Summer Programs FAQ

This webpage has answers to frequently asked questions about the ASCSA Summer Session and Summer Seminars. 
More specific information will be sent to program participants in advance of the start of their program. 

If you have specific questions, or questions that are not addressed below, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: "When do I need to arrive, and by what time? If I arrive after the suggested arrival time, will I miss anything?”
A: Usually, participants can check in to Loring Hall at the ASCSA after noon on what is designated the first day of the program. Program leaders will be sending additional details about the first day, and the schedule in general, ahead of the start of the program. 

Q: "How do I get to the School once I arrive in Athens?"
A: Please use the directions on our website to help direct you from the airport: If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the Programs Department (, (+1) 609-683-0800). If you need help with directions once in Greece, you can contact the Assistant Director at +306941596095 or

Q: "By what day and time do I need to leave?"
A: You must be out of your room in Loring Hall by 11am on what is designated as the last day of the program. 

Q: "If I come early or stay late, will there be a place for me to stay?"
A: If you choose to stay in Athens outside of your designated program dates, you are responsible for booking your own accommodations, and for any expenses you incur during that time. If you wish to stay at the School during that time, please get in touch with the Assistant Director ( to check avialability and cost. 

Q: "What is provided for my stay in Loring Hall?"
A: Loring Hall is equipped with all bed linens and towels in each room. Rooms will have a desk with a chair, in addition to the bed. Each room in Loring Hall has an in-suite bathroom with a sink and shower. There is a communal washer and dryer that participants can use for a small fee. Laundry drying racks and outside clotheslines are also available (at no cost). An iron and an ironing board are available for communal use. Hairdryers, soap, and hair products (like shampoo and conditioner) are not provided in the rooms in Loring Hall. Also note that some hotels outside Athens may not supply hairdryers, soap, and hair products free of charge. 

When your program leaves Loring Hall, each room will be cleaned and program participants from another program will stay in the rooms. You may choose to leave a few small items behind in your room in Loring Hall, that you are not planning to use on the program while outside Athens. However, be aware that the items need to be small and should be moved out of the way for the other participants’ occupancy in the same room (we cannot guarantee the safety of those items from the other participants using the room). All programs (typically) will begin with a few nights in Athens, in Loring Hall. There will be at least one trip outside Athens (in most cases a few trips outside Athens). Participants will end their time on the program in Athens. Program Directors will be in touch with the final schedule. 

Q: "What should I pack?"
A: Your program leader will be in touch with specifics, but here are some general guidelines: 
You will want to bring...

  • your prescription medications
  • any personal hygiene products you’re terribly picky about (the brand you like may not be available or may be expensive)
  • sunscreen (which can be very expensive in Greece)
  • comfortable, sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes
  • clothes that are easily washed and quickly air-dried (laundry facilities may not be available)
    • at least one pair of long hiking pants
    • a light layer for chilly evenings
    • a rain jacket (programs will visit sites in the rain, weather permitting) 
  • sunglasses 
  • sun hat
  • notebook, pen, etc. for taking notes on-site
  • electronic adapters, batteries, chargers, and storage devices for photos (such electronics can be expensive to purchase in Greece); you can find more about plugs/adaptors and voltage for Greece here.

In general, you should be able to carry your luggage 1/4 mile and up a flight of stairs (so pack light!). You will also likely want to bring a small backpack or sling-able bag in which you can carry a notebook, pen, water, sunscreen, hat, rain gear (if necessary), handouts, snack, mobile device, etc.

Q.: "Can I plug my US electronic devices into a Greek outlet?” 
A: USA has two types of outlets: Types A and B. Greece uses Types C and F outlets. You will need an adaptor to plug in any US rated devices while in Greece.

Standard outlet voltage in the US is 110-120V (60 Hz). In Greece, the standard outlet voltage is 230V (50 Hz). Voltage needs to be converted for devices to work properly. For example, if you plugged a US hairdryer (only rated for 110-120V) into an adaptor in Athens, the hairdryer may blow a fuse or even short out (causing the motor to overheat and break or spark). In this example, a converter would provide a more proper voltage, allowing the device to work more properly. Converters and adaptors can be used together, and some converters may already have the correct plug.

Tips: Some devices are rated for US and international voltage, and most travel devices can be dual voltage. (Most Mac power adaptors are dual voltage.) You can check the voltage on your device by looking at the details printed on the plug of the device itself. Even if you plug a US device into a converter in Greece, it might still not work correctly. For example, some hairdryers may still overheat or run “high/hot.”

You can find more about plugs/adaptors and voltage for Greece here.

Q: "Will I need a visa for the program? Anything special I need to do before arrival to enter Greece?"
A: U.S. and Canadian citizens are admitted into Greece and/or any other of the member states of the Schengen group for a period of 90 days without a visa. However, anyone whose stay involves spending more than 90 days within the Schengen Zone during any given six-month period (180 days) must obtain a visa BEFORE entering any of the relevant countries. The six-month clock starts ticking the moment that one arrives in any one of the Schengen-pact countries and continues until the end of the six-month period. Leaving the Schengen Zone does not reset the clock. If you have questions about the visa or the visa process, you may contact the Assistant Director ( and/or consult this web page for further information:

Q: "Will I need an international phone plan?"
A: An international phone plan is not required for the program. Should you wish to have one, you may enroll in your domestic carrier’s international plan or buy a local sim card in Athens. You are responsible for any related costs.

Q: "How much should I budget for out-of-pocket expenses?"
A: While in Athens, students will receive daily breakfast and lunch at the School, Monday through Friday. In Athens, dinner options abound. You can have great souvlaki for under 10 euros, or a shared taverna meal of mezze for about 15-20 euros per person (not including drinks). Outside of Athens, students will receive breakfast at their hotel, but are responsible for all other meals. In general, you should plan to spend (at least) 25-30 euros/day (add a few euros if you plan to have drinks, other than tap water, with dinner). If you eat in groups, you can often get by on 20-30 euros/day. To help keep costs down, here are a few tips:

  • On the road, you may want to consider coordinating with a few other participants to have group picnics, which can be arranged by stopping at a bakery and supermarket for cheese, bread, fruit, cucumbers, etc.
  • Many hotels offer a substantial breakfast and some of that fruit and bread can serve as a passable lunch (your main meal for the day can be dinner).
  • Keep in mind that sodas are expensive, and if you know you drink one or more every day, you will need to add 4+ euros per day to your budget.
  • Bring along some of your favorite energy bars (hard to find outside of Athens).

Bear in mind that lunch is usually served between 1 and 3pm. For dinner, be prepared for late meals. It is a rare taverna that thinks about serving dinner before 8pm. In the summer Greeks like to eat late, generally between 10 and 12pm.

Q: "What if I have a food sensitivity or allergy?"
A: When eating meals at Loring Hall, please be aware that while the Loring Hall kitchen staff does its best to provide a selection of food that meets the needs of vegetarians, strict vegetarian/vegan and macro-biotic meals are not provided. There may be some meals that present as gluten-free, but we cannot account for cross contamination with gluten. If you have Celiac disease or gluten allergies/sensitivities, please be aware such dietary needs may not be accommodated. Food allergies or specific, special dietary needs cannot always be accommodated at Loring Hall. 

If you are vegan, this webpage about vegan options in Greece may be helpful. (Please note: the ASCSA does not imply any official endorsement by posting this site. It serves only to provide information to the traveler. This link is external and we have nothing to do with its content.)

Q: "Should I bring cash with me?"
A: You can bring some euros with you (you can get euros from your bank in the U.S. for a reasonable exchange fee at little to no charge), or you can get euros at an ATM in Athens. Either way, it is generally not a good idea to be walking around with a large amount of cash.

Note that ATMs charge a small transaction fee, and your bank will likely charge an additional out-of-network ATM fee, along with an international transaction charge. It is wise to find out in advance exactly how much you will have to pay for each transaction and then act accordingly.

Although credit cards are now widely accepted in Athens, it is a good idea to bring cash with you on the road, as it is not always possible to use credit cards outside of Athens. Be aware that some credit card companies may charge extra for purchases not in US Dollar amounts. 

If you will be bringing your ATM card or any credit cards, notify your bank and/or credit card company before you leave so they will not shut off your card after its first use in Greece.

Q: "If I want to start learning some modern Greek before I arrive, what are the best ways to do so?”
A: You do not need to learn Greek for your time in the summer program. However, learning a few common words and phrases before your arrival can be handy. Also, DuoLingo (a free app) now offers modern Greek!

Useful words and phrases in modern Greek


Γειά σου

yah soo

hello (to one person, informal)

Γειά σας

yah sas

hello (to several people; also, formal)



thank you



please / you're welcome

πόσο κάνει

poso kahnee

how much does it cost?

Θα ήθελα

tha eethela

I would like ...

Θα πάρω

tha pahro

I will have (take) ...



good day/morning



good evening

που ειναι…

poo eeneh

where is ...?

ειμαι φοιτητής/

eemeh feeteetees/

I am a (male) student/
(female) student

ναι; μάλιστα

neh; mahlista

yes (μάλιστα is more polite/formal)




μου αρέσει…

moo aresee...

I like ...

δεν μπειράζει

then beerazee

it doesn’t matter

εν τάξει

en daxi