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American College of Thessaloniki

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Thessaloniki, Greece




2.5 GPA and good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

Fall 3/4, Spring 9/24, Summer 3/4

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

White Tower promenade

Here is your chance to experience the unspoiled areas of northern Greece, which offer natural beauty without hordes of foreign tourists. You will mix academics with culture and history by visiting important archaeological, religious and cultural centers, viewing splendid collections of artifacts and materpieces, and exploring major cities, small and scenic islands. In this unique program you will live surrounded by thousands of years of history - Alexander the Great, Aristotle, classial Athens - and at the same time experience' modern Greece as a crossroads between Western and Eastern cultures.

For the student seeking a unique study abroad site in Greece, the American College of Thessaloniki is ideal. Thessaloniki is the ‘road less taken’, a culturally intact city, small, diverse, youthful, at the crossroads of east and west and the gateway to Southeastern Europe.

American College of Thessaloniki offers:

Greek Cultural Immersion
With a student body comprised of 50% Greeks and international students from approximately 30 countries as well as a plethora of community outreach opportunities, visiting students find a valuable cultural immersion experience at ACT.

Vibrant Student Life
ACT is a warm, welcoming and active community that offers students the chance to explore and develop through a wide range of workshops, clubs, field trips and volunteer opportunities.

Cultural & Historical Exploration
Students visit the birthplace of Alexander the Great, Orthodox Monasteries dating from 12th Century, the beautiful beaches of Halkidiki and of course the enchanting city of Thessaloniki!

Strong Student Support Services
The Internation Programs Office has staff dedicated to assist students with all needs. Pre-departure, staff in the ACT Boston office are there to answer questions and provide students with the support they need. Once students arrive in Greece, staff orients them with the campus and life in Thessaloniki and provides information on co-curricular opportunities and ways to engage with Greece outside of the classroom. ACT even provides an on-site doctor in the event of health issues.

Academic Program

Alexander the Great

Coursework is available in the following areas:
• Greek language
• Business and Technology (Computer Science, & CMIS)
• Arts and Sciences (English, History & International Relations, Psychology, Philosophy and Social Sciences)

The campus primarily hosts Greek students as well as international students from other European countries.

ACT's current course listings can be found here: ACT Course Listings

Program Dates

Please see ACT web page for current session dates. Sessions run approximately as follows:
Spring: Late January – Early June
Summer: Late June – Early July
Fall: mid-September – mid-December

Excursions and Cultural Activities

ACT offers excursions and community service opportunities for students. For more information on these opportunities, please visit: ACT Trips

ACT maintains a Flikr ablum of past excursions that can be viewed here:ACT Excursions Flikr Album

Volunteer Opportunities

ACT offers a variety of opportunities for students to participate in local service projects. More information can be found here: ACT Service Learning OpportunitiesPDF or ACT Community Service

For More Information

Amy Bowes, Advisor
The University of Iowa
Office for Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353


White Tower

Life in Thessaloniki

YouTube Video: Life in Thessaloniki

Lonely Planet: Introducing Thessaloniki

National Geographic: 20 Must-See Places

European Youth Capitol 2014

The ‘European Youth Capital’ is a title awarded to a European city for the period of one year, during which it will be given the chance to showcase, through a multi-faceted program, its youth-related cultural, social, political and economic life and development.

The first European Youth Capital was Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in 2009.

For 2014, Thessaloniki hosts the relatively new but already successful institution of the European Youth Capital.

Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and has been characterized as the “Greek Youth Capital” for its large number of permanent young residents. More than 100.000 students give to the city a completely unique pulse and vibe.

The 2014 program includes a plethora of cultural events (such as concerts, an exhibition of local graphic novel artists, etc), sports events, such as a small marathon and a rugby match, debates, conferences and meetings of voluntary youth organizations across Europe in collaboration with the European Youth Forum.

Click here to visit the official website.


Greece is a modern European country, with a strong democratic government, and a developing economy. Much of the population of Greece is concentrated in a few major urban areas, with Athens hosting about one third of the country's population.

The Greek mainland occupies the southern most tip of the Balkan peninsula, and it borders to the East with Turkey, and to the north with Bulgaria, F.Y.R.O.M., and Albania. To the south and the West, Greece is touched by the Lybian sea and the Ionian sea respectively.

The terrain of the mainland of Greece is mostly mountainous while its seas are sprinkled with more than 2000 islands. Historically, such terrain has induced the relative isolation and independence of its various population groups. These groups exhibit unique variations in culture under a homogenous Greek identity rooted in history and Christian religion.

Living Arrangements


Off campus housing apartments in a residential neighborhoods provided by ACT.

Rooms are all fully furnished (including kitchen appliances in individual studios or in common areas), and priority is given based on the date of application receipt. Both single and double-occupancy options exist. Off-campus housing locations are well served by the city’s reliable bus system with buses running at 10-15 minute intervals. In addition, during the fall and spring semesters the college provides bus service to and from campus.

For more information about housing options, please visit ACT's website.

For any questions about housing contact the Student Services Coordinator, Natalia Alexiou at:



It is your responsibility to book and pay for a flight to your program site, as airfare is not included in the program fees to give you maximum flexibility and control. Please use the arrival dates listed on ACT's Academic Calendar to help you decide on flights. If you arrive early, you will need to arrange your own housing until the official program begins.

Within Thessaloniki and around Greece, students will utilize public transportation such as buses, metro, and trains. Greeks are also very used to walking, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!


Prior to departure there were be a mandatory large group orientation for all Iowa students attending ACT. The orientation will discuss the Credit Approval Form, visa information, and registration. In addition, several returned students from ACT will be on hand to address questions students have about life in Thessaloniki, what to pack, classroom structure, etc.

ACT students are also required to complete the mandatory online Study Abroad orientation distributed through ICON prior to departure. Optional pre-departure sessions are available as well. Past topics have included: First-Time Solo Flyers, Packing, and Traveling in Europe. Information will be emailed directly to students and past information can be accessed here: Prepare for Departure.


This program is open to all UI students who are in both good academic and also disciplinary standing. Applicants must also meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. You must remain in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university until departure. If you are not in good standing at the end of the semester your acceptance will be revoked and you will be responsible for the associated withdrawal fees.

Participants are awarded U.S. letter grades, and the courses may not be taken on a pass/non-pass basis unless approved by Study Abroad prior to departure. The Greek visa requires that student take a full time load of courses (12 credit hours for Fall or Spring). No visa is needed for the summer term, so students are free to take whatever number of credits they wish, although 6 credits is full time for Financial Aid purposes.

Program Cost Sheet


ACT Summer 2017 Cost SheetPDF
ACT Spring 2016 Cost Sheet
ACT Fall 2016 Cost SheetPDF

These documents outline 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.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.


Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.


Federal Pell Grant recipients are eligible to apply for the Gilman Scholarship

There are five $1,000 scholarships available for Iowa students studying at ACT for the semester. For more information, make an appointment with Amy Bowes, the advisor for ACT, by calling 319.335.0353.

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.

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 deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100%
Portion of course fee: 100%

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.

How to Apply

ACT Application

Steps to Completing Your Application

• Schedule an appointment to meet with Study Abroad advisor by calling 319.335.0353
• Fill out Iowa Study Abroad Application
• Fill out ACT Application
Under "I have a promotional code", please enter: DE8HA2. This code associates your application with the University of Iowa.

Once ACT notifies you of your acceptance into the program, please work on filling out the required documents they provide you and make another appointment with Study Abroad to complete your departure documents.


Flight Information

It is your responsibility to book and pay for a flight to your program site, as airfare is not included in the program fees to give you maximum flexibility and control.

Visa and Passport Information


To study abroad, you must have a signed, valid passport from your country of citizenship that will not expire for a minimum of 6 months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or it's about to expire, make sure you apply or renew as soon as possible! US Citizens can refer to the US Department of State’s website for more information regarding passports.


A student visa is permission by a foreign government to live and study in that country. It typically comes in the form of a stamp that is inserted directly into your passport. All US passport holders staying in Greece longer than 90 days must obtain a student visa prior to departure. You cannot apply for the visa more than 90 days prior to arrival in Greece. Upon arrival in Greece, you will also be required to register with the local police station. The on-site staff will assist you with this process. Please reference theGreek Consulate Webpage to see what is required for the visa.


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 online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON 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.

Helpful Websites

ACT's Study Abroad Guide
Visitor's Guide

Student Blogs

Lauren Bannon, Spring 2015

Study abroad eve
One month in... the do's and don'ts
Why everyone should travel solo at least once...