Welcome to the LEAD 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, forms and due dates, click the My Account button above.
Stay on track for your summer adventure with the pre-departure checklist. Print it out, share with your parents and cross off items as you complete them. Please note some items may only apply to specific locations, and this is noted where applicable.
Are flights included in the program fee?
International airfare is not included in your program fee. You have several options when booking flights:
- Purchase one of the recommended group itineraries
- Book your own flights on any itinerary that is most convenient for you (be sure to note your arrival/departure dates and times as this may affect your airport transfer)
All flight details can be found in the flights section below!
Will LeadAbroad staff be on my flight?
Since our staff will already be in Greece preparing for your arrival, we will not have any staff at the departure airport or on flights to Athens. However, a student will be taking attendance at the gate and helping students connect with each other before the flight. Should you have questions or problems with your flight, we strongly recommend you speak with an airline representative at the airport as they will be able to assist. Our on-call, U.S. based staff is available for any itinerary changes that will impact your arrival into Athens.
I am not arriving on the group flight. Will someone meet me at the airport in Athens?
Yes! As long as you are arriving on the official start date, LeadAbroad staff will greet you at the airport. Depending on your arrival time, you may be responsible for your own transportation cost to the hotel. We will arrange this transfer for you, and you will pay the driver directly. If this applies to you, we will be in touch before departure to confirm your arrival plans!
What happens if I miss my flight or it is canceled/delayed?
- Step 1: Do not stress. These things happen!
- Step 2: Work with an airline rep at the airport to be rebooked.
- Step 3: As soon as you have a new itinerary, complete the new flight plan form linked in your pre-departure newsletter. We will be in touch to confirm any details.
Where can I find a packing list?
Click here to jump down to the packing section of this page for all the details!
Do I have to bring my laptop?
Yes. You will submit some assignments electronically, so it’s important you have a laptop to complete your work.
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.
How will my classes transfer back to my home university?
Every school has different procedures and requirements for transfer credits. The first step in the process is often meeting with your academic advisor with the course syllabi. Be sure to do this as soon as possible. More details can be found in the transfer credits section below!
When will I know my final grades?
Final grades will be submitted to Oglethorpe University in early August. For any questions related to the academic component of the program, please reach out directly to Dr. Printz.
When will I receive a transcript for my classes this summer? Do I have to send it to my school?
Transcripts are issued by Oglethorpe University in late August. OU will send your transcript automatically to the institution on your record. If you’ve transferred to a new school for the fall semester, please notify us by emailing info@LeadAbroad.com.
Budgeting & Finances
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.
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.
Health & Safety
Is travel insurance included? What about health insurance?
LeadAbroad offers two trip protection plans. Click here for details and instructions for purchasing.
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 below.
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 including Hepatitis A and MMR.
Can I bring my prescription medication to Greece?
If you pack prescription medication, be sure it is in the original prescription bottle. We also recommend researching the medication to better understand any restrictions in Greece. Your doctor will be a great resource in finding this information.
Pharmacies in Greece will not accept foreign prescriptions. If you anticipate needing a prescription refill while abroad, speak with your doctor about getting enough medication for the duration of your trip. Alternatively, our staff can assist with a local doctor’s visit to receive a local prescription.
Do I need a visa to enter Greece?
U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa to visit Greece if you stay for 90 days or less. When entering Greece, you will be considered a tourist and not a student since you are not enrolling in a foreign university.
If you are NOT a U.S. citizen, be sure to research entry requirements based on the country that issued your passport. You may be required to obtain a visa.
For more information on visa and passport requirements, review the passports section below!
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.
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.
What is the best way for friends/family to contact me while abroad?
Check out the Communication Abroad section for tips on staying in touch while abroad. WiFi is also accessible in our hotel.
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.
Can I receive packages/mail while abroad?
General mail can be received at the hotel while you’re abroad; however, we strongly discourage the mailing of valuable packages (cameras, cell phones, medication, etc) to students while abroad. You will have to pay taxes on the item in order for it to clear customs, and it often takes many days for the process to be completed which delays delivery. Depending on what is being sent, the taxes may be very high (sometimes more than the value of the item itself).
Get Ready to Take Off
To make a payment online, log in to your customer portal.
The LEAD Greece program fee is $5,100. Tuition for the six credits from Oglethorpe University is $3,400. 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 every step of the way when planning your flights! Please review the sections below as well as the flights FAQ section above for information on the official group flight and tips for booking flights independently.
Important dates for LEAD Greece:
- Thursday, July 1 – students depart U.S. for Athens
- Friday, July 2 – students arrive in Athens; program begins
- Wednesday, July 28 – program ends; students depart Crete on one-way ticket to Athens to catch flight home
*LEAD Greece ends in Crete: All students must book a roundtrip ticket between the U.S. and Athens and a one-way ticket departing from Crete to Athens on the final day of the program. See details below!
For steps on booking flights, please review the sections below:
➡️ Step 1: Book Your USA-Athens Roundtrip Ticket
For our LEAD Greece travel dates, the best option for a non-stop flight to Athens from the United States is on Delta Air Lines via New York-JFK. All students should make it a priority to book flights with Delta. On July 28th, students can travel back to the U.S. directly from Athens to New York-JFK or Atlanta.
**We do not recommend booking flights to Athens with layovers in other European cities.**
Rules and restrictions for international layovers are constantly changing, and even if an airline has a ticket available (for example, Atlanta > Paris > Athens), you may not be permitted to take this international layover.
Students should book all flights under ONE reservation instead of separate tickets if connecting flights are needed. Review more details below!
Depart: July 1, 2021
Return: July 28, 2021
NEW YORK (JFK)
- LEAVING USA: Depart JFK at 5:15pm on Delta #202 / Arrive in ATH at 10:00am (arrives July 2)
- RETURN TO USA: Depart ATH at 12:15pm on Delta #203 / Arrive in JFK at 4:00pm
- *For return flights, students can book flights back to the U.S. from Athens to JFK or ATL
Need to connect from your hometown to New York? No problem! Here is what we recommend:
- Go to Delta.com, enter your hometown as the origin city and Athens (ATH) as your final destination
- Search for available itineraries within our dates (listed above)
- Review the options and search for the itinerary with a layover in JFK that matches the nonstop flight to Athens.
- For your return flight home, you can choose either the direct flight back to JFK at 12:15pm or the direct flight to Atlanta at 12:35pm.
- Purchase a ticket! This way, all of your flights are booked together, and you’ll be on one of our recommended itineraries.
➡️ Step 2: Book Your Crete-Athens One-Way Ticket on July 28th
LEAD Greece ends in Crete. In addition to your roundtrip ticket between the U.S. and Athens, you’ll need a one-way connecting flight from Crete back to Athens on July 28th to catch your international flight home.
Depart: July 28, 2021
- LEAVING CRETE: Depart HER at 6:30am on Aegean Air #301 / Arrive to ATH at 7:20am
- To book this flight, go to AegeanAirlines.com
- Enter “HER” as your departure airport (Crete airport code) and “ATH” as your destination
- Check the box for a one-way ticket
- Select July 28, 2021, as your travel date and then click Search
- Choose the first flight option departing HER at 6:30am and choose your booking preference (most students choose “Light” or “Flex”
- Once your fare is selected, scroll down and click Continue. Complete all required passenger and payment information.
- Book your flight!
Airport greeting and transfer times
Greeting students on arrival:
- All students arriving on July 2nd will be greeted at the airport. For hotel transfer information, please see below.
Group shuttle to the hotel after arrival:
- All students arriving on the JFK flight at 10:00am will be on the group shuttle.
- If you are scheduled to arrive on July 2nd before the group lands, you can wait at the airport for the group shuttle or pay for your own transfer to the hotel. LeadAbroad will assist you in arranging this transportation.
Group shuttle to the airport after the program:
- All students departing Crete at 6:30am or later will be transported to the airport.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Plan ahead: Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
- Get tested before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Check and follow destination testing requirements—they may require specific types of tests.
- Don’t travel if you test positive; immediately isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations
- Delay your travel if you are waiting for test results.
- If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
In order to arrive abroad rested and ready to go, consider the following tips to make your flight experience as enjoyable and safe as possible:
- Print ALL of your flight itineraries for the trip and have them easily accessible.
- 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. Check baggage size and weight restrictions for ALL AIRLINES you might be flying during the program. Smaller budget airlines abroad usually have stricter baggage policies than the larger U.S.-based carriers.
- Pack the following items in your carry-on. If your checked baggage takes an adventure of its own, having these items with you will create less stress and allow for a more comfortable plane ride:
- Two days worth of clothes
- Laptop, cell phone, chargers, other electronics
- Water bottle/Nalgene
- Blindfold and ear plugs if you are sensitive to light/sound when trying to sleep on planes
- Program director’s phone number
- Dorm address
- Be comfortable on the plane. Dress in layers so that you can easily adapt to the temperature.
- 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.
- Make sure you have a pen for any immigration forms. Flight attendants usually distribute arrival forms shortly after take-off. On these forms, note that you are a tourist, not a student.
Entry into Greece
Return to the United States
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.
- Review the Summer 2021 COVID-19 Code of Conduct. Students should be familiar with requirements and recommendations to ensure a safe travel experience.
- Check that you are caught up on routine shots and vaccinations. Consistent with the requirements of the Georgia Board of Regents, the following routine vaccinations are required for all students enrolled in LeadAbroad:
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) 2 doses
- Tetanus or Diphtheria (Tdap or Td) must be up to date
- Hepatitis B series
- Varicella (Chicken Pox) 2 doses or date of disease
- Current flu shot
- 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 two 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.
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 the 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.
To apply for a U.S. passport, click here. If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to thoroughly research passport and visa requirements for citizens of your home country.
If you already have a U.S. passport, check to confirm the following:
- the expiration date is 2022 or beyond
- the passport has at least two consecutive blank pages
- Your name is spelled correctly
If your passport does not have all requirements above, you must renew your passport before traveling abroad.
All students are required to submit passport information via the passport form in the LeadAbroad portal 60 days before departure. Please do not submit a passport that is expired or in the process of being renewed. When your new passport arrives, you can then submit your form.
- All Programs Part 1: Introduction & the LeadAbroad Promise
- All Programs Part 2: COVID-19, Health & Safety, Program Rules
- All Programs Part 3: Travel Preparations & Life Abroad
- All Programs Part 4: Academics
- LEAD Greece Orientation
- Please note: Country-specific policies referenced in orientation may change based on changing government laws, health guidelines, current health environment or LeadAbroad rules designed to keep students safe. It is important to read all of LeadAbroad’s emails thoroughly to stay informed on the most updated policies, procedures and requirements.
**Your orientation is not complete until you submit the Orientation: Program-Specific form in your portal. Please submit this form to verify you’ve completed all orientations.
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. 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!
Applications will be posted in your portal under Optional Forms in April 2021!
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?
The more you put in, the more you get out. That’s why we have 3 awesome leadership opportunities on your program abroad. Whether you are your squad’s go to party planner, you’re passionate about giving back or you’re a wizard with video editing, we’d love to invest in you and your talents!
We have three types of program leaders on LEAD, so there are multiple ways to plug in on the ground.
Community Leader (apply online through your portal): Are you a leader on campus or interested in becoming one in the future? Do you feel like you’re the “ringleader” of your crew & want to take your skills abroad? Our Community Leader (CL) program is an awesome way to make the most of your summer experience with leadership 101 training, resume boosts and serving as a peer leader on the program. CLs will experience an extra level of investment from our staff (and fun invites), opportunities for social media highlights and a connection with other like-minded students on the program.
Service Leader (apply online through your portal): Do you have experience as a camp counselor or are majoring in education? Are you involved in service organizations on your campus? Apply to be a Service Leader on your program & you can help with the planning, preparation and execution of our service projects on the ground! Not only will you get more investment from the staff & get more out of our time serving, but it looks great on your resume.
Media Leader (apply online through your portal): “If its not on camera, it didn’t happen” is your mantra. Are you someone who makes videos for every trip you go on? Do you have a “fancy” camera for special events or have an interest in photography? Are you already planning out your end-of-program video or following local photographers on Instagram? Sign up to be a media leader & put your skills to use!
Ready to dive into this leadership role? Apply in your portal before the deadline!
Get Ready for Class
The LEAD Greece program is designed to combine dynamic cultural experiences with an academically rigorous curriculum. The program is aimed toward instilling the foundations of personal, academic and cultural growth in students. All students are required to enroll in two courses during the LEAD Greece program. These courses are designed and accredited through Oglethorpe University’s Urban Leadership department. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum, you may cross-list the courses in History, Sociology or Political Science. Students will have the opportunity to select their preference by completing the Academic Form.
Each day is unique, and therefore, it is challenging to communicate an ‘average’ day on the LEAD Greece program. However, below is an example of the type of activities that a sample day may include:
9:00 am: Lecture on Social Change Model and Ethical Leadership
10:00 am: Guest Speaker: Judy Boyle (world renowned philanthropist and activist)
11:00 am: Small group debrief and discussion in community groups
12:00 pm: Break for lunch
2:00 pm: Service work with the Salvation Army
4:00 pm: Return to hotel for free evening
Students are required to order a program workbook and complete several assignments prior to departure.
We recommend placing your order as soon as possible to allow yourself time for shipping and to complete all assignments. 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 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
Advanced Special Topics: Leadership Global Theory and Practice
Choose one of the following listings:
Urban Leadership Program: ULP 401
History: HIS 490
Sociology: SOC 490
Politics: POL 490
Philosophy: PHI 490
Special Topics: Global Citizenship and Civic Engagement
Choose one of the following listings:
Urban Leadership Program: ULP 402
History: HIS 290
Sociology: SOC 290
Politics: POL 290
Philosophy: PHI 290
Please note: syllabi are tentative and subject to change.
➡️ Readings Before Departure
All students will have a few readings to complete before they arrive in Greece. Please check the syllabus in your workbook and complete the readings before arrival.
➡️ 16 Personalities Assessment
Click here to take the 16 Personalities test. Note your results and bring them with you to Greece!
➡️ Strengths Assessment
One of the first workshops you will participate in is examining your “signature strengths.” All students must complete this assessment before departure.
BEFORE STARTING, PLEASE NOTE:
- Only begin the assessment when you have 20-30 minutes to complete in one sitting. You will not be able to log back in or restart if you exit out.
- Print your results and bring it with you abroad.
- Submit your top 5 strengths on the Strengths Assessment Form in your portal
If you do not see your name on the list of access codes, please email info@LeadAbroad.com to request your code.
Students accepted into a LeadAbroad program are also simultaneously accepted into Oglethorpe University as transient students. Students are required to participate in all program and curriculum activities during the program unless they are granted an exemption by staff due to a physical or emotional reason. Oglethorpe University students follow the same process as transient students when participating on a LeadAbroad program.
Many universities across the country accept Oglethorpe University transfer credit; however, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to find out how the course credit transfers to your home institution. Every university has a unique process for accepting transient credit. Please schedule a meeting with your academic advisor and the study abroad office as soon as possible to understand your school’s requirements. These steps MUST be completed prior to departure. LeadAbroad does not guarantee credit transfer to any particular university or major.
If you plan to use any scholarships or financial aid, please submit this information on the Financial Aid & Scholarships form in your online portal under optional forms.
The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships may be available for students who are permanent Georgia residents, attend a university in Georgia and meet eligibility requirements. You should meet with your financial aid office in order to determine if this scholarship will apply to a LeadAbroad summer study abroad program.
For students who qualify, the HOPE Scholarship amount is $1,014 and the Zell Miller Scholarship is $1,120. You should confirm these amounts and your eligibility with your home institution’s financial aid office.
We understand that studying abroad is a family decision with significant costs. We recommend that you explore a variety of options to finance your study abroad experience. You can find scholarships by reaching out to the financial aid office at your home university, non-profits and writing letters to companies in their hometowns.
LeadAbroad offers a number of scholarships. Please review these scholarships to check your eligibility here.
All LeadAbroad programs are inclusive and respectful of the needs, backgrounds and experiences of all its participants. Our policies can be found here. If you have an accommodations request, please complete the Disability Accommodations Request form in your customer portal.
Make sure to make your luggage with the Glyfada address in case your bags get lost en route to Greece!
Congo Palace Hotel
81 A Poseidonos Avenue,
16674 Glyfada – Greece
Tel: 210 89 46 711
Fax: 210 89 46 719
Firostefanie, 847 00, Greece
Tel: +30 2286 021600
Ag. Konstantinou Street, Koutouloufari 700 14, Greece
Tel: +30 281 023 8812
Click here for roommate assignments (Posted 30 days before departure)
To request a roommate, please submit the roommate form in your online portal. Roommate forms are due 60 days before departure. Final housing assignments will be posted about one month before departure. Once roommates are posted, we cannot make any changes. If you’ve already submitted your roommate form but wish to make a change to your request, please email info@LeadAbroad.com no later than 60 days before departure.
All students will receive an invitation to join the program itinerary on Trip Plans. Please follow the instructions as soon as you receive this email (expected mid April).
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 requires 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), cook in your apartment while in Crete, 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. While in Crete, you will have full kitchens and there is a grocery store within walking distance; this will make eating-in a very easy option for lunch and some evenings. 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 Glyfada into town 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, Glyfada (Athens) and Crete 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 your first week in Greece, you 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
- Island Tour: 90 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’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: