LIT 348

Becoming a Traveler: Writing in Greece (Athens, Poros, Nauplion)

Major Discipline(s):
Summer Session I (May 25 - June 20, 2020)

Note: This course starts in Athens and ends on the Island of Poros.  Participants should make travel plans accordingly.  Please see Essential Information below.

In her book of travel essays The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia, Alden Jones describes the difference between the ‘tourist’ and the ‘traveler’. She writes: “While tourists spend their time away from home seeking out the comforts of home, travelers risk—even cultivate— discomfort, because what they want is the thrill of a new perspective.” Yet in doing so, the traveler journeys to achieve perspective on his or her own life as much as on the lives of others.

On this course, we will use the study and practice of creative non-fiction to introduce you to new ways of engaging with the world - both as writers and individuals. We will also explore various questions that arise when writing travel literature: How does one write about a foreign country without exoticizing or romanticizing the country and its people? In what ways do our expectations and our actual experiences of a place juxtapose, merge, or align? And how might an outsider’s perspective contribute to the representation of place in a variety of written forms, from the personal essay and destination article to scripts for walking tours and short travel documentaries?

Finally, by using Greece as a lens to examine the ways in which authors have drawn on the rich myth, history, and literary tradition of the place to investigate both its culture and themselves, students will hone their critical thinking and writing skills as well as learning how to productively immerse themselves in - and make meaning from - a culture that is not their own.

Read the "Travel Writing and Running on Poros Island" story on the CYA blog!

Course Details


This course requires a minimum enrollment of 10, with a maximum enrollment of 14.

CYA reserves the right to cancel any course that fails to achieve minimum enrollment by April 1. Students are advised not to purchase non-refundable airline tickets before early April.


60 contact hours

Fee Reductions

  • $100 per course for students who submit their application with full payment postmarked on or before March 1

  • $100 per course for students who enroll and participate in two CYA summer courses

  • $250 per course for students from public universities

  • $100 per course for CYA semester students who enroll in a summer course

Essential Information

The course starts in Athens on Monday May 25 and ends on the island of Poros on Saturday June 20. Class will spend one week in Athens, 3 days in Nauplion, and the remainder of the time on the island of Poros. Transportation between Athens, Nauplion and Poros, as well as a ferry ticket for the return to Athens (port of Piraeus) are included in the course fee. At the end of the course participants should allow themselves time to return from Poros to Athens and should not plan to fly out of Greece earlier than Sunday, June 21.

Enrolled students will have access to detailed information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about the course. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: and  For information on the island of Poros:


While in Athens, students are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in either CYA student apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens or in hotel accommodations arranged by CYA. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms; towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided.

Hotel accommodations in Nauplion and Poros will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, with air-conditioned rooms.


The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those students who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Sunday 5:00-9:00 p.m..


When class is in Athens a full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m. On Poros, a mid-day meal will be served at the hotel or a local taverna Monday to Friday. A welcome and a farewell dinner are also included in the course fee. During hotel stays, breakfast will be offered at the Hotels.


Arrival: Monday May 25
9:00 a.m.: Check-in begins at the CYA Academic Center. Pick up information folder from Student Affairs and course materials from the Librarian. Transfer to CYA apartments or to CYA-arranged hotel accommodations.

6:00 p.m.: Orientation session at the Academic Center followed by welcome dinner offering students the opportunity to meet their Professor and fellow students.

Class begins: Tuesday May 26

Wednesday, June 3:
Bus transfer to Nauplion. Check in at Hotel Victoria  (2 nights).

Friday, June 5:
After visiting Epidaurus archaeological site, transfer to Poros and check in at 7 Brothers Hotel 

Last Day of Class: Friday June 19
Last class and final examination. Farewell dinner.

Departure: Saturday June 20
Accommodations available till 12:00 noon.  Ferry ticket for the return trip from Poros to the port of Piraeus (Athens) is included.