Greek Island Architecture, Culture and Identity (Athens, Naxos, Amorgos, Santorini, Tinos)

Application Deadline:  April 1


NOTE: This course starts in Athens and ends on the island of Tinos.  Students should arrange to depart from Greece the day after the end of the program, in order to have time for their ferry connections between Tinos and Athens.  

This four-week course (Greek Island Architecture, Culture, and Identity) is a voyage into the life and architecture of four Cycladic islands aiming to offer students an opportunity to consider questions of dwelling, belonging, and identity through an investigation of their practices of making sustainable architecture. The overarching aim of this course is to explore the meaning of unique island spaces: the private, the public, and the communal. We aim to understand what “dwelling” really means when it is fully engaged with the environment, histories and local practices.

The course “Greek Island Architecture, Culture and Identity” will take place on four different islands, each revealing a unique history and tradition. We will spend five days on each island sketching, observing, writing, interviewing, studying, and exploring what everyday life is like in these communities. The final seven days will be spent on Tinos where students will be invited to work collectively and suggest solutions to the various challenges they observed. The course will conclude with a two-day forum on these matters, a forum joined by artists, researchers and architects.

Course Details


This course requires a minimum enrollment of 10, with a maximum enrollment of 18.


60 contact hours

Essential Information

The course starts in Athens and ends on the island of Tinos. Students should make international travel arrangements accordingly.  Transportation between destinations of the course, as well as during day excursions, is included in the course fee.

 This course involves extensive travel.  Be wary of overpacking.  Pack only what you can carry comfortably, because you will be required to check- in and out of accommodations for each stay / travel segment of this course. It will also be useful to bring with you travel-size cosmetics.

Enrolled students will have access to detailed arrival information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about residing in Athens. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: and


Students are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in either CYA student apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens or in hotel accommodations arranged by CYA. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms; towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided. Hotel accommodations will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, with air-conditioned rooms.


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 students 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.


When class 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.  While traveling, breakfast will be offered at the Hotel.  Some weekday lunches are also included while traveling. A welcome and a farewell dinner are also included in the course fee.

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Application deadline: April 1