Classics Study Abroad | LCIS | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Classics Study Abroad | LCIS | SIU

Study Abroad

Study abroad can change your life. Sounds hokey, but it's true. You'll always remember your experiences abroad, when memories of even your better (and worst) college classes are just a blur. Study abroad changed my life (this is Dr. Johnson blabbing, as usual), deepening my commitment to the classics and altering my approach to the ancient Greeks (who became somehow more real once I had walked where they had walked). Study abroad often isn't cheap, and it won't always contribute to a speedy graduation. But for most people, your undergraduate years are the best chance to spend substantial time overseas. You may have more money later, but you'll almost certainly have less time. Take advantage of the opportunity. This is one set of loans, if it comes to that, that you won't mind paying off.

Ancient Legacies Program

Dr. Robert Hahn of the Philosophy Department leads annual summer trips (and occasional winter trips) to Egypt, Greece, and Italy. His trips are unique in at least three ways:

  • he aims to attract both community members and students, believing that mixed groups provide a better learning experience for all;
  • he emphasizes hands-on activities as a way of bringing the ancient world to life--and keeping it alive for us today;
  • he staffs his trips with faculty with different backgrounds, to provide an interdisciplinary, team-taught experience.

Dr. Hahn's trips are also informed by his own research, which concentrates on the intersection between ancient architecture and the origins of philosophy. One good candidate for the first philosopher, a Greek from Miletus (on what is today the west coast of Turkey), Anaximander, was born around 600 BC. It turns out, if Dr. Hahn is right, that Anaximander's view of the cosmos was profoundly influenced by the architects who were building the first large-scale stone buildings in Greece. Those architects, in turn, had learned much from the Egyptians, who had been building works in stone for thousands of years by the time the Greeks started--hence Dr. Hahn's Egyptian connection.

Members of the classics section sometimes accompany Dr. Hahn's trips. During the summer of 2007, David Johnson accompanied him to Greece (and hence made it into the picture below). He also accompanied Dr. Hahn to Italy and Greece in 2010.  For more information, check out the webpage for Dr. Hahn's trips at:


Dr. Hahn (center back) and Dr. Johnson (center front) with the group at Olympia, Greece.

Other Study Abroad Programs

College Year in Athens. A popular program that has served many classicists. The school offers courses on ancient, medieval and modern Greece, specializing, naturally enough, on courses studying the monuments of Athens and elsewhere in Greece. Students study for a semester or year in Athens and earn traditional college credit.

The Summer Program from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. An intense program from the American center for the study of Ancient Greece, located in the chic Kolonaki neighborhood of Athens. Students spend six weeks in Greece, divided about evenly between their base in Athens (from which they do trips to Athenian sites and sites in nearby Attica) and trips to the Peloponnese, central Greece, and Crete. The program serves a variety of students, including undergraduate Classics majors, graduate students in classics, college faculty, and high-school teachers. The American School has some fellowships available. Dr. J is an alumnus of the Regular Program of the school (a still more intensive, year-long program for advanced graduate students in classics): see him for details and nostalgic tales.

The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies at Rome. A leading program in Rome serving students from many colleges. A lovely facility on the Janiculum just across the Tiber from downtown Rome. Dr. J, while not an alumnus, knows several former instructors at the school, and can provide you with further contacts and info.

The SIU Study Abroad Office

For more information on Study Abroad at SIU, check out the Study Abroad Office in the Northwest Annex.