Ancient World Odyssey:Two Course Summer Study Abroad Program

Overview | Courses | Itinerary | Calendar | Map | Program Fee

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Why Go On An Odyssey into the Ancient World?

Imagine listening to epic stories of gladiatorial combat while standing in the sands of the Colosseum, studying on the steps of the Parthenon, or walking the cobblestoned streets of Constantine’s ancient capital. The Ancient World Odyssey program is a leap back in time, utilizing some of the most cutting-edge and interactive teaching methods, integrated into the ancient sites we explore each day of our adventure.

Courses Offered

Classical Civilization – Grade 12

This program explores the Golden Ages of the great ancient civilizations through the study of classical literature, philosophy and ancient history.

This program is available to students who have completed Grade 10 English

English – Grade 12

The core English course focuses on the refinement of literacy, communication and analytical skills. Students build on their understanding of academic language and practise using it confidently in discussion and argumentation both in oral and written forms.

Students can substitute Studies in Literature – Grade 12

English – Grade 11

The core English course gives students the opportunity to hone their presentation, analytical and critical thinking skills through assignments and activities that incorporate both oral and written communication.

Program Itinerary

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Travel Overview

Prep Session 1: Early May, 2018
Prep Session 2: Late June, 2018
Travel Dates: July 10 – August 13, 2018

Flight and hotel details are available on individual program sites, available to registered students and their parents.

Preparation and Course Work

In order to ease into the program, students have access to the course website, where reading lists will be posted. Course preparation is spread out over four weeks: our first two-week preparation session begins in early May, focusing on novel studies; the second two-week session begins in late June, focusing on completing small assignments. These online sessions are designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates and help complete short tasks to alleviate the workload during the summer. Students are required to complete all pre-departure work prior to departure to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running while overseas.

Departure From Toronto (Day 1)

Our North American departure hub is Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Five hours prior to our departure, a short meeting will be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Terminal 3, to distribute course packs and maps and to clarify travel procedures. All students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Students making alternate arrangements must contact MEI before March 31.

Rome (Day 2–10)

We begin our odyssey in the Eternal City of Rome, planting our feet in the sands of the Colosseum and the ruins of the Forum as we journey through time from the city’s earliest beginnings to its tragic collapse a thousand years later. The ghosts of Romulus, Caesar and Augustus echo through the streets as we investigate what is perhaps the world’s greatest open-air museum. Studying the art and architecture of the Roman Empire, students consider the complexity and interconnectedness of history, culture and philosophical thought. Whether writing morning notes on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica, performing Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in the Roman Forum, or sampling the world's best gelato at the Trevi Fountain, in Rome, students witness the ghosts of history come alive.

Paestum (Day 10-14)

After our extended stay in Rome, we head south to Paestum before sailing across the Adriatic Sea to Greece. In Paestum we reside by the sea for three nights where we take day trips to archaeological sites including Pompeii and the Temples of Hera and Neptune. Founded by the Greeks in 600 BCE, Paestum was eventually conquered by the Romans three-hundred years later. This region contains some of the best-preserved Greek ruins, despite the signs of conquest all around. Following this gentle reprieve, the class boards an overnight ferry for Greece to see where western civilization truly began.

Peloponnese (Day 14–21)

Our time in Greece begins with a quick stop in Olympia, where students have the unique opportunity to lace up and run the original Olympic stadium’s track. From here, we travel to the tiny fishing village of Tolo, home to crystal blue waters and near some of the most important archaeological sites in all of Greece. We consider Homer’s Iliad and King Agamemnon’s return home after ten years of warfare to face his tragic murder at Mycenae. As we venture through the mountaintop fortress city of ancient Mycenae, we come face to face with Heinrich Schliemann’s discoveries that proved Homer’s fabled heroes may not have been just myth after all.

Athens (Day 21–26)

No journey through the ancient world would be complete without a visit to Athena’s favourite city. Home to the birthplace of Western democracy, philosophy, art, architecture, literature and history, Athens genuinely does have it all. We continue our academics with the study of the rise of Athens, the Golden Age of Pericles and the tragic consequences of the Peloponnesian War. Our classes take place in the seats of the Theater of Dionysus, amongst the ruins of the Temple of Zeus, and within the marketplace of the Agora. Each day will be concluded with rooftop dinners underneath the Acropolis as we enjoy golden sunsets in this ancient city.

Santorini (Day 26–35)

Cruising under the stars that guided Odysseus, students sail across the Aegean to the volcanic island of Santorini, once believed to be the legendary Atlantis. Here, students conclude their investigation of the ancient world as they prepare for their Independent Study Unit interviews and final exams. Home to one of the most spectacular sunsets in the world, a student inquiry into Plato's question of beauty is most relevant here, discussed over fresh calamari and tzatziki. Following interviews and exams, we finish our stay with an epic hike along the caldera from Oia, ending with a sunset dinner in our cliff-side home of Fira. Our odyssey through Italy and Greece ends with a final stopover in Athens for some shopping, before catching our return flight home.


Travel dates subject to change.



Program Fee

All prices include international student fees.

Program Fee Includes

  • Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
  • Custom course pack
  • Student Login
  • MEI journal
  • Digital yearbook


  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
  • Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
  • Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
  • Transfers to all accommodations

Site and Excursions
  • The Acropolis
  • The Ancient Agora
  • The National Garden, Athens
  • The National Archeological Museum
  • The Plaka
  • Mycenae
  • Ruins of Olympia
  • The Roman Forum and Colosseum
  • The Pantheon
  • The Sistene Chapel and The Vatican Museum
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Palatine and Capitoline Hills
  • The ruins of Ostia
  • Piazza Navona
  • Archeological Site at Pompeii
  • Paestum’s Temples
  • Temple’s of Hera and Athena
Program Fee Does Not Include

  • Lunches
  • Travel Visas
  • Insurances
  • All airline taxes, charges and fees
  • Gratuities
  • Registration fee
  • Course texts
  • Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection*

*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.

NEW! Pay Using Points

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Students can now fund school fees with loyalty points! Aeroplan® Miles or TD Points, to be specific!

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