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American College of Thessaloniki

About

For the student seeking a unique study abroad site in Greece, the American College of Thessaloniki is ideal. Thessaloniki is the ‘road less taken’, a culturally intact city, small, diverse, youthful, at the crossroads of east and west and the gateway to Southeastern Europe.
With a student body comprised of 50% Greeks and international students from approximately 30 countries as well as a plethora of community outreach opportunities, visiting students find a valuable cultural immersion experience at ACT. ACT is the only NEASC-accredited academic institution in Northern Greece, and is also accredited by Open University.

ACT is a warm, welcoming and active community that offers students the chance to explore and develop through a wide range of workshops, clubs, field trips and volunteer opportunities.

Check out the ACT program below to see if this is the right program for you!

Website
www.act.edu
Founded
1886
Headquarters

17 Sevenidi st.,
P.O.Box 21021
55535 Pylaia
Greece

Reviews

Default avatar
Sara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with ACT was AMAZING! I really wanted to study abroad so I scrolled through all the programs that my home institution was advertising. I picked this one the second I saw it, without even considering another program and I’m so glad that I chose ACT. I learned so much not only in class, but also outside of class from the additional field trips that they offered every weekend (my favorites were hiking to the top Mount Olympus and visiting the Acropolis in Athens). There was always something to do. Studying here made learning so much fun!
My professor was very passionate and knowledgable about what he was teaching. He always made sure we understood what he was teaching before moving on to another subject. My class was on the Apostle Paul so it was really neat when our professor would take us on field trips so we could learn about something where it took places and visit places where Apostle Paul actually was! 
All of the ACT faculty and staff that I encountered were very kind and eager to help. It was easy to tell that they really wanted every study enrolled in the program to get the most out of their experience.
This program has certainly made a lasting impression on my life. I made so many new friends and so many new memories. If you’re considering studying abroad, I would HIGHLY recommend choosing the program at ACT!

Default avatar
Alyssa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had such an incredible time studying at ACT! My program just ended a couple days ago and I’m already wishing I was back. The 5 weeks went by in the blink of an eye so it’s important to make the most of your time. There were so many great trips organized for us to participate in, my favorite being the hike up Mount Olympus. However my actual favorite part of the trip had been the time I spent in class with such an incredible professor and other study abroad students. ACT really had me immersed in the environment, and I can’t wait to make a trip back to Thessaloniki in the future!

What would you improve about this program?
I can’t reallt think of anything major that needs to be improved upon. Loved it all!
Default avatar
Reilly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience at ACT was nothing short of amazing. A small campus and personalized classes with lots of support from their awesome staff made my adjustment to Greek living seamless. I would highly recommend the summer program, and my advice would be to participate in all of the extra excursions!! Such a great summer that I will never forget! Side tip: try to learn some Greek before you come, the locals really appreciate it!

What would you improve about this program?
Just some tiny improvements could be made such as the shuttle system to class only coming at certain times far apart so we all had to wait around before/after class everyday. Also more details about proper footwear for certain excursions would have been nice as there were several times I had to climb copius amounts of stairs in sandals because they didn't let us know to wear proper runners. Just minor things!
Default avatar
Genesis
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was absolutely the most amazing experience I've ever had in my life. It opened me to new friendships as well as a new culture. I put myself in uncomfortable situations like asking a local Greek how to get somewhere with very poor/limited Greek speaking skills. This allowed me to get comfortable speaking Greek little by little. The American College of Thessaloniki is a small school, which is good because it helps form a closer bond to your classmates/locals.

What would you improve about this program?
This program can be improved by providing a better bus schedule. Perhaps one that runs at more times, which would be convenient for students going to and coming back from school. Also, the food choices at school are very limited.
Default avatar
Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I definitely recommend taking Sea Sailing while at ACT. You get to be on a sailboat twice a week in Greece during sunset - what could be better? You are on the boat for every class - even those that are about safety or navigation and don't require you to leave the dock. Greece has great weather and it is thus relatively warm and nice for most of your time sailing.

The professor, George, is great. He is friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive. The class is rigorous at first and requires a lot of memorization. However, once you have all of the information down it's smooth sailing from there ;)

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Reilly Hutchinson

Reilly is an active and outgoing university student who is passionate about the environment and loves to meet new people. You can find her enjoying the wildlife of Northern Ontario or daydreaming about her next big adventure.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because its website stood out to me and was very easy to navigate. I did some research and found some awesome reviews on their Facebook page, and I got so excited to learn more! I attend a small university in Ontario so the idea of studying at ACT was appealing to me because it is a small campus as well. Once I started researching all the fun things to do in Greece, I knew that I had to go!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The staff at my university contacted ACT directly for me and helped me to submit my application. Once I got accepted, the ACT staff started emailing me directly about what I needed to do in order to prepare for my stay in Thessaloniki. They even sent me a detailed Study Abroad guide that answered all my questions! All I had to do on my own was book my flight and start packing. I felt super comfortable asking for help on both ends, and they answered all my inquiries (I had lots) in a timely manner.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would advise someone going to Greece to make an attempt at learning some of the language. The locals really appreciate it, and although most people will speak at least a bit of English, it would have been helpful to know some Greek in certain situations.

Also, book your flights to other places early if you go during the summer. It’s tourist season, so lots of the prices get super high if you book last minute. Make plans in advance because your time will be over before you know it!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average week in this program looks like this: Classes ran from Monday-Thursday. Most people took just one course, but you can also take two! The afternoons and evenings were spent going to the beach, going for coffee (try the freddo espresso) to chat with friends and locals, and grabbing an authentic Greek meal such as gyros or bread and tzatziki for dinner! Then on the weekends, we explored exciting museums, cities, monasteries, and churches.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear heading into my time abroad were fears about travelling alone. I had to learn to be organized, keep my head up to watch where I was going, and make sure to be on time for all of my flights. Once I got to Thessaloniki, I knew that I would make tons of friends – and I did! After I had done it by myself once, it was a piece of cake. Travelling alone can be such a boost of confidence and independence, just do your research and make the plans early!

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Maria Kyriakidou

Job Title
Professor and Chair, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences
Maria Kyriakidou holds degrees in History and Archaeology, Anthropology and Modern Greek Studies from Greece, the USA and the UK. She has been teaching courses on Greek history, politics and gender at ACT since 1997 and she is currently the Chair of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences. She has published articles and books on topics related to her areas of expertise.
Maria Professor and Chair, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at ACT

What is your favorite travel memory?

One of my favorite moments was entering the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus with my summer program students one July day at sunset.

We sat on the same seats where ancient spectators used to sit and watched an ancient Greek tragedy. Students were prepared in advance about the plot and one of them recited a monologue from the play as we were waiting.

At the end, another student commented that the way she perceives the art of acting had changed forever.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current institution?

During my years at the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT), I grew in multiple ways: as a professor, a researcher and as an administrator.

I teach a wide range of classes to a great number of students with different cultural backgrounds and this enriches my multicultural understanding.

My administrative position as the Chair of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences gives me the opportunity to create new partnerships and a variety of programs in my fields of interest and work closely with amazing students and professors from diverse areas of the USA and Canada.

What makes your institution unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

As one visitor to ACT once told me all employees at the institution (administrators, professors, and staff) think of ACT as their home. We all have a special tie to our professional environment and to each other and what characterizes us all, is collegiality and efficiency.

Most of us have worked at the college for many years and we are quite committed to it, but we are also able to make newcomers feel at home.

Small class size helps in many ways and especially in the enrichment of the teaching and learning experience.

Planning ahead and building a strong team spirit are key factors towards the success of our programs.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There are a lot of great stories and I keep in touch with most of my students after their return to their home institutions.

A recent one is that of a student who took one of my ancient Greek history classes at ACT and wrote back to me after a few years to ask for my advice and bibliography on an ancient Greek figure.

She needed my help because she has found a job in the film production industry in Los Angeles and was writing the plot for a children’s movie.

More Interviews