Semester Term 4
Early April–Mid May
Study abroad in Italy and Greece, earning high school credits on location. Accelerate academic skills as you explore the classical world’s legacy of philosophy, literature, and art, connecting its impacts to the modern world.
|Two Course Program
- Classical Civilizations
- IDC: Phys Ed, Health and Media
- English +
- Studies in Literature
- Writer’s Craft
9:1 Student to Staff Ratio
This course introduces students to the rich cultural legacy of the classical world. Students will investigate aspects of classical culture, including mythology, literature, art, architecture, philosophy, science, and technology, as well as elements of the ancient Greek and Latin languages. Students will develop creative and critical thinking skills through exploring and responding to works by classical authors in English translation and examining material culture brought to light through archaeology. They will also increase their communication and research skills by working both collaboratively and independently, and will acquire an understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness of ancient and modern societies.
|Phys Ed, Health and Media|
This course combines the study of the healthy body in motion with the dissemination of ideas. In this interdisciplinary program that examines both body and mind, students participate in a wide range of physical activities, athletics, and theoretical frameworks. They are exposed to a broad range of activity settings, enhancing their movement competence, and personal fitness. The media component focuses on the refinement of communication and analysis skills, allowing student to practice using techniques confidently in a variety of media forms.
|11 + 12||ENG3U + ENG4U|
The core English course focuses on the refinement of literacy, communication and analytical skills. Students build on their understanding of academic language and practice using it confidently in discussion and argumentation both in oral and written forms.
|Studies in Literature|
This course is intended for students who are passionate about literature. Students analyze a range of literary forms including drama, the novel, and poetry, responding personally, critically, and creatively to each.
This course is designed for students who have attained a high level of proficiency in their writing skills and wish to focus on cultivating their creative writing talents by participating in prose, poetry, and drama-writing master classes.
Preparation and Coursework
Our one-week online session is designed to connect students with their teachers and
Departure from Toronto
Our expedition to Europe begins in Toronto, where teachers and students get to know each other and settle into the rhythm of the program. Here, we conduct activities and complete foundational course material before setting off for Santorini.
Our final stop takes us to the romantic city on water—Venice. More than just canals and beautiful churches, this historical crossroads of the Mediterranean affords us the chance to see how a dedicated group of people, rich and poor, accomplished remarkable things. As the longest lasting republic in the history of the west, there is so much to see and do. We make our home base on Lido, the long, beach island just a short Vaporetto ride away from the hustle and bustle of St. Marco’s Square. On this tranquil island, students complete their major film project for media, present their portfolios, and enjoy evenings at quaint restaurants to reflect on their journey and begin to piece together an evolving personal narrative of their place in the world.
Home of the Renaissance, the Medici, banking, and some of the world’s most beautiful architecture, Florence is the perfect stop to see what a flowering of thought, art and culture can bring the world. While interspersing our days with visits to the Uffizi, Il Duomo, and the Accademia—home to Michelangelo’s David—students are captivated by some of the most vibrant markets, and some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe. It is no wonder this city has been the favourite of artists, writers, and popes for centuries.
Nestled between Rome and Florence, students find themselves in the rolling hills of Tuscany, home to Leonardo da Vinci and some of the best food on the planet. Here we conclude our exploration of the Roman world and the impact of the expansion of the empire. A visit to ancient Etruscan tombs provides a sense of just how long, and influential the Roman world has been in modern society. Day trips to the famous towns of Pitigliano, Montepulciano, and a home base in Borgo San Luigi make for serene and picturesque setting before changing our pace in Rome.
Once again, we tread the footsteps of the ancients as we follow the journey of Aeneas, one of the few survivors of the tragic sack of Troy, to the glorious city of Rome. After our restful nights in the south, students now find themselves in the ‘Eternal City’ where they witness the physical and literal layers of Rome’s history—all intermixed with high fashion, luxury cars, an unparalleled passion for soccer! Studying the art and architecture of the Roman Empire, students consider the complexity and interconnectedness of history, culture, philosophical thought, and modernity. Whether writing morning notes on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, performing Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in the Forum or sampling the world’s best gelato at the Trevi Fountain, in Rome, students witness the ghosts of history come alive.
As we travel down the coast of Italy before boarding a ferry to Greece, we stop in Pompeii where students end their investigation into the Roman world by looking at the explosion of Mount Vesuvius in 79 that buried the town’s people of Pompeii in volcanic ash.
After leaving Pompeii, students sail the Adriatic Sea aboard an overnight ferry to Greece. Upon our arrival in the Peloponnese, where Agamemnon and Achilles’ armies gathered before attacking Troy, students explore the archaeological ruins of Olympia, home to the first Olympic games. Here, students have the unique opportunity to lace up and run the original Olympic stadium’s track and visit one of the world’s most important archaeological museums.
Athens and the Peloponnese
Continuing further east, students visit ancient Mycenae before arriving in the picturesque beach town of Tolo. This relaxed setting offers students a chance to focus their energy on presentations, group activities and creative writing. Students perform workout routines on the beach and test their limits on a day-long hike through the Lousios Gorge. We then consider Homer’s Iliad and Agamemnon’s return home after ten years of war to face the tragic consequences of his choices as we venture through the fortressed city of Ancient Mycenae.
Our journey through the Peloponnese ends with a visit to Athena’s favourite city—Athens. Home to the birthplace of Western democracy, philosophy, art, architecture, literature, and history, Athens genuinely does have it all. Our classrooms during our stay are in the Theater of Dionysus, among the ruins of the Temple of Zeus, within the Agora, and high atop the Parthenon, while our evenings are spent exploring the Plaka and enjoying rooftop dinners in this ancient city.
Next, we sail to Santorini, once believed to be legendary Atlantis. Here, students begin our investigation of ancient myth and explore the formation of a collective understanding of self and culture through examinations of Homer’s epic tales of Achilles and Odysseus. Digging into their course reading list, students also do a comparative study of classical Greek texts with modern interpretations and adaptations. When not debating in lecture, we spend our time wandering the cliffside towns and black sand beaches of this fabled island, concluding our time there with an epic hike along the caldera from Oia, to watch the sunset over the capital of Fira.
Along the picturesque Platis Gialos beach on the island of Mykonos, students focus on academic writing and delve into the analysis of our core texts for English. Master classes in essay writing and small group book chats in funky cafés scattered throughout the island enable students to look critically at the writing of ancient and modern writers while improving their writing skills. Students have fun finding their way back to their favourite gyros stop, as their senses are confused by the maze of narrow streets walled with whitewashed shops and blue coloured doors and balconies with vibrant pink bougainvilleas draped above their heads. Here, students write their final ISUs and exams before celebrating the end of their semester abroad under the bright stars of this magical island.
Departure from Mykonos (Day 50)
|Program Fee Includes||Program Fee Does Not Include|
*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.
|Program Fee Includes|
|Program Fee Does Not Include|
*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.