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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 9/27, 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 masterpieces, 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, classical 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.


You can find a list of ACT's current course options for study abroad students here: ACT Course Listings.

You can find full descriptions for the courses available to study abroad students on the Course Offerings page. Once on this page, select the session you plan to study abroad to find a list of the courses offered during that session.

Course Restrictions

Note that study abroad students cannot enroll in all of the courses listed on the Course Offerings page- study abroad students can only enroll in courses listed on the ACT Course Listings page.

Grading and Transcripts

Participants are awarded U.S. letter grades. The ACT transcript will be sent to the University of Iowa by the end of the following semester, and the grades and credit earned will be applied to the student’s U.I. degree requirements several weeks after that.

Program Dates

Please see for ACT’s Academic Calendar upcoming program dates.

Sessions run approximately as follows:

  • Fall: Mid-September – mid-December
  • Spring I: Late January – Early June
  • Spring II: Late June – Early July

Excursions and Cultural Activities

ACT offers a variety of optional field trips- note that many of these trips have an additional out of pocket cost. You can learn more about the field trips here.

Service Learning

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

For More Information

Cory Petersen, Senior Advisor and Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353
Fax: 319-335-0343


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 Housing 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 University of Iowa students who meet the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Preparedness and Maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibility abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA- Students must have at minimum 2.5 cumulative G.P.A. to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a G.P.A. below 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees. 
  • Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing- Applicants must have Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
  • Approval by American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by ACT and by UI Study Abroad, and students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programing presented by UI Study Abroad and ACT. 

Application Deadline

Applications for the Spring 2018 session are due on September 27, 2017.

Applications for the Fall 2018 and Academic Year 2017-2018 sessions will be available by February 2018.



Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa Ubill, while other costs will be out of pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Please refer to the following cost sheet for details on the costs associated with this program.

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.

The cost sheet below applies to the Summer 2017 and Fall 2017 sessions. The final cost sheet for upcoming session will be posted here by early fall 2017.

The cost sheet includes the following fees:

The cost sheet does not include the following optional additional costs:

These fees are all option and not included in the course fee for the program. The cost should be paid directly to ACT, failure to pay will result in ACT withholding transcripts.

  • Single Room Surcharge
  • Additional Course Credits (12 credits included)
  • Optional Trips/Outings

Contact ACT for more information about these optional additional costs.

In addition, personal travel expenses are not included in the cost sheet.

Costs charged to the Ubill

  • Application fee- (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disbursed.
  • Program Tuition, Housing, some meals, ACT health insurance- (charged shortly before departure.)
  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee- (charged shortly before departure.)
  • CISI Health Insurance- (charged shortly before departure.)

Out of Pocket costs (not charged to Ubill)

  • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids- (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse.)
  • Food- (paid by student at their discretion while abroad.)
  • Opt. Trips/Outings- (paid by student as needed to ACT.)
  • Single Room Surcharge- (paid at student’s discretion to ACT prior to departure, before financial aid/schoalrships disbursed.)
  • Local Transportation- (paid at student’s discretion while abroad.)
  • Passport- (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed.)
  • Visa & Residence Permit- (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse. Contact Cory Petersen for more information.)
  • Medical Exam/Immunizations- (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Personal expenses- (paid by student at their discretion while abroad.)
  • Greece Insurance- (paid by student as needed while abroad.)
  • Textbooks- (paid on arrival to Greece)
  • Cell phone- does not include usage fees- (paid as needed while abroad.)
  • Personal travel expenses- (paid by student as needed while abroad.)

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.

Note: In rare cases of withdrawal due to injury, illness or other significant and verifiable extenuating circumstances, a financial appeal process exists to consider the financial aspects of late withdrawal. Contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

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.

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
• Complete the UI Study Abroad Application. The non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
• Complete the ACT Application
. Under I have a promotional code, enter: DE8HA2. This code associates your application with the University of Iowa.


Acceptance decisions are made by ACT. Once you receive your official acceptance from ACT, your study abroad advisor and ACT will be in contact with further information about documentation you will need to complete the admission process.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

First Steps

You may be able to use financial aid and scholarships, to cover some of the costs of this program. Take a look at the Financial Aid section of the UI Study Abroad web site for information on applying your aid package to study abroad, and contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out what might be available to you.

Applying for Scholarships

Before you apply for any scholarship, please review the Suggestions for Scholarship Applications section of the Study Abroad website for valuable tips on making a successful application!

Help with Scholarship Essays

If you need help writing scholarship essays, please contact the UI Writing Center.

Study Abroad Awards

Please explore the following links for study abroad scholarship opportunities offered through the University of Iowa, and partner organizations:

ACT Scholarships

There are five $1,000 scholarships available for Iowa students studying at ACT for the semester. Contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

Pre-Departure Resources

ACT and Iowa have a variety of resources available to you to prepare for departure. It is recommended that you review these materials, share them with your parents, and refer back to them if you have questions.

  1. ACT Semester Pre-Departure GuidePDF
  2. ACT Summer Pre-Departure GuidePDF
  3. A Parent Guide to Study AbroadPDF
  4. Health Preparation Guide for International TravelPDF
  5. ACT Orientation Slides

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...