Do I need a visa?

Most likely yes, but the type of visa depends on your length of stay and your country of origin. Please see the Visa section for details.

What's the weather like?

Unpredictable. The climate varies across Greece. Winter weather in is typically in the 30s/40s and snowfall is rare. Without the powerful heating that you may be used to, it will seem colder, so remember to wear layers.


In the summer it is very hot with temperatures and seasons that correspond to the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Remember, though, that air conditioning is not common in homes, businesses, and transport so it will seem even hotter.

What should I pack?

Whatever you bring, you carry in two checked luggage bags and one carry-on bag. Be prepared to move your luggage through airports, on and off buses during orientation, and up several flights of stairs to your room.  Here are some tips:

 

  • The Leave Half Behind Rule – Select what you think you’ll need and leave half of it behind. You’ll find much of what you need once you arrive in Greece, including toiletries and other daily essentials, so pack only enough to get you through the first few days. Nobody ever complains about having too little luggage.
  • Layering – with such a changeable climate, layer your clothes from warm to cold so you can change them up easily. Include a rain jacket.
  • Use Duffel Bags - with wheels or an internal framed backpack. Closet space will not be as generous as what you are used to, so even if you can get it there, you won't necessarily know where to put it.
  • Be versatile - Student rooms are normally equipped with only a foot and a half of hanging space and two, three-foot bureau drawers or the equivalent shelf space, and emptied luggage is usually stored under beds. Go for multi-purpose clothing.
  • The Athenian Dress Code: Students who have participated on the program in the past have said it is important to know how stylish the Athenians dress. Young Greek women and men are very keen on tailored clothes and baggy attire is not acceptable. They tuck in their shirts and wear belts with their trousers and jeans with belts. Sweats are worn only to the gym.
  • Sheets and Towels: We provide blankets and pillows, but you’ll want to bring two sets of flat twin sheets (not fitted). Two towels should be enough. Don't forget a washcloth.

What time zone is Greece?

Greece is seven hours ahead of our Eastern Standard Time for most of the year. Greece switches to daylight savings time on different dates than we do, so for a few days in March or April, the time difference may vary. (Add one, two or three hours to these figures in the Central, Rocky Mountain or Pacific time zones, respectively.)

How can I phone home?

There are several options you may wish to consider for keeping in touch with friends and family back home.

  • Host-country mobile—Our staff will talk to you about the benefits of buying a mobile phone after arriving in Greece – it helps you integrate and while it should be cheap for in-country texts/calls it is usually not the cheapest way to call the US.
  • International cell phone—many US cellular phone companies provide international roaming options, so you can keep your same number and contact your friends and family just as if you were home. However this is expensive for your calls and texts to/from Greek phones so contact your provider for full details.
  • Skype, FaceTime or VOiP— Teach your mom to skype! Sign-up online for free internet communication tools before you leave and plan ahead about when to connect. Please remember that internet access, reliability, and strength may be different to what you are used to.
  • International calling card—often the most inexpensive and manageable way to call home – purchase either before departing or in-country.

Will I get the courses that I initially requested?

Please be sure to make your course selections based on the list of available courses for your program in Athens. Every effort will be made to enroll you in the courses you request but many things can happen between the time you submit your course form and the beginning of your program. It is essential that you also register for two alternate courses.

How much money will I need initially?

It's a good idea to arrive with at least the equivalent of $200 exchanged into euro – you can do this at your local bank if you give them notice, or at the airport for a charge. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary checking account. Travelers Checks can be exchanged in only one location in Athens and you will be charged a significant fee. Rely on your ATM card instead of travelers checks.

Should I take my computer?

The Arcadia Athens Center in Greece and all student apartments are equipped with wireless so consider bringing your laptop with you. There is a printer in the Center for student use.

Do I need a transformer or converter for my laptop and electronics?

Electric current in Greece is stronger than in the U.S. (U.S. 110 / Greece 220 volts). Unless your laptop is more than 5 years old, it probably is set to work on either 110 volts or 220. This means you will not need a transformer or converter but you will need a plug adapter. Electric wall sockets in Greece are 2-pronged and called Type F Schuko, so you will need a simple plug adapter. These are easily available in Athens.

What happens when I arrive overseas?

There are several answers to this question depending on where your Athens flight originated, what country issued your passport and whether you are traveling on the Student Universe flight or independently.

Passport Control:

  • Assuming you are flying on a U.S. passport, if Athens is your first stop in the Schengen Zone, you will have to go through passport control and get your passport stamped.
  • If, however, you traveled through another country, as is usual with flights from the U.S. to Greece, your U.S. passport was probably stamped as you passed through the transit passenger area of that interim airport (not all passport control officers operate in the same way). In terms of crossing borders, think of the Schengen Zone as a European version of the United States where you can easily travel from state to state without passing through any identification points. For the Schengen Zone, this means that passengers on all inter-Schengen flights from Schengen (like Frankfurt or Amsterdam to Athens) do not have go through passport control.
  • If your passport is not stamped anywhere, do not worry but be sure to keep a copy of your itinerary. This will be necessary in place of a stamp in your passport when you register with immigration in Athens.

Your bags:

Find the baggage carousel that services your flight and collect your bags. Once you have collected all of your bags, exit through the "nothing to declare" channel of the customs area, unless you are carrying dutiable goods.

If your bags do not appear, report them at the lost luggage desk and use the Arcadia Athens Center address for delivery:

Arcadia Center

Embedokleous 26

115 36 Pagrati

210 75 25 318

Travelers on the Student Universe Flight:

If you arrive on a suggested Student Universe flight, a member of the Arcadia Athens Center staff will meet you at the airport and take you and your luggage to your apartments. However, if for some reason you miss the planned flight, you must travel to your apartment as outlined in the Independent Travelers section below.

Independent Travelers:

If you are an independent traveler, bring some € with you or use your ATM card at one of the many machines in the arrivals lounge. Buy a phone card from the newsagent and call the Arcadia Athens Center so that they know you've arrived. Exit the terminal and find the taxi rank. As an independent traveler, you will have received directions to your apartment in Greek to share with a taxi driver.  If you missed your Student Universe flight, the Center staff will provide you with instruction when you call. A member of staff or one of your roommates will meet you at your apartment.

When will I receive my Arcadia University transcript?

We will send an official copy of your transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you. Program transcripts are usually issued:

  • Fall: mid-March;
  • Academic year and spring: late September.
  • Summer: early September.

Your transcript will be withheld by Arcadia University if you have an outstanding balance on your account resulting from nonpayment of the program fee (in whole or in part) or special course surcharges, any late fees or returned check fees, damage charges, library fines, or other unmet financial obligations as deemed appropriate by Arcadia University.

What about insurance?

Arcadia University enrolls all participants in a health and accident insurance plan with HTH Worldwide.  The plan covers the costs of treatment for most sicknesses and injuries up to $500,000 with no deductible.  Details of this coverage are outlined in the health and accident insurance section of our website. Specific questions should be addressed to the insurance carrier. Please note that Arcadia University does not provide insurance for your possessions. We encourage you to purchase coverage for them or to leave irreplaceable valuables at home.

Will my credits transfer back home?

Only your home college can answer this question, so be sure and safe – ask now, and obtain all the approvals you'll need.  For more information regarding credit transfer policies, please visit the "Credits/Grades/Transcripts" section of our website.

Should I make copies of my papers?

Yes. Many home colleges want to review the work you completed overseas before final credit is awarded. Unless you make specific arrangements with your tutors prior to departure, final exams and/or papers will not be returned to you. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.

Can I still vote while abroad?

Before you leave home, check with the Board of Elections at your County Court House about procedures for voting by absentee ballot. You may want to arrange for a member of your family to pick up the ballot and mail it to you. Visit the Federal Voting Assitance Program for more details.

Do I need a passport?

YES! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages for the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees. Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months beyond your program end date.