Thessaloniki, Greece Project Center (IQP)
Founded in 315 BC, Thessaloniki, located in northern Greece, is a modern, bustling city, the second largest in the country. It is located on the Aegean Sea, less than 60 miles from Mt. Olympus and some 300 miles from Istanbul, Turkey. For more than two millennia it has been the major seaport for southeastern Europe, linking the Mediterranean with the Balkans, Europe with Asia. The city’s rich and diverse history can be seen in its architecture: a vast Roman forum was uncovered in the commercial heart of the modern city; in the old part of the city, Ano Poli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one can visit Turkish bathhouses from the 14th century and Byzantine churches. The city, a former Culture Capital of Europe, is well known for its cuisine, its open air markets, and its lively student population---Aristotle University, the country’s largest, is located near the city center. The beautiful beaches of Halkidiki are less than 30 minutes away, as are well known archaeological sites and outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking.Thessaloniki has a humid subtropical to semi-arid climate. Average temperatures in April fall between 45°F and 66°F.
Greece students will live in dorm style accommodations on a college campus. Campus amenities are available for student use, including a dining hall and meeting space. Local restaurants and shops are a short walk from campus. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.
Greece’s cuisine is very Mediterranean and uses a lot of olive oil, lemon juice, vegetables, herbs, grains, bread, wine, fish, lamb, poultry, rabbit, pork, eggplant, and yogurt. Desserts frequently also include nuts and honey. Common dishes include the Greek salad, feta cheese, spanakopita, and moussaka. Make sure to take any dietary restrictions or allergies into account as you consider this site and inform your advisor and IGSD of any health concerns well in advance of your participation in this program.
Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the program. Dates will be posted at the top of this page. WPI housing will be available from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the program, they will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.
The WPI Thessaloniki Project Center will collaborate with the students and faculty at Perrotis College of Agriculture, Environment, and Life Sciences, which is part of the highly regarded American Farm School. The college is located on the outskirts of Thessaloniki a short bus ride away from the city center. Students will work on projects proposed by community organizations, farmers’ associations, and others participating in the region’s food sector. Likely topics include developing innovative food production practices to promote small scale urban agriculture, xeriscape technologies to reduce water use, marketing strategies for new producers, and developing food planning policies to help create a more resilient and sustainable food system. Projects will take place in Thessaloniki and surrounding rural areas.
Past Thessaloniki students have:
- Designed a floating island through a collaborative process to improve water quality and habitat in a lagoon that received agricultural wastes
- Assessed the feasibility and public interest in using hydroponics to grow food and address food insecurity
- Identified opportunities to expand wine tourism in northern Greece
Students will be billed the following fees by WPI for the WPI semester they are away. These will be billed to you on the regular WPI billing cycle (i.e. Fall semester, and Spring semester).
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while away:
- WPI Tuition and Fees
- WPI Housing Fee (if applicable)
- WPI Meal Plan (if applicable, reduced for term away)
- Global Projects Program Housing and Program Fee (for applicable programs)
- Local transportation
- Airfare (if applicable)
- Tourist activities and incidentals
- Project related incidentals
A breakdown of all estimated expenses for Thessaloniki can be found here: Thessaloniki Estimated Expenses
WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus study can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding project experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to understand the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you research your intended destination. You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the IGSD, the Student Health Center, the Office of Disability Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It very important that you consider your own health requirements as you review what sites are most interesting to you, and that you carefully review the published information concerning health, safety, and security at the resources linked below prior to applying to a particular site. Make sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up to date health and vaccine information, and review all information in relation to your own health and any medical conditions you may have.
Country-specific travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control
Country-specific page from the U.S. Department of State
Student travel website from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State