Abbey Road: Traveling - History of Western Civilization, Summer High School Program

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ATHENS ~ ROME ~ FLORENCE ~ PARISTravel – Adventure, History and Cultural ImmersionOur pioneer summer study abroad program on Western Civilization is designed for adventurous high school students who are eager to learn first-hand the origins and ev... read more

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Travel – Adventure, History and Cultural Immersion

Our pioneer summer study abroad program on Western Civilization is designed for adventurous high school students who are eager to learn first-hand the origins and evolution of Western thought, culture and art. This intensive cultural immersion program follows the path of Western Civilization from the Ancient Greeks to the Ancient Romans, continuing to the Middle Ages, Renaissance and, finally, to the Enlightenment. The pre-college program will take you to Athens, Rome, Florence and Paris, for the trip of a lifetime! Historical sites become our classroom as we discuss Plato and Socrates at the Acropolis and walk in the footsteps of King Louis XIV at Versailles. You will also have time to explore the cities, visit cultural sites, spend time with your new friends and participate in sports and recreational activities.
Athens (Week 1) Our journey beings in ancient Greece as students read important works by influential Greek thinkers, explore key monuments and discuss Athenian society and its greatest philosophers, artists and political leaders: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pericles and Alexander the Great of Macedonia. The group will also take advantage of the city’s thriving contemporary culture, comparing traditional Greek fare with Greek fusion during group dinners, shopping for hand-made sandals in the open-air markets and interacting with locals in the historic neighborhood of Plaka. Finally, a relaxing day trip to the private beach resort of Glyfada is an excellent end this first week of travel! Rome (Week 2) The group will then visit the 2,000 year-old town of Pompeii. A true snapshot of Roman society, preserved at the foothills of Mt. Vesuvius, it provides a perfect introduction to the Roman era. We then continue to the Eternal City, with excursions to the Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican and other unforgettable sites. From Augustus to Constantine, you will study and see their legacies first-hand throughout the city of Rome. Florence (Week 3) The home of the Italian Renaissance, magnificent Florence welcomes our students for the third part of the program. Excursions to the Uffizi, Accademia (home of Michelangelo’s David) and others will allow students to see some of the greatest masterpieces of Renaissance art, laying a foundation to discuss the political and cultural life of Florentine society, from Donatello to the ruling Medici family. Paris (Week 4) The final part of the program brings our students to Paris! The group will explore the era of absolute monarchy and the French revolution, with a focus on the French Enlightenment, while visiting Versailles, the Bastilles and other landmarks. During afternoons and evenings, the group slows its pace as they stroll through the city’s many historical neighborhoods, immersing themselves in the famous café culture and enjoying picnics on the Seine. Enthusiasts of art history will enjoy visits to the Louvre, Museé d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou and Eiffel Tower. 
All students are enrolled in the History of Western Civilization course History of Western Civilization This course gives an introduction to the history of Western Civilization and the evolution of Western thought, culture and art. The cities are our classroom, and each lesson takes place on location. You will discuss Athenian daily life in the Agora, walk in Da Vinci’s footsteps in Piazza della Signoria and review Louis the XIV’s idea of Absolutism in the Palace of Versailles. The final exam is unlike any other you will ever take! Arguably the most famous museum in the world, the Louvre is the ultimate setting for testing your comprehensive understanding of Western Civilization. *This is an experiential academic program that requires a high level of motivation on the part of the students. At the same time, given the breadth of the topics, the program does not set unrealistic goals or require an excessive amount of 
homework. Rather, it seeks to help the students grasp fundamental ideas and inspire them to explore these subjects in their elective courses and future studies. 
While in Athens, Rome, and Paris, the group will live in centrally located 3-star hotels and will enjoy meals at local restaurants. During your week in Florence, you will enjoy a relaxing break from hotel living, while staying in a modern apartment residence! Each apartment includes a loft, living room, kitchen and bathroom and access to the residence’s breathtaking private terrace. You will live as true Italians during this unforgettable week, shopping at local markets and learning to prepare traditional Florentine meals. 
Your day starts with an excursion to a historical site or museum, where history comes to life as you experience first-hand the subject of the day’s lecture and reading! In the afternoons and evenings, students will participate in fun activities and will have time to explore the contemporary sides of these four cities. Sample Daily Schedule 9:00-9:30 Morning Group Meeting 9:30-12:30 Local Site-visit and Experiential Learning 12:30-3:30 Orientation on Current Neighborhood, Lunch and Exploration 3:30-4:30 Group Meets: Prep for Afternoon Activity Options 4:30-6:30 Afternoon Cultural Activities 6:30-7:30 Return to Hotel, Down-Time 7:30-9:00 Dinner: Restaurant, Stipend, Group Picnic On-site or Culinary Workshop* 9:00-11:30 Evening Activities and Free Time 11:30-12:00 Group Returns to Hotel/Residence, Face-to-Face Nightly Check-in *Culinary Workshops and family-style dinners are enjoyed during our week in Florence while the group stays in modern apartment lofts each with its own fully equipped kitchen! 
Day trips to Delphi and/or Nafplion, Glyfada, Pompeii, Siena and Versailles will complement the academic program.

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
High School
Program Length(s):
  • Summer
Instruction Language(s):
  • English
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Area, Ethnic and Group Studies
  • European Studies
  • History
Year Founded:
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Abbey Road Programs Scholarships

Abbey Road offers various partial summer fellowships and scholarships annually to its summer programs.


Summer Fellowship applications are accepted on a rolling basis through June 1st and awards are given on a first come, first served basis. As such, interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Please follow instructions carefully as incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Fellowship recipients are notified within 1 month of application. Scholarship recipients and finalists (when applicable) will be notified by the Scholarship Committee by April 15. Scholarship recipients will be given until May 1 to accept or decline their scholarship award.