The University of Toronto will offer one course in Greece, worth one full-year credit. The course has limited space and is contingent on adequate enrolment. For the first three weeks of the program, classes will take place Monday through Wednesday mornings with field trips often planned for Thursday and Friday. The program will conclude with a five-night trip to Rhodes Island. The course aims to provide students with a deep understanding of contemporary Greek culture and values, where elements of the Greek language, literature, food and arts will be examined.

POL300Y0 Modern Greek Culture: People, Tradition, Language and Cuisine

This course explores Modern Greek culture in the context of the Mediterranean and European regions and with reference to the continuing Greek influence on western civilization. Hellenism has influenced the world since the ancient times. Starting from their remarkable contributions in philosophy, politics, science, architecture, history, music, theatre and literature, Greeks continue to impact our everyday lives through their language and culture. It is impossible to celebrate the liberties and responsibilities of democracy, to embrace the spirit of the Olympic games, to enjoy the flavours of Mediterranean cuisine or to feel the magic of a theatrical play, without revealing their Greek connections. The course analyzes important aspects of contemporary Greek society and its values along with elements of Greek language, literature, food and arts.

Students will experience living and studying in glorious Athens, a European megalopolis surrounded by significant monuments and museums, before travelling to Rhodes and the Dodecanese to learn more about the Hellenic tradition and enjoy the beauty and hospitality of the Greek islands. Through lectures, readings, interaction with distinguished Greek professionals and educational excursions to sites of historical and cultural importance, students will have the opportunity to explore and analyze critically contemporary Greece. They will discover interesting aspects of a unique culture that remains resilient to regional and international challenges. The course is taught in English and there are no Greek language requirements.


Prerequisites: 1.0 POL credit or relevant academic preparation
Breadth Requirement = 3
POL300Y0 – 2020 Course Outline

Field Trips

During the first part of the course in Athens, students will have the opportunity to visit sites in mainland Greece, including a day trip to Nauplio (the first capital of Greece) and Epidaurus (famous for its ancient theatre) in eastern Peloponnese; a two-day trip to Delphi, with the most famous oracle of ancient Greece, the Monastery of Hosios Loukas (UNESCO World Heritage sites) and the villages of Arachova on the slopes of Mount Parnassus and Distomo. There will also be a 5-night trip to Rhodes Island where one day will be spent on the island of Symi and Lindos, one of the most beautiful villages of the Dodecanese. The cost of these trips is CAD$1,650, paid to U of T for accommodations, onsite transportation, entrance fees and guides.


Dr. Themistoklis Aravossitas teaches Modern Greek language and culture at the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Athens, Greece, an MA and a PhD from the Department of Curriculum Teaching and Learning of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Knowledge Media Design Institute. His research focuses on issues of teaching minority languages and the intersections of pedagogy, language, culture and identity. As a SSHRC-Canada post doctoral fellow at the University of the Aegean in Greece, Dr. Aravossitas investigated Greek Language Education in the Diaspora and the status of Heritage/Community Languages in Canada. His recent publications include the co-edited books Interdisciplinary Research Approaches to Multilingual Education (Routledge Research in Language Education, 2018), Handbook of Research and Practice in Heritage Language Education (Springer International Handbooks of Education, 2018) and Rethinking Heritage Language Education (Cambridge University Press, 2014).