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City of Athens: Bronze Age to Roman World

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



Athens, Greece


1 credit hour, resident credit


Completion of CLSA 3812, 2.75 GPA or higher, sophmore standing or above.

Application Due:

Spring 2021

Academic Program

The Parthenon in Greece

City of Athens is a two-part program. During Spring semester, students participate in a lecture course held at UI’s main campus. All students interested in attending the study abroad portion must be enrolled in this class. The class itself will introduce students to the art, archaeology, and literature of ancient Athens from the Bronze Age to Roman period. During this course, students are challenged to critically examine key objects and monuments in context, read and understand literary, political, and philosophical ideas produced by ancient Athenians, and evaluate modern arguments on the reconstruction of Athenian life and culture. Through various exercises, including a research paper, 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.

The second part of City of Athens is a ten day trip to Athens itself where students will directly engage with ancient monuments and objects they have studied for the past 15 weeks. Each day is packed with exciting sites and museum visits, as well as optional excursions. The goal of this class is to make the classroom material come to life and deepen students’ appreciation for the rich culture of ancient Athens. Participants will receive 1 semester hour of credit for this portion of the program.

Cultural Activities & Excursions

person walking down street in Athens
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.

Faculty Director

Debra Trusty

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's dissertation focused on the importance of cooking ware vessels in Mycenaean political economy and was entitled Ceramic Analysis of Cooking Ware Vessels and its Implications for Early State Political Economies. She received several grants for her research, including a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. Debra co-edited a recently published volume with Julie Hruby (Dartmouth) titled Cooking Vessels to Cultural Practices in the Late Bronze Age Aegean. She is involved in museum and fieldwork for the Petsas House excavations, directed by Kim Shelton (Berkeley) and has past experience with the Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project directed by Daniel Pullen (Florida State University) and Thomas Tartaron (University of Pennsylvania). She received her BA from the University of Evansville and MA and PhD from Florida State University.

Program Dates

The 2021 program dates will be posted in early Spring.

For More Information

For more details about this programs please contact Faculty Director Debra Trusty or Program Coordinator Leslie McNeilus


flag of Greece flying above ruins

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.

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.


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

Travel Arrangements

The acropolis in Athens

This information will be updated Spring 2021.


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • GPA: 2.75 UI and cumulative
  • Sophmore standing or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa


*Summer 2021 program costs will be updated in Spring 2021.

The total estimated cost of the program will be available here: coming Spring 2021
The Cost Sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

Financial aid received to attend the University of Iowa may be applied toward the program cost.

In addition, eligible program participants are encourage to apply for merit, need-based, and Diversity Ambassador scholarships awarded by Study Abroad. More information is available at:

How to Apply

*The application will be available here in Spring 2021.

The application process requires:
• Completed online application
• A copy of the information page of your passport (if you are applying for a passport, please indicate this on the application and you can bypass this requirement temporarily)

Withdrawal policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Within the first nine days after the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: $100
10-19 days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: 50%
20-44 days past the confirmation dedaline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100%
Portion of course fee: 100%

Acceptance Materials


Vaccinations and Health/Safety

We'll address many of the issues related to health and safety during the orientation sessions, but until then, our general advice is to check with your doctor about any health concerns you have before going abroad. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website for Greece-specific health information and visit your doctor or the Travel Nurse at Student Health for any vaccinations you might need.


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.