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  • Locations: Heraklion, Greece
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Spring Break in Greece:
Cretan Civilizations

Crete group 3

Program Overview

Greece is awash by the Mediterranean and serves as a crossroad among three continents. Crete is an island which lies between the so-called East and West. As one of the largest island societies in the Mediterranean, Crete has served exceptionally in that networking area while it also holds a significant tourist, economic and social role for its surrounding countries. This course offers students the opportunity to literally dive into the Greek experience through an empirical study of its rich multifaceted culture as it is expressed today on the island of Crete. Field trips have been incorporated into the course requirements, exposing students to interdisciplinary ways of Eastern Mediterranean history, culture, traditions and society. Students are guided through the techniques of fieldwork and participant observation to attend family, household, village and city customs and practices as these all are valuable mechanisms for learning the social, economic, cultural, political and religious ways that underlie and make Greek culture distinctive and important at a Mediterranean level. Selected locations, such as archaeological, historic and cultural sites, farms, markets, local businesses, social networks and households, are part of those field trips. Traveling functions as a course requirement while students reflect on their Greek experiences through a looking-glass process.

Why Crete?

• The birthplace of the Minoan civilization and the Mediterranean Diet
• An eco-friendly, sustainable lifescape with UNESCO-NATURA sights
• One of the 21 World Smart Communities with ICT infrastructure
• The only EU location with locally-grown bananas and the top quality EVOO
• A region of 3 high ranking Universities, 4 Airports, 6 military bases and a USN base
• One of the most popular European destinations for ERASMUS students
• An economic region with the highest density of cooperatives per capita
• A hub of the oil and gas reserves in Greek EEZ, as well as a station of the EuroAsia interconnector cable connecting Israel with Cyprus
• A focal point of the Blue growth EU policy Constitution of Sea as well as of energy challenges and security
• A subtropical area in EU, a… paradise with more than 300 dpy of sunlight
• The home of “Thalassokosmos”, the only research aquarium in the Mediterranean
• A popular international coop destination for Drexel; more than 40 placements in 4 years
Underlying Research Themes:  Archaeology & Mythology, History & Folklore, Literature & Performance, Arts & Crafts, Local Economy, Politics & Governance, Rural & Urban Living, Fauna & Flora, Natural Environment & Climate, Organic Farming & Produce, Education & Research, Architecture, Mediterranean Diet, Tourism, Innovation, Identity & Culture Islandness, Syncretism.

By participating in this program, students will:
  • Integrate other courses with association and consolidation to/with the learning experience abroad
  • Connect with local business and social environment
  • Understanding Islandness and Nissology
  • Cultivating a community of co-op employers in Crete
  • Explaining University Research in Crete (--as part of the EU reality)
  • Elaborating how sustainability meets integrated cultural heritage in a hybrid learning Minoan crossroads
  • Taking the… virus “by the horns”: Manifesting Cretan vitality, creativity and resilience in times of adversity


Students will be registered for GST 231: Mediterranean Crossroads for 3 credits as a part of their spring term course load. Students must leave space for these 3 credits in their credit load, or will otherwise be billed for exceeding the 20 credit term maximum.

Pre-requisite: None. All undergraduate majors are welcome to apply for this program, including First Year students.
Requirements: Pre and post academic requirements. For details review the Greece Syllabus 2021 The final grade will be based on a combination of assignments and class preparation and participation.
Instructor:  Dr. Maria Hnaraki (also spelled “Chnaraki”), a professor of anthropology, folklore and ethnomusicology, a writer and an accomplished scholar in the field, has extensively researched cultural identity expressions, traditions and customs, such as music and dance events in the Mediterranean, as well as investigated topics in nissology, experiential learning and hybrid educational environments. While the founding Director of Greek Studies at Drexel, Dr. Hnaraki created more than 30 university courses, several of which are unique in the USA, with the educational purpose of implementing an integral, holistic, interdisciplinary, academic approach to the Greek and Mediterranean reality.

Program CalendarCrete group 2

Arrival Date: March 19, 2022*
Departure Date: March 27, 2022
*Students may choose to arrive earlier for an extra cost of €30 per night paid directly to the hotel.

Prior to departure, students are required to attend an introduction/preparatory session. Details TBD.

Program Activities and Visits
Throughout this program, students will meet several resident specialists on-site for presentations and tours. For a detailed list of activities and visits, review the syllabus:

  • Archaeological, mythological, historic, literary, artistic and cultural sites
  • Co-operatives and research centers
  • Nature reserves, organic farms and vineyards
  • Organic farmers’ markets and open-air markets
  • Traditional settlements
  • Food production facilities
  • Cooking workshop
  • Cretan music and dancing class
  • Pottery workshop

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival, Welcome Dinner / Orientation
Day 2 Minoan Palace of Knossos, Archaeological museum, 
  Nikos Kazantzakis Tomb, Anopolis (Pottery Workshop)
Day 3 Traditional Village of 10 saints, Gortyna Archaeological Site, 
  Matala Bay Neolithic Caves 
Day 4 Terra Creta Olive Oil Company (Kolymbari), 
  «Manna» Cretan Rusks Bakery (Platanos), Chania Old Port 
Day 5 Farmers Market, Region of Crete: Governor’s Office, 
  Ostrich Farm (Episkopi), Creta Channel
Day 6 Arkadi Holocaust Monastery, Rethymno Old Town 
Day 7 Kazantzakis Museum, Boutaris Winery, Mediterranean Aquarium
Day 8 Dikti Dairy Products-Agricultural Cooperative of Lasithi Plateau
  Cave of Zeus, Agios Nikolaos Town
Day 9 Departure

For more details review the Greece Tentative Itinerary 2021

Program Fee - $1,500Crete group 4

Due November 15th: $500 Advance Payment + $25 application fee

Due January 15th: $1,000 Final Payment Due
All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Limited scholarships may be available through the George and Vasiliki Harris Endowed Scholarship Fund in Greek Studies.

Included in Program Fee:

  • In-country transportation by private van and driver
  • Guides for all scheduled excursions
  • Expert guide/resident specialist fees and entrance fees to historic sites
  • Private tours and tastings with the owners-operators of an organic winery, olive oil producers
  • Scheduled music, dance, pottery and cooking classes, demonstrations and meals
  • 9 nights’ shared accommodation in double to quadruple occupancy in private apartments with private bathrooms
  • All continental breakfasts and dinners as well as several incidental group meals
  • On Call Emergency Assistance

Not Included in Program Fee (Approximate):

  • Round-trip airfare: $1500
  • Airport transfer: $45
  • Spending money: $250
  • Meals: $80
  • Passport: $140
  • Extra night in hotel: (before program start): €30/night
ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

  • Housing and Meals: Students will be provided rooms at, a family, friendly run establishment. That informal, cozy atmosphere makes them feel relaxed and at home. The location of the apartments at Kokkini Hani is geographically ideal as housing is located only 15 minutes away from the cosmopolitan capital city of Heraklion. All apartments have two bedrooms, kitchen, lounge, bathroom, wc, air conditioning and balcony overlooking the pool or gardens and are equipped to a high standard with all necessary appliances. Cleaned daily and fresh bedding and towels provided. Pharmacy and supermarket a few meters away. The “Ideal”, on-site taverna will be serving breakfast and dinner. The variety of dishes served represent the famous Mediterranean-Cretan Diet, prepared daily with fresh produce picked from the apartments’ garden by “Mrs. Maria”.
  • Is a visa required for US citizens? American and Canadian students are not required to have a visa for this program (since their stay is less than 90 days), but must have a passport. Students of other nationalities should confirm visa requirements on the Greek Embassy website.
  • Crete Co-op positions are available . Interested students should contact the Steinbright Career Development Center. Students who co-op in Crete will be eligible for special funding through the Vasiliki Scholarship in order to participate in this ICA prior to starting co-op.
  • This Intensive Course Abroad being offered in March 2022 is dependent upon the viability of travel to Greece as determined by Drexel University administration. Participants may be required to comply with COVID-19-related country entry requirements such as a negative PCR test, proof of the COVID-19 vaccine, etc. All participants will also be expected to follow any COVID-19 protocols as directed by local authorities and Drexel Education Abroad during the period abroad and upon return as appropriate.

Grading Scale
A+      A   A-        B+   B   B-    C+      C-       D+      D   F      
97-100 93-96 90-92 87-89 83-86 80-82 77-79 73-76 70-72 67-69 60-66 59 and below


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2022 11/15/2021 11/29/2021 03/19/2022 03/27/2022
NOTE: This program is a Freshman Friendly ICA and First Year students are welcome to apply.