History of the Program
There are dozens of summer programs in Europe, many offered by some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the continent. But the quality of these programs varies widely, to put it mildly. Some of them draw on the appeal of major European cities but most of them compromise on the quality of the faculty they use or the non-academic aspects of such programs.
Hence an idea was born, to create a program that tries to achieve excellence in every possible respect: accomplished professors, offering accommodations in a 5-star hotel, a generous meal plan, extraordinary excursions, and to offer the entire package at a cost which was modest compared to the value it offered. The location was equally important. The town of Kavala was chosen along the northern coastline of the Aegean. A small town of 60-70,000 people. Pretty enough to attract tourists but not rising to numbers that overwhelm and mask the activities of its inhabitants. We felt it was important for our students to have an authentic experience by mingling with people as they go about with their daily lives.
“If you build it, they will come,” so the saying goes. Our first program was offered in the summer of 2017. And so they came, students from ten different countries, from places as far as the US, China, and Vietnam. Young people who had never met before started converging into networks of friendship. They shared meals together; they formed study groups; they came to socialize with their professors without the walls of authority which are usually raised in a conventional academic environment; they walked the cobblestone streets of Kavala laying their eyes on architectural layers going back hundreds of years; they jumped from boats to crystal clear island waters; they stared at the moonlight onboard sailing boats sliding the Aegean sea; they attended comedies written by Aristophanes in an ancient theater; and some of them fell in love with each other!
We extend our sincere gratitude to the students who joined us despite the lack of record on our part; to our professors for their dedicated work; to the truly incredible hotel staff; to Allie Pitchon, an Argentinian student at Pomona College who joined us as an intern doing a magnificent job on various tasks but especially with improving the content and aesthetics of our website; and last, but certainly not least, to Jesse Lifshitz for designing the original version of the website.
The feelings expressed by our students and captured in statistics (cited below) was a humbling experience for us: 93% of them marked the effectiveness of their professors as "Excellent" or "Very good" while the respective figure relating to the question about their overall experience came to 94%. This outcome is a source of energy, strengthening our commitment to work on our imperfections, to make every year being better than the last one.
The team of Unbound Prometheus
All photos taken by Unbound Prometheus participants
Where in the world do we come from?
In 2017, our programs received students (along with an intern) from all over the world, including Argentina, Belarus, China, FYROM (Macedonia), Greece, Norway, Palestine, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam.
comments made by our summer 2017 students
[The lectures were] so illustrative.
Extremely energetic [professor], has a lot of knowledge on different subjects, EXCELLENT researcher.
A lot of useful material with many covered aspects, very enthusiastic and down-to-earth instructor approach.
[The professor was] very good at mediating and directing class discussions.
I believe that the most favorite [academic aspect of the program] was the interaction between our instructor and us.
[My favorite academic aspect of the program was] class discussions.
You should promote the whole program more, invite some Greeks to participate and take more interns.
I think that [the program] was brilliant. I wouldn't improve something.
It's a great program and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to experience this!
Please comment on Kavala as the location base for the program
Nice, with the sea and the town. Perfect taxi connection and taxi prices. Lucy is fantastic and staff very nice!
Great location! The fact that there aren't many American tourists here makes it a great place to see and experience the real culture- not tourism.
Beautiful place. Love it. Could easily live here. I am so pleased with Kavala as the location.
It's beautiful and safe here. There's a lot to explore but it's still personal. However I do wish we could see a little more of Greece.
I think it is perfect. It's a calmer place so it creates a good environment for learning. It's easy to get to town and not too far from the island.
Kavala is a beautiful place, the food is awesome and fresh. I would recommend that the program stay in Kavala.
The hotel is amazing and not that far from the port/old town. I was pleased with the location and the services provided.
It's a great city. Maybe it's a little distracting from coursework.
The location was a very good option.
What were your favorite non-academic aspects of the program?
I have met great friends from all over the world.
The boat trip to Thassos!
The full day boat trip and going into town.
Swimming and sightseeing.
The group bonded very quickly and we were given freedom to live here on our own.
The shopping in town, the beach and pool at the hotel, the bars, making new friends and the boat around Thassos.
The place of the classroom and all of the excursions that we had. I love how it's at a 5 star-hotel. The hotel staff was great and I loved how I could go straight to the pool after class.
Getting to know guys from other cultures and backgrounds.
Good breakfasts, boat trip.
I think that it was the ancient Greek theater in Philippi.
The program activities, different cultures, Lucy hotel and in general Greece.