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City of Athens: Bronze Age to Roman World

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



Athens, Greece


3 credit hours, resident credit


Enrolled in CLSA 3821, 2.75 GPA or higher, sophmore standing or above, meet current entry requirements for Greece

Application Due:

February 1, 2023

Future Offerings

This program is offered on odd years. The next offering is tentatively scheduled for summer 2025. The information below is for illustrative purposes and subject to change.

This unique trip opportunity consists of two parts: an on-campus seminar to prepare students for travel in Athens and a three-week stay in Athens. Both parts are led by a faculty member at UIowa and attended by UIowa students, giving participants the opportunity to study and travel alongside a professional in the field and their friends and classmates whom they will continue see long after their return from Athens!

Academic Program

City of Athens is a two-part program.

During Spring semester, students participate in a lecture course held at UI’s main campus, or asynchronously online for Distance Learning students or those with scheduling conflicts (part one). All students interested in attending the study abroad portion must be enrolled in this class (CLSA:3821). This class will introduce students to the art, archaeology, and literature of ancient Athens from the Bronze Age to Roman period.

During the course, students are challenged to critically examine key objects and monuments in context; read and understand literary, political, and philosophical ideas produced in Athens; and evaluate modern arguments on the reconstruction of ancient Athenian life and culture. Through various exercises, including a research paper and presentation, students will gain an understanding and appreciation of the value and relevance of Athenian culture for the modern world.

Participants will receive 3 semester hours of credit for this portion of the program.

During the Summer session, students participate in site and museum visits, as well as other excursions and activities, in Athens itself (part two). Students will directly engage with ancient monuments and objects they have studied in the Spring semester seminar course. Each day in Athens is packed with exciting sites and museum visits, all led by the instructor of the spring course (part 1). The goal of this course is to make the classroom material come to life and deepen students’ appreciation for the rich culture of ancient Athens.

Participants will receive 3 semester hours of credit for the Study Abroad portion of the program.

Faculty Director

Debra Trusty came to the University of Iowa in 2017 as a lecturer of Classics. Her research interests include Bronze Age Greek archaeology and material culture, Mycenaean ceramics, ceramic studies and analyses, prehistoric cooking ware vessels, early state political economies, craft production, food preparation and consumption, and ancient technologies.

Debra Trusty

Dr. Trusty has taught a wide range of classes on campus, including:

  • Classical mythology (CLSA:2016)
  • Hero, God, Mortal: Literature of Greece (CLSA:1010)
  • Love and Glory: Literature of Rome (CLSA:1020)
  • Classics and Cinema (CLSA:1809)
  • Myth Makers of the Classical World (CLSA:3016)
  • City of Athens: Bronze Age to Roman World (CLSA:3821)
  • Food in Ancient Mediterranean Society (CLSA:3836)
  • Greek Archaeology and Ethnohistory (CLSA:3235)
  • Classical and New Testament Greek (CLSG:1002)
  • World of Cicero: 3rd semester Latin (CLSL:2001)

Her favorite part of working at UI is engaging with the students and helping them explore their interests in the ancient world. In 2019 Dr. Trusty directed her first a study abroad program that took students to Athens (City of Athens) and in June 2022 she led a new program for the Honors Program (Greece: Ancient Perspectives, Modern Eyes) which lasted for 21 days and took students to Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Epidaurus, Corinth, and Delos.

You can learn more about her here.

Cultural Activities

Students will engage in a variety of activities focused on ancient and modern cultural life. Activities may include:

  • A walking tour of central Athens, where students will see first-hand how ancient and modern Athens interact in a bustle of excitement and energy
  • Instructor-led tours of the Acropolis (which holds the famous Parthenon and other structural marvels), the new world-renown Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the ancient Agora, the Kerameikos, and many, many other sites
  • An outing to Aristotle’s Lyceum, where some of history’s most important writers and thinkers came to study for hundreds of years throughout antiquity
  • A journey through the hills of Athens where the ancient Athenian Assembly met to discuss laws and make important political decisions
  • Visits to some of the best museums Athens has to offer, including those that cover more recent or contemporary topics, like the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Islamic Art museum, and Jewish Museum
  • Optional excursions include attending a Greek dancing theater, touring Byzantine churches around the city, and scoping out the contemporary art scene.

Program Dates

May 29 - June 19, 2023

*Note: This course is typically offered every other year, in odd years.

For More Information

Information Session Recording:

For more details about this programs please contact Faculty Director Debra Trusty or Program Coordinator Lindsay Budde


The capitol and largest city in Greece, Athens is one of the world's oldest cities with a recorded history spanning 3,400 years. The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon.

The Parthenon is the greatest and finest sanctuary of Ancient Athens. Dedicated to its patron, the goddess Athena, it still dominates the center of the modern city from the rocky crag known as the Acropolis.


The history of Greece is one of the longest of any country, having been continuously inhabited since 270,000 BC. Considered the cradle of Western civilization, Greece is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Students stay in a hotel in central Athens, sharing a double or triple occupancy room with one or two other participants. Each hotel room has a private bathroom.


If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements

Students will receive instructions for booking flights after the Confirmation Deadline (in early March). A suggested group flight will be shared with the group and students will make their own arrangements.

Those who do not have extensive travel experience are encouraged to book the suggested group flight.

Local Transportation

Transportation for all course activities is provided, including a group airport pickup and drop-off at the beginning and end of the course.

COVID-19 Protocols

For courses traveling abroad, participating students and faculty will be required to follow host country laws and procedures regarding COVID-19. Requirements of each host country are subject to change with little notice. Requirements may include COVID-19 testing, proof of vaccination, or quarantine/isolation to enter the country or to access certain facilitates and services.


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in the 'City of Athens' on-campus lecture course for Spring 2023

  • GPA: 2.75 UI and cumulative

  • Sophmore standing or above

  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa

  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity: Students must meet entry requirements for the countries and venues visited by the program, including entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel and demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.


The total billed program cost for UI students is $5,584.

Included in the program cost:

  • Academic instruction and guided tours in Athens
  • 3 semester hours of UI credit
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport from and to Athens airport
  • Transportation for course activities, as needed
  • Welcome + Farewell dinners
  • Breakfasts at accommodation
  • 24/7 staff support
  • CISI International Travel insurance

Not included in the program cost (out of pocket expenses):

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Meals not included in the program fee
  • Personal expenses and personal travel
  • Any medical appointments needed prior to departure
  • Passport fees

Key points to note are:

  • Students are charged the $50 application fee after the application is submitted.
  • Course Fee, Study Abroad Fee, and CISI Insurance are billed to student’s U-bills after Summer Registration.  
  • All other amounts are estimated out-of-pocket expenses and will vary for each participant.

The total estimated costs (both U-bill charges and out-of-pockets expenses) for the program are available on the PDF2023 Cost Sheet. Financial Aid uses this document to determine participating students' funding awards for course.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply for Need-based, Merit, and Global Access Ambassador scholarships awarded by Study Abroad. You can apply for these scholarships before being accepted to the course. More information is available on the Study Abroad website.

Financial aid received to attend the University of Iowa (scholarships, grants, and loans) may be applied toward the program cost. Students are encouraged to speak with someone in Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

How to Apply

Students can apply via the online application below.

UI Study Abroad Application

The application process requires:

  • A completed online application, including a statement of interest in this program
  • A copy of your completed grades from MyUI
  • A photo of the information page of your passport (or check the box indicating you are applying for or renewing your passport)
  • A $50 application fee

Application Deadline

February 1, 2023

Confirmation Materials

After receiving an Acceptance email for the course, students will have a window of time to review all details and costs before confirming their spot. This involves submitting a Confirmation of Participation Form to the Study Abroad Portal (provided at acceptance) and confirms both their spot on the course and their committment to the course costs.

Confirmation Deadline: TBD

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.