Learn more about the O’Neill in the Athens program

May 7 - May 28, 2024

V482 – Democratic Institutions and Ideals in Classical and Contemporary Greece (3cr.)

Program Director: Paul Helmke 

This three-credit course explores both the development of democracy in Classical Greece and the efforts of contemporary inhabitants of Greece to strengthen democratic institutions and ideals such as freedom, equality, inclusiveness, and transparency. The first part of the course focuses on Athenian democracy in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., paying particular attention to the role of citizens and citizenship. Much of the second part of the course will focus on the limitations of the state in promoting democratic institutions and ideals in contemporary Greece and on efforts by the business and nonprofit communities to strengthen democracy by circumventing an ineffective government.

In addition to taking classes on the beautiful campus of the American College of Greece, you will also have the opportunity to meet leading figures from the Greek government as well as from Greek foundations and businesses. There will be ample opportunities to explore the historic sites of Athens and the gorgeous islands off of the mainland, both independently and with your instructors.


IU Bloomington Undergrads: See how this course counts towards your major/minor at O'Neill here.

  • Visit the Acropolis (and the new Acropolis Museum), the most important ancient site in the Western world
  • Take a trip to Delphi, the center of the ancient world
  • Visit Nafplio, the first capital of the newly independent Greece of the 1820s
  • Take numerous weekday and evening trips around Athens, visiting inspiring sites and meeting leaders of Greek society
  • Join in on weekend trips to gorgeous Greek islands

You will stay in attractive apartments and take classes on the campus of the American College of Greece, easily accessible via bus and metro to downtown Athens. (It is also where the members of the U.S. Olympic team stayed and practiced before the 2004 Olympics.)  All rooms come fully furnished and have modern air conditioning and Wi-Fi. Additionally, you will have access to excellent libraries, study halls, computer labs, and athletic facilities as well as to numerous local stores and cafes. 

Note: Your IU Bloomington Bursar account will be charged two amounts for participation in this O’Neill International program:

  1. O’Neill International program fee (two payments)
  2. IU Bloomington Tuition


For a full breakdown of estimated cost, see the Athens fee sheet.

2024 O’Neill in Athens Program Fee: $2,500

The program fee will be charged to your Bursar account in two installments:

  1. A $550 non-refundable pre-payment shortly after you confirm your participation in the program
  2. The remaining program fee balance will be charged in March, due in April

The program fee for this program includes:

  • Lodging
  • Medical insurance
  • Some meals
  • Cultural excursions

Flights are not included in the program fee

IUB Tuition – 3 credits

The tuition cost for O’Neill in Athens is based on IU Bloomington tuition. The cost of tuition you pay will vary based on your student status. For more information on the cost of summer tuition, please contact IU Student Central.

Additional Costs

You will need to pay for your flight to and from Athens, transportation to and from the airport, food that is not included in the program and other incidentals.


The O'Neill International Equal Opportunity Scholarship is available to help Civic Leaders, even if you are a non-O'Neill student. Please visit our scholarship page for eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

Other scholarships are available on a competitive basis.

The course is limited to current and former members of the Civic Leaders Center. To participate in this course, you should have at least a 3.0 GPA or the permission of Professor Helmke.

During the application period (December 1- February 7) an "Apply Now" button will be available at the top of this page. You will need to submit the online application by 5 p.m. on February 7. 

Detailed application instructions

If you have any issues throughout the application process, please do not hesitate to contact the O'Neill International Office, 812-855-7568, oio@indiana.edu.

People who don’t travel cannot have a global view, all they see is what’s in front of them.

— Martin Yan, Chinese chef, writer, and TV host