Archaeological Field Work: Excavation, Workshops and Digital Technologies

CYA is offering a Gap Year program to all those who are passionate about antiquity. By studying the lives of the ancients, we can further understand ourselves.

This unique 10-week program explores the relationship between ancient Greek and modern-day practices via hands-on, experiential learning. It makes evident the involvement of many disciplines in the understanding and interpretation of our past. Through active participation in an archaeological dig in the Athenian seaside suburb of Voula, you will be introduced to the astonishing world of archaeological fieldwork. The next component of this experiential learning will cover lab-work as an opportunity to introduce you to methods of interpretation of the material culture brought to light during the excavation. This will include artifact processing and cataloging as well as artifact restoration and preservation. The engagement with new technologies in archaeological research will provide a basic theoretical knowledge on the state of the art in digital archaeology, including GIS, remote-sensing technologies, tablet-based field recording, data management, and the usefulness of giving you real-world digital skills.

The experience will prepare you for the challenges of a rapidly changing field and a rapidly changing world. The skills acquired can also be used in a number of other fields from computer science to fine arts.

Trips to the island of Aegina, the island of Crete, Delphi and the Peloponnese will allow the broadening of perspective and expansion of worldview

e-Portfolio Workshop 

Portfolios have always been an important component of the resumes of creative arts students. However, they have now become a key element in the documentation of work done by all students while studying, traveling, volunteering or interning, whether at home or abroad. It is for this reason that CYA is including it in the Gap Year experience. The e-portfolio workshop, led by a member of CYA's faculty, will guide you in the process of curating and sharing your work in a portfolio that fully documents your intellectual and social development during your Gap Year. In so doing, you will hone skills of selection, organization, presentation, and self-assessment, all of which are useful in many other areas of academic and professional life. 

Program Highlights
  • Visit sites of great importance in world civilization.
  • Participate in an excavation of a 2000-year old site at the outskirts of Athens.
  • Participate in excursions to the island of Aegina, the island of Crete, the Peloponnese & Delphi. 
  • Explore Athens, a modern & vibrant city where today's life is intertwined with its glorious past.
What’s Included in the Program
  • 3-weeks participation in the excavation at Aixonidai Halai in the Athenian suburb of Voula under the instruction & supervision of CYA faculty and the Director of the Excavation.
  • 1-week participation in laboratory work related to findings at Aixonidai Halai, guided by CYA faculty.
  • Day trip to the island of Aegina
  • 6-day Field Trip to the Peloponnese & Delphi 
  • 5-day Field Trip to the island of Crete
  • Visits to sites, museums, and points of historical and cultural interest: the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, Historical Walking Tour of Athens, etc. all guided by CYA faculty.
  • Visits to landmarks and points of interest such as the Greek Parliament, the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, guided by CYA faculty.
  • Entrance fees to all sites and museums visited in the course of the Program
  • Transportation during all trips as well as to/from the excavation site
  • Housing in CYA apartments in the residential neighborhood of Pangrati in central Athens
  • Hotel accommodations while on overnight Field Trips 
  • Lunch on weekdays in the CYA cafeteria while in Athens
  • Breakfast daily during overnight Field Trips
  • Orientation and acculturation activities such as Modern Greek language and culture classes by CYA faculty
  • Health insurance by CISI (including medical treatment for COVID-19)
  • Certificate following the excavation work
  • Certificate following the portfolio seminar
  • Pre-departure material 
  • Arrival day airport meet-and-assist service
  • Use of Library materials
  • Free Internet access in the CYA computer lab as well as free Wi-Fi for laptop users throughout the Academic Center and in the student apartments.
  • Assistance in obtaining a Greek SIM card
  • Support services
Program Learning Outcomes
  • Learn Survival Modern Greek.
  • Understand proper archeological excavation methodology and techniques while excavating at the site of Voula.
  • Get acquainted with aspects of field documentation, material culture, artifact processing and cataloging.
  • Engage with new digital technologies in archaeological research.
  • Learn how to keep an archaeological field journal
  • Learn how to create an e-portfolio.
Program Fees: $9,950
Program fees do not cover personal travel (including travel between home and Athens), meals other than those mentioned above, costs associated with obtaining a visa (if one is needed), personal belongings insurance, medical care not covered under the program's health insurance, personal expenses and incidentals.

Payment Schedule
  • A $300 deposit is due within 4 weeks of acceptance or the latest by May 1st. If application is submitted after May 1st, deposit must be submitted at the time of application. 
  • Full payment is due by July 1st. 
  • If you withdraw from the program before July 1st, all monies received will be refunded, including the $300 deposit.
  • If withdrawal is between July 1st and August 15, 80% of the program fees will be refunded.
  • if withdrawal is between August 16 and the official Arrival Date in Athens, 50% of the program fees will be refunded. 
  • If withdrawal is after the official Arrival Date, 10% of the program fees will be refunded. 
All payments must be in US dollars. Checks should be made payable to ‘College Year in Athens, Inc.'
For questions on any matters concerning finances, please contact the Bursar at [email protected]
Program Details

Program Dates:  September 16, 2021 – November 23, 2021
Duration of program: 10 Weeks
Participants must be at least 18 years of age when arriving in Athens.
Minimum Number of Participants: 5 *

* Note:  CYA reserves the right to cancel the program if the minimum number of participants has not been reached by July 15.  In such case all monies received, including the $300 deposit, will be refunded.  CYA recommends that you do not non-refundable airline tickets before July 15.

Essential Information

The program starts and ends in Athens. Transportation from your home country to Athens and back is the responsibility of the participant. Transportation between Athens and Voula, and during excursions is included in the program fee.
Enrolled participants will have access to detailed information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about the program. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: and

The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those participants who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Sunday 3:00-7:00 p.m.
Housing & Meals

Participants are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in residential apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms. Towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided. 
While the group is in Athens, a full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m.
Hotel accommodations on overnight excursions will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, in air-conditioned rooms with breakfast included.
Apply Early! CYA employs a rolling admissions policy. Since applications are considered only as long as space is available, CYA strongly encourages early application. When space is limited and there are two or more similarly qualified applicants, preference will be given to earlier applicant(s). Early application is, therefore, strongly recommended.
A complete application consists of the following:
  •     A statement of 500-800 words describing why and how this program would be a good fit for you and your interests.
  •     Your Resume, which should include contact information of two references.
  •     A high school Transcript.

When your application is completed, it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. As soon as a decision is made (typically within two weeks of completing your application), you will be notified by e-mail.

You may contact CYA's North American office at [email protected] with any questions regarding the Program.