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  • Locations: Aegean Islands, Greece; Athens, Greece; Bellingham, Washington, United States; Ithaca, Greece;
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Global Learning Faculty-led
Language of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite: No
Fields of Study:
Agriculture, Architecture, Design, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Hospitality & Tourism, Sustainability
Housing Options: Other
Minimum GPA:
Program Description:
WWU Global Learning Programs Program Details Instructor Cost
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Global Learning

Greece, Ithaca


Pre-Departure Session Dates: June 22 - July 1, 2016
(Phase I Pre-Departure Preparation and self study research)    
Travel Dates: July 1-14, 2016 
(Phase II Field Research in Athens, Aegean Islands, Ionian Island of Ithaca, Greece) 
Return Session Dates: August 11-22, 2016 
(Phase III Final Report Production)

Explore Mediterranean architecture, urban planning, history and culture while performing fieldwork in urban and village communities. The program involves 2 distinct parts: We will begin our adventure exploring urban Athens, emphasizing urban design, the city’s historic development, artistic and political expression to austerity, and plans to pedestrianize the central city. Special attention will focus on exploring the current impacts of mass migration in Athens. We continue our journey by hopping across the Cycladic Aegean islands to study traditional settlement villages on Syros, Folengandros, Sikinos, and Serifos (tentatively).
The program involves both comparative analysis of case study communities in urban Athens and traditional hilltop villages in the Aegean Islands. The course emphasizes studies in sustainable development of traditional Mediterranean Island communities. The course entails daily field investigations emphasizing traditional sustainable community development, urban morphology, migration impacts, and heritage town design. Projects that will be undertaken in 2016 include: Comparative assessment of town morphology as forms of sustainable development; sustainable urban renewal, political expression through urban street art forms; and impacts associated with the migration crisis.

Learn more about this program:

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Program Details

Our overarching question: How have communities sustained themselves for centuries? What can be learned from traditional sustainable village development that can be applied to contemporary contexts? How can we apply contemporary principles and metrics to evaluate the sustainability of traditional settlement communities? The program involves analysis of urban spaces in Athens neighborhoods and in traditional hilltop villages (Hora) of Aegean Island communities. The course emphasizes studies in sustainable development in both urban and traditional Mediterranean Island communities. The course entails field investigations emphasizing sustainable community development principles, the study of sustainable urban form and village heritage design, as well as current issues facing Greece, including the evolving migration crisis and austerity measures and its affects in Greece society. Students will have an opportunity to visit and participate in volunteer service in a migrant camp, working with Doctors of the World. We will be undertaking a series of applied studies, including: an evaluation of reaction to austerity policies through urban street art forms; comparative assessment of village morphology as traditional sustainable development using sustainability metrics; urban renewal policies; and the architecture of urban spaces.

Join us for a trip and learning experience of a lifetime. You will:

  • Experience applied research in international coastal settings
  • Comparative analysis of traditional village design in the Cycladic Islands
  • Work independently and in project teams for planning analysis and design
  • Develop a photo journal of urban street artistic expression
  • Apply sustainable development criteria to analysis the sustainability of traditional settlements.
  • Conduct field research, interview and informal meetings with local experts
  • Participate in assisting migrant families with a local health services organization
  • Learn to sketch architectural concepts, take field notes, apply sustainability metrics
  • Gain knowledge of local, national, European and global sustainability principles

Click here for the itinerary: 2016 Greece Itinerary.docx

Click here for the syllabus: Greece 2016 syllabus.doc

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Nicholas Zaferatos, PhD, AICP, Professor of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Huxley College of the Environment, WWU

Nicholas Zaferatos is a professor of urban planning and sustainable development at Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University. Since 2005 Zaferatos has directed many Mediterranean teaching and research programs in sustainable development. His programs partner with international universities including: United Nations University in Amman (Jordan), University of Patras (Greece), and the Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece.

Dr. Zaferatos’ work in Greece has received numerous international awards and recognitions, including the 2009 Green Good Design Award from The European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, the 2008 SETE National Honor Sustainability Award from the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises, Athens and the 2006 sixth Honorific Mediterranean Sustainability Award from the Mediterrania Center D’Inciatives in Ecologiques, Spain.

His current research involves an application of sustainable development strategies to Mediterranean communities.

Phone: (360) 650-7660
Office: Environmental Studies 444
View the complete bio for Nicholas C. Zaferatos

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Please click the budget sheet for program cost and payment information.

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Program Ratings:
Academic Experience:
1 2 3 4 5
Program Value:
1 2 3 4 5
Housing Experience:
1 2 3 4 5
Cultural Immersion:
1 2 3 4 5
Program Administration:
1 2 3 4 5
Overall Experience:
1 2 3 4 5

This program is currently not accepting applications.