenic Studies

Summer Greek Academy

The class content is primarily Homeric Greek, along with readings in classical and koine Greek. Students earn one year’s honors level credit at Barnstable High School, Hyannis (Cape Cod), Massachusetts, USA. Preparation classes for this intensive three-week program begin with the selected academy students after school in April. Students are required to have read Edith Hamilton’s Greek Mythology prior to the summer classes. The Homeric textbook is a college text. Usually 70-90 of the 120 lessons in the book are completed. Lessons are interspersed in between archaeological and historical site visits, hence the name, “Learning on the Run.” Once on the island of Rhodes, at the village of Soroni, there is more time for regular lessons, usually 5 hours per day until the program’s final day. At the end of the class, students take a written exam (although most grade evaluations are done through assessment of daily oral performance). In addition to oral and written assessment, students are required to submit an academic photographic essay, revealing the educational (“Paideia” in ancient Greek) impact of the academy experience on their lives. This essay must be submitted by September 1. Some students, in place of the essay, submit a multi-media documentation of the academy, including interpretations in video, photo, and oral formats.
This program is for highly motivated students who have a passion to learn ancient Greek and are ready for a college-preparatory academic challenge. Students are told that they are not on a tour of Greece, but are studying Homeric Greek with the whole of Greece as their classroom: what an opportunity! It is recommended that students have studied at least one year of Latin or Greek before taking this course. It is extremely rigorous—an Indiana Jones academic adventure—not for the faint-hearted, but when done, extremely rewarding and a source of inspiration for the rest of the students’ and teachers’ lives. For as Hesiod has written: “Long and steep is the path upward to excellence, and in the beginning, arduous; but whenever one arrives at the top, indeed, then the path becomes smooth.”


“Traveling to Greece with PAIDEIA was one of the most incredible experiences of high school for me. It was great to learn about Greece at home and then actually see it in real life. It was also great to live right in a traditional Greek village in Soroni. Overall, I learned so much from my trip with PAIDEIA and would encourage anyone else interested in visiting or learning about Greece to go.”

-Aaron Kanzer from Barnstable High School, MA