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Programs : Brochure

Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: October 1
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BAT LogoCollege Year in Athens

For over 5 decades College Year in Athens (CYA) has offered university students an academically rigorous program of studies combined with the vibrant experience of day-to-day contact with the people, monuments, and landscape of Greece and the Mediterranean - a rapidly changing region with a uniquely varied past.
CYA places an emphasis on learning beyond the classroom, offering students a hands-on learning experience in the rich environment of Greece. Many classes are held on-site adding a new dimension to learning and a global understanding of the subject. A significant portion of the semester involves field trips, which are designed not only to enhance the classroom material but also to give students a deeper understanding of Greece.
For additional information, visit the College Year in Athens website
The City of Athens

Athens is the capital of and largest city in Greece.  It is also one of the world’s oldest cities, dating back 3,000 years.  Modern day life is carried out against a backdrop of countless ancient landmarks, making Athens one of the most historically vibrant locations on the planet. Athens may be steeped in history, but is by no means stuck in time. Athens is a rapidly modernizing metropolis where the immediacy of the past stands in stark juxtaposition to the evolving demands of the present.

Did you know…?

Despite its rapid and ongoing transformation, Athens remains a city of small, intimate neighborhoods clustered around a central plateia, or square. Each enclave has its own distinct personality and charm. Believe it or not, traditional village life is still very much alive in Athens, where apartment balconies stand in for gardens and living rooms in the warm weather and the neighborhood cafes brim with people, night and day, sitting over coffee or ouzo, joking, endlessly debating, and sharing news.



The College Year in Athens program is for College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement
: 3.0

Other Requirements: successful completion of at least 1 area studies course


Language of Instruction



A full course load at College Year in Athens consists of four (4) classes per semester, including a required Modern Greek Language course.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

College Year in Athens Academic Calendar
College Year in Athens Course Catalog

Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Grades are reported to Penn on an A-F scale. 

Special Features

BAT Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by College Year in Athens prior to the start of each semester.  More information on CYA’s orientation activities can be found here.

Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

CYA has helped dozens of students arrange volunteer or internship experiences.  More information can be found here.

Group Excursions

Group excursions, or “study-travel” in CYA lingo, is an integral part of the study abroad program.  More information on available study-travel opportunities can be found here.


BAT AthensParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

CYA students live in self-contained apartments in residential apartment buildings in the Pangrati area of Athens, which are situated a two- to ten-minute walk from the Academic Center. This neighborhood is desirable for its central location, proximity to sites, monuments and museums, and access to the National Gardens and the wooded slopes of Lykavittos Hill.

Home stay arrangements may be possible for students who express interest; home-stay accommodations depend on availability and on student profile.

Information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Athens, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.