Welcome to the DIRECT Greece Accepted Student Information page! Navigate the tabs below for everything you need to know before your epic adventure!
To navigate back to your portal for payments and deadlines, click the My Account button in the upper right corner (or Log In if you have not logged in).
Do I have to bring my laptop?
No, you do not need to bring a laptop for this program. In fact, we encourage you not to bring one. If you do bring one, please be sure to bring a lock to secure it in your baggage when not in use.
Are meals included?
Your program fee includes a welcome dinner and a final dinner. In addition, some of the hotels offer breakfast. All other meals are your responsibility.
Will my cell phone work abroad?
We strongly recommend all students contact their cell phone service provider before departure to better understand international plans. Typical data plans abroad are very expensive.
As an alternative to purchasing an international plan, you can buy a local SIM card once in Greece and use your phone like normal. Your phone must be unlocked to use a SIM card other than your own. Contact your cell phone provider for more details if you are not sure whether or not your phone is unlocked.
How much spending money should I budget for the trip?
Click here for a budgeting worksheet. You should have a realistic conversation with your parents in the application process to discuss spending habits and budgeting while you are abroad. While spending can vary widely, LeadAbroad recommends $40/day as a baseline budget for meals and incidentals.
Should I bring U.S. cash? Debit cards? Credit cards?
LeadAbroad strongly recommends you bring two ways to access money: a debit card for ATM withdrawals and a credit card as a backup. We do not recommend exchanging U.S. dollars for local currency as the exchange rate is typically better when you withdraw from an ATM. You should plan on getting cash out an ATM once you arrive in Greece.
Is travel insurance included? What about health insurance?
LeadAbroad does not offer a travel insurance plan. All students will be covered under LeadAbroad’s health insurance for the duration of the program. Details can be found in the Health & Insurance section of “Pre-Departure Info.”
Do I need shots before visiting Greece?
Review CDC guidelines for travelers to Greece here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/greece
No specific shots are required; however, LeadAbroad recommends visiting your family doctor before departure to ensure you are up to date on routine vaccines.
When will I get my group flight confirmation? Can I upgrade my ticket or request a different seat?
All students who register for the group flight through LeadAbroad will receive an email confirmation with ticket details approximately 30 days before departure. Once details are sent, you can alter your seat assignment by looking up your ticket number on the carrier website. LeadAbroad cannot accommodate seat/class requests during the initial group booking.
When will I know my roommate assignment?
We can change roommates up to 30 days before departure. Roommate requests are entered on the general form linked on this page. If you’ve already completed this form and would to change your request, please email info@LeadAbroad.com.
Final roommates will be released 30 days before departure. No changes can be made after this time.
Should I pack sheets/linens/towels/hangers?
No, our hotels provide all of the above. However, it’s always a good idea to pack an extra beach towel or quick-drying travel towel.
What is the best way for friends/family to contact me while abroad?
Check out the Communication Abroad section under the “Pre-Departure Info” tab for details on staying in touch. WiFi is accessible in our hotels.
If there is an emergency in the U.S. and your family needs to contact LeadAbroad, please have them call our emergency response line at 404.720.5657 and dial extension 710.
This tab features a running series of announcements from the LeadAbroad team as you prepare for an incredible summer! You can expect an update about once a month. As we get closer to departure, updates will become more frequent.
45 Days to Departure Newsletter
30 Days to Departure Newsletter
10 Days to Departure Newsletter
1 Day to Departure Newsletter
Get Ready to Take Off
To make a payment online, log in to your customer portal.
The DIRECT Greece program fee is $3,000. The optional Italy add-on fee is $1,200. Please refer to your customer portal for your custom due dates based on when you were accepted to the program. Further information on all payment policies can be found on our policy page.
Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) are accepted for payment online; however, we do not accept American Express. Please remember that a 4% processing fee will be added to all credit card payments. Payment by eCheck is also accepted. eCheck payments do not have a processing fee. Paper checks will not be accepted.
The LeadAbroad team will support you while making your travel plans whether you fly on our group itinerary through the LeadAbroad reservation or your own reservation, arrange an itinerary other than the group flight or meet us at the accommodations if you’re traveling before the program starts. Please review this section in detail for all flight related information!
DIRECT Greece Flight Guide – review this summary sheet for everything you need to know about flights!
Group Flight Itinerary & Price Information
Group Flight Price: $950
NOTE: Registration for the LeadAbroad booking has closed. If you wish to fly to fly with the group, please book the itinerary below via Delta’s website.
LeadAbroad offers a group flight for students participating in DIRECT Greece and the Italy add-on. The flight will land Athens, Greece, and return to the U.S. home from Rome, Italy. If you arrive on the group flight, LeadAbroad staff will be at the airport to greet you and transport you to your accommodations.
Below you can find the group flight itinerary.
Depart: May 13, 2018
- Depart JFK at 5:00pm on Delta #413 / Arrive in ATH at 9:40am (May 14, 2018)
Return: May 30, 2018
- Depart FCO at 12:45pm on Delta #445 / Arrive in JFK at 4:36pm
If you are traveling on the group flight itinerary, you are responsible for booking your domestic airfare between your home city and New York (JFK):
- Before the program, you should arrive into JFK from your home city no later than 1:00pm on May 13th
- After the program, you should depart from JFK to your home city no earlier than 8:30pm on May 30th
Required Flight from Santorini to Athens
DIRECT Greece begins in Athens and ends in Santorini. You are required to book your own ticket from Santorini (JTR) to Athens (ATH) on May 25. If you are participating on the Italy add-on, you will book a one-way ticket from Santorini to Rome (FCO) with a layover in Athens.
- Depart JTR at 6:40am on Aegean Air 351 / Arrive in ATH at 7:25am
- If continuing to Rome: Depart ATH at 9:00am on Aegean #650 / Arrive in FCO at 10:10am
- Depart JTR at 8:45am on Aegean Air 353 / Arrive in ATH at 9:30am
- If continuing to Rome: Depart ATH at 3:30pm on Aegean #654 / Arrive in FCO at 4:40pm
- Depart JTR at 10:00am on Aegean Air 349 / Arrive in ATH at 10:50am
- If continuing to Rome: Depart ATH at 3:30pm on Aegean #654 / Arrive in FCO at 4:40pm
- Depart JTR at 11:35am on Aegean Air 355 / Arrive in ATH at 12:20pm
- If continuing to Rome: Depart ATH at 3:30pm on Aegean #654 / Arrive in FCO at 4:40pm
Independent Travel Information
We encourage you to fly with the group; however, if you choose to book your own itinerary, it is best to arrive at the same time or before the group arrives. This allows you to catch the group transportation to the accommodations. When the program ends, we recommend departing at the same time or shortly after the group so you can ride to the airport in our group transfer.
Airport Greeting & Transportation Information
- Greeting Students at the Airport: All students arriving on May 14th will be greeted at the airport.
- Transportation to Accommodations: If you arrive on the group flight arranged by LeadAbroad or within the same timeframe (8:00-10:00am on May 14th), you will be greeted at the airport and transported to the accommodations. If you are scheduled to arrive outside of the group arrival timeframe, you are responsible for your transportation cost. LeadAbroad will assist you in arranging this transportation.
- **Students arriving prior to the program arrival date are responsible for securing and paying for their own airport transportation and accommodation until the program arrival date.
- **Students arriving after the program arrival date are responsible for their own transportation to the accommodations.
- Departure After the Program: LeadAbroad will arrange one early morning shuttle to the Santorini airport for students on flights to Athens or Rome on May 25th.
In order to arrive in country rested and ready to go, consider the following tips to make your flight experience as enjoyable as possible:
- Do not start your trip stressed. Get to the airport early. For most international flights, we recommend that you arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to departure.
- Weigh your bags before you leave home. Know the checked baggage weight limitations of the airline you are flying. For most international flights it is 50 lbs. This way you will not have to unpack items at the airport.
- Carry-on all medications and “can’t live without items.” If your luggage is lost or delayed, it is helpful to have these items with you, especially contacts and medications. It is also smart to have at least one change of clothes.
- Be comfortable on the plane. Dress in layers so that you can easily adapt to the temperature. If you are sensitive to sound or light, it is wise to bring earplugs and an eye mask.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluid while in the air. It is easy to become dehydrated when flying.
- Know where your passport is at all times. When checking in at the airport, you will have to get your passport in and out of your bag several times; at each stop, be sure to take a moment for a passport check.
- Reset your watch. As soon as you board the plane, reset your watch to the local time and try to get on a sleeping pattern that is consistent with your destination. Most students traveling will be on an overnight flight and you will be very grateful if you sleep. Also, remember that if you have to take medications at a certain time during the day or at the same time everyday you might need to adapt this prior to departure.
- Make special meal requests if necessary. If you have any special requests, be sure to contact the airline at least 72 hours prior to departure.
- Have your return flight information on you. Sometimes it is necessary to show proof of your return ticket when going through customs.
- Carry-on items:
- All electronics and fragile items
- All prescription medications and “can’t live without” items
- Journal, book, notebook, magazine
- Program Director’s contact information and destination details
- An extra change of clothes in case your bag is delayed
It’s important to take the following steps in preparation for your trip.
- If you do not have a passport, apply for a passport
- If you have a passport, check to confirm the expiration date is at least three months beyond the end date of your trip and the passport has at least one blank page. You will be denied boarding and/or entrance to Greece if you do not meet this requirement.
- Upload your passport information on the passport form in your portal.
All participants are REQUIRED to review the following orientation videos:
- General LeadAbroad Orientation: All Programs
- DIRECT Greece Orientation (will be available in March)
A new orientation form will be added to portals in February. Please submit this form after watching the general orientation video.
To ensure we have the tools to support you before and during the program, we have several short forms that must be completed 60 days before departure. Please access your customer portal for all required forms and due dates.
The most important thing to remember when packing for Greece is that we will be moving to multiple cities. Pack light and be able to carry all of your luggage up and down stairs (without a trolley). You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage on and off ferries during the program. Don’t worry, you can do laundry on the program, so ONE suitcase and a backpack carry-on will be perfect!
We are working on a new, updated packing list for 2018! Stay tuned!
Students are required to order a DIRECT notebook and complete one short, fun assignment prior to departure.
To order your journal, please click here. (Link will be posted in March 2018)
We recommend placing your order as soon as possible to allow yourself time for shipping and to complete the assignment. It is required that all students bring the program workbook abroad this summer for use on the program.
Students have two options for ordering the program workbook:
- Order online and pay with Paypal
- Order over the phone with a credit card
It is important that you select the correct item (DIRECT Journal – NOT Greece Blue Book) and indicate your shipping address. If you need expedited shipping (2-3 business days or less), call BelJean directly rather than placing your order online. Students who prefer picking their program workbook at BelJean do so during normal store hours at the following address:
163 E Broad St
Athens, GA 30601
DIRECT Greece offers workshops on leadership and personal development. One of the first workshops you will participate in is examining your “signature strengths.” All students must complete this assessment before departure.
Instructions on completing the exercise are here. Each student has a unique access code which can be found here (link will be posted in March 2018). If you do not see your name on the list of access codes, please email info@LeadAbroad.com to request your code.
Applications are posted in your portal under “Optional Forms”
What are program leaders?
On the LeadAbroad team, the program staff are the coaches and program leaders are the team captains – they set the tone and encourage other students by creating a strong sense of community through service projects, social outings, group chats and creative stories. They are the peer leaders who step up when needed and make other students feel included. Whether you’re joining us on GO, LEAD, DIRECT or PRO, our program leaders will help make your experience abroad impactful and lasting.
Why should I apply?
Like most things in life, you get out of the program what you put in. As a program leader, you will be empowered to be a leader on the program from day one. You will get to know other students faster, receive additional leadership coaching from our program staff and make your study abroad experience stand out on your resume.
In addition, about 3 days into the program students will start asking us, “How do I get to work with you?” Being a program leader is the first step in the door. The normal trajectory for our staff is the following: Program Leader > On Campus Community Leader > Summer Intern > Full Time Staff
What would I do during the program?
We have four types of program leaders on DIRECT, so there are multiple ways to plug in on the ground.
Orientation Leader (apply online): Are you the first one on the dance floor at a party, love meeting new people and aren’t afraid to be a trendsetter? Consider applying to be an OL on the program. These students will help assist with our on the ground orientation, breaking the ice those first few days and helping the students on the program get to know each other.
Service Leader (apply during orientation): Are you involved with a large philanthropy on campus or wanting to get involved with one next year? Boost your resume and give back on your program by registering as a Service Leader during our on the ground orientation. Service Leaders assist with our program’s service project and identifying fun ways to serve the other program participants and locals. This is a great way to get plugged in, meet new people and give back to the local community and your peers.
Social Chair (apply during orientation): Do you love getting your friends together? Wouldn’t miss a festival, concert or restaurant opening? You should be a social chair on our program. Not only is this a great way to meet people on the program, but also is awesome for your resume if you are considering applying for an events position on campus.
International Brand Ambassador (apply online): We are looking for talented students to share the story of their study abroad experience! Want to build your resume? Love taking pics? Writing is your thing? Great at videos? Then apply to join our International Brand Ambassador team. You will get to capture the experience and earn $$$$ for doing what you love!
Does being a program leader take a lot of time?
Being a program leader doesn’t take a ton of extra time; however, we will have weekly meetings with staff to chat about what is happening on the program and additional ways to create fun experiences for the students. Each type of leader will have a staff member coach them in their role throughout the program. Former leaders have said that team meetings are one of the best parts of the role.
What would I do after the trip?
Studying abroad is just the beginning. As a program leader, you have a head start in the selection process for on-campus community leaders next fall. On-campus community leaders will share their experience on their campus and encourage other students to take the first step toward their own study abroad journey.
Ready to dive into this leadership role? Apply in your portal before the deadline!
Check out the links below to our accommodations in Greece! Make sure to mark your luggage with our address in Athens in case your bags get lost en route to Greece.
Athens Backpackers Studios
3A Veikou St
tel +30 210 9235811
New Haroula Hotel
Fira, 847 00, Greece
Tel: +30 2286 024226
For students participating in the Italy add-on, your hotel addresses will be posted here in December 2017!
There are many ways to stay in touch while traveling abroad. Wireless internet is available throughout our hotels. Please note that internet speeds can fluctuate depending on traffic. Internet can be slow and unpredictable, especially when all students are trying to upload pictures or watch videos at the same time. We ask all students and parents to be patient with the internet. Students will have more success using the internet if they use it at off-peak times.
LeadAbroad strongly encourages students to have cell phones while abroad for risk management purposes. Students can:
- Bring an unlocked phone and buy a local SIM card upon arrival
- Add an international package to current phone plan
- Rent/buy a local cell phone
With Wi-Fi readily available in most locations, you are encouraged to utilize internet texting apps (iMessage for iPhone to iPhone, Groupme, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts) to communicate with program staff and family and friends at home.
In addition, we integrate technology into our communications and risk management strategy to keep students safe. Therefore, we require students to download the following applications on their phone prior to departure:
- Find my Friends
- State Department
If there is an emergency at home while you are abroad, our team will support you and your family in every way possible. Should any friends and/or family need to contact LeadAbroad, please have them call our U.S.-based domestic team at 404.720.5657. For emergencies, dial extension 710 when prompted. Our on-call team will assist with the situation and get in touch with your program staff as needed.
This worksheet will allow you to understand costs outside of the program fees and airfare. Review this section in detail and email us at info@LeadAbroad.com with any further budgeting questions.
Before you leave, call your bank and credit card company to notify them that you will be traveling abroad. Give them the dates and countries of your itinerary, including any layovers. Debit and credit cards can been blocked after transactions abroad because your bank may assume it is a fraudulent transaction.
To access funds, debit cards are the best way to access cash overseas. ATM machines are widely available everywhere we travel. Debit cards with Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus or Plus signs are the most widely accepted. There may be a transaction fee for using ATMs abroad; therefore, it’s important to understand the fees associated with using your cards overseas. Keep a record of your debit card and pin numbers with someone at home.
Credit cards can be used similarly to debit cards at restaurants and shops abroad. Most major credit cards are honored abroad (i.e. MasterCard and Visa). Similarly to debit cards, credit card companies use the current exchange rate for your transaction. Call your credit card company to understand the fees charged per transaction.
We recommend that students do not bring large sums of US dollars with them to Greece. It is not convenient to exchange money and students typically get a poor exchange rate. Using your debit card is the best option. We recommend that students do not bring traveler’s checks. Most businesses will not accept them.
The program fees cover most of the costs of being in country, but you will need to provide additional funds for:
- Meals: We will have weekly program dinners, other meals are your responsibility
- Incidentals: Internet, phone calls, transportation to non-program events
- Free time: Independent evenings and additional outings
- Gifts and souvenirs
Budgeting can be a challenging and personal process. On average, if you eat all the group meals, breakfast at the hotel daily (included), drink mostly water, occasionally take taxis and keep additional activities to a minimum; you will spend between $25 and $40 per day. Know yourself and your budget plan to avoid any surprises. Here are some sample local costs to help you plan:
Meals: Costs for dining out are similar to those in the US; typically, prices for dinner range from $15-$25. Most people spend about $10-30 per day on food. Greece has a range of restaurants from five-star dining to casual chain restaurants. Food is part of the Greece culture and should be enjoyed, but eating at home is also a great way to remain on budget. Have dinner parties with your Community Group once a week so you can build community and save some money.
Cell Phone: We encourage students to bring their cell phone with them so they have a way to contact our staff in an emergency. Wi-Fi is readily available throughout Europe, which makes logging online easy and inexpensive, whenever in a Wi-Fi zone. Talk with your cell phone provider prior to departure about international plans for data and cell usage abroad.
Taxis: A taxi from Athens to the beach will be about 20 Euros or 5 Euro per person if split between 4 people. There are also trams and a subway that students can take to get around town. These options are a little less expensive, but take longer. Program Directors will show you how to navigate each city upon arrival.
Laundry: You can do laundry in each city; however, Athens will be the most convenient. The average cost for a full bag of laundry is 12 Euro.
Other Activities: Below are average costs of many of the additional activities that students enjoy! During our first week in Greece, students will have an opportunity to hear more about each of these activities and sign up to participate.
- Corinth Canal Bungee Jump: Around 75 Euro
- Catamaran Tour: Around 85 Euro
To charge your electronics abroad, will need pack (or purchase when you arrive) an outlet adaptor. A quick search on Amazon will provide several options! For some items like hair dryers and straighteners, you will also need to purchase a voltage converter since voltage is much higher in Europe than the US. If you do not use a converter, you could damage your appliance.
We encourage students to be mindful of their electronics while traveling. It is wise to conceal electronic devices when walking around as iPhones and laptops can be attractive for theft.
LeadAbroad strongly encourages students to be mindful of their health prior to departure and while abroad. Living in a new environment, eating different cuisine and adjusting to a new schedule can impact one’s immune system. Before you travel overseas, students should examine the factors that contribute to their physical and emotional wellbeing so that they can stay healthy and get the most out of their trip.
- Read and understand the CDC recommendations for your upcoming travel. The CDC website includes information on vaccines, medicines, packing lists as well as information to prepare students to stay healthy and safe.
- Make an appointment with your university’s travel clinic, dentist and other medical professionals. Students can proactively eliminate many potential health issues by ensuring they are in good health prior to departure. Additionally, during these visits, make sure your health records and prescriptions (including eyeglasses) are up-to-date. If you are taking a prescription medication, please ensure that you have enough for the whole program and that the medication is in the original container. If you self-inject prescribed medication, please carry needles and syringes with you. It’s important to understand that LeadAbroad will not distribute any form of prescription or nonprescription medication to students. We recommend every student travel with a medical kit.
- Be honest with yourself regarding your emotional health. Students that are concerned about their emotional stability or use of alcohol/drugs should address it honestly before making plans to travel. Contrary to many people’s expectations, travel does not minimize these problems; in fact, it can often exacerbate them.
- Contact us directly at info@LeadAbroad.com with any specific medical issues we should be aware of at least three months prior to departure. Our team is better equipped to support you abroad if we know your health history and emotional health. Please share this information with us prior to departure.
Click here to view LeadAbroad’s health insurance policy. Despite the 2015-2016 header, this is our current policy for summer 2018.
Basic medical insurance is included in all students’ program fee. Please review the policy to become knowledgeable regarding the types of medical conditions and situations that are covered while you are participating on a LeadAbroad program. If you are injured or ill while you are abroad and need medical attention, you will likely need to pay for the treatment upfront, and if covered the money will be reimbursed by LeadAbroad’s insurer after submitting your claims form. If for any reason you need to seek medical assistance while abroad, a LeadAbroad staff member will accompany you to the doctor. Please contact us first if you have any sort of emergency.
It’s important to note that this medical insurance is not ‘travel insurance’ and therefore does not cover the cost lost or stolen luggage or cancellation of the trip. Students may purchase travel insurance independently through an outside provider. For more information on the different types of travel insurance you can click here.
LeadAbroad’s Emergency Response Protocol provides a system for coordinating the management of emergency services for all participants in our study abroad programs. In-country staff are the first point of contact for students on the program in the event of an emergency and assume leadership of the emergency situation until other resources (e.g., local police, etc) are available. However, in the event that the staff are unavailable, the following guidelines are provided here in case you, as a participant in the program, need to handle an emergency.
- Ensure safety: Your first priority is to safeguard the safety and well-being of yourself and other program participants. Do whatever is reasonably necessary to ensure safety.
- Seek medical care: Obtain any emergency medical care for affected participants as soon as possible.
- Control emotions: Remain as calm as possible. Do your best to diffuse any growing anxieties that may be occurring among participants.
- Communicate (as applicable). Depending on the nature of the emergency, it may be necessary to contact medical or emergency services, police or local law enforcement or the US embassy.
- Ongoing support: Continue to monitor, aid, and communicate status updates as the situation progresses.
- Debrief: Meet with LeadAbroad staff to discuss the situation, how it was handled and steps that were taken to resolve the emergency.
Reducing Risk Abroad
LeadAbroad takes many steps to reduce risk abroad. You will be registered with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The benefits of STEP include the following:
You will be given a keychain with emergency contact numbers and the address of our accommodations.
Please review the following resources to ensure that you are informed on how to have a safe and healthy trip abroad: