Living Greek in Greece: Helen of Sparta

JULY 28, 2024 - AUGUST 9, 2024



Thank you for expressing interest in Living Greek in Greece in 2024.  We hope that you will join us in the “Garden of the Muses” as part of a group of enthusiastic students of the Ancient Greek language.

Please read these application guidelines thoroughly, then fill out the application linked at the bottom of this page.


Living Greek in Greece is a two-week immersive experience in Greek literature and language set in a beautiful garden in the Peloponnese. Under the guidance of expert teachers, program participants read a work of Greek literature and explore it using Attic Greek as an active, living language. 

Participants in the program are divided into sections based upon their experience with Greek. Seminars meet twice a day for one hour, five days a week. At the beginner level, participants read selections from the text in Greek, discuss the text, its historical context, and Greek grammar in both English and Greek, and begin to practice speaking Greek as a living language. At the intermediate level, more of the text is read in Greek, discussion takes place in both English and Greek, and more advanced Greek grammar is reviewed. At the advanced level, participants read and discuss the entire text in Greek, and delve into the finer points of Greek grammar and syntax.

All levels feature Paideia’s interactive Living Greek pedagogy, which invites participants to treat Ancient Greek as an active, living language. Research into second language acquisition shows that speaking Greek as a living language helps students learn the language more quickly and effectively than they do from the traditional grammar-translation method alone. Speaking Greek also helps the learner gain an intuitive feel for Greek and build fluency in the language. Many Greek speakers also find that discussing Greek literature in Greek opens up new interpretive pathways by dispensing with the need for translation.

Another purpose of the Living Greek in Greece program is to contextualize the programs’ reading by visiting relevant ancient sites in Greece. Over the middle weekend, the program visits a site in Greece related to the chosen text or author. 

In 2024 the Living Greek in Greece program will read Gorgias’s Encomium of Helen, along with other short passages about Helen from authors such as Homer, Sappho, Herodotus, and Euripides. Site visits will include Sparta, Mistras, and Mount Taygetos.


Participants should know the basics of Greek grammar. This usually means the equivalent of one year of college Ancient Greek. No experience speaking Greek is required, but experienced Greek speakers are also encouraged to apply.  Paideia alumni and Nexus members are particularly encouraged to apply. Participants must be 18 years or older. Students under the age of 18 should consider Living Greek in Greece High School. The ideal group will be varied and complementary, able to help one another learn by playing to each other’s talents and interests. 

An application must be received by March 1, 2024 to be guaranteed full consideration. We will notify all applicants of the results approximately 3 weeks after this date. Applications received after this deadline can only be considered on a rolling basis depending on availability.


Classes at Living Greek in Greece are held at the Hellenikon Idyllion, a hotel and Hellenic cultural center located in the charming seaside village of Selianitika on the north coast of the Peloponnese. Classes take place outdoors in a lush garden, just a few meters from the beach.


The tuition for Living Greek in Greece is $2500. This includes instruction, transportation, group meals, and housing during the weekend trip to Sparta. It does not include housing in Selianitika. Airfare is not included, and participants must bring their own edition of the course’s main text. The Institute will also operate a free shuttle to and from Athens on arrival and departure day.


Participants must arrange their own housing in Selianitika. The Paideia Institute has negotiated discounted group rates with several trusted housing providers in dorm, hotel, and apartment style accommodations. Approximate rates for each type of lodging for the duration of the program are listed below. Contact information for housing providers and group discount codes (if available) will be provided upon acceptance. Participants are also welcome to book accommodations in dorms, hotels, or apartments of their choice. Estimated rates for each type of lodging for the duration of the program are listed below (subject to availability).

Dorm accommodation at the Hellenikon Idyllion: $600
Hotel room shared with another participant: $780
Single Hotel Room: $1000
Private Apartment (limited availability): $1500

Airfare, transportation to and from the airport, daily expenses for meals, and spending money are not included in the cost of tuition. The cost of life in Greece can vary greatly depending on one’s tastes, but at the very least we recommend that participants budget €20/day for food. Please consider the exchange rate when planning your budget.


A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required of all participants by April 1, 2024. Our acknowledgment of receipt of this deposit guarantees the participant a place in the program. The remaining $2000 is due by May 1, 2024.


Participants should plan to arrive in Selianitika by Sunday, July 28th. Please wait until the deposit deadline of April 1st to book any nonrefundable travel.

If you do not have a valid passport, get one immediately. This process can be time consuming and should not be left to the last minute. 

The Institute will operate a free shuttle to and from Athens on arrival and departure day. Precise details will be provided after program acceptance.


The Paideia Institute is able to offer a number of full and partial scholarships to participants with demonstrated financial need. Please visit our scholarships page to learn more. Scholarship applications received by the priority application deadline for the program (March 1, 2024) will receive fullest consideration.


Please direct all questions to [email protected].


To apply, please complete the following application form by March 1, 2024. Applications received after March 1st will be considered on a rolling basis as space becomes available.

Application Form