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Exploring the Origins of the Mediterranean Diet in Crete Island

Program Description

The program offers a unique opportunity for students to study the Mediterranean diet in its place of origin, along with sustainable food production and consumption patterns, emphasizing on traditional Mediterranean practices.

During the 3-week course, some days will be devoted to theoretical lectures and discussion sessions on the scientific and cultural themes of the day combined with workshops, experiential activities or studying. Other days will be devoted entirely to field trips and interactive educational activities, including visits to monumental sites, observation of Cretan lifestyle practices, demonstrations of traditional and modern cultivation and food production procedures and techniques, cooking classes with emphasis on traditional Cretan products, tasting of local Mediterranean recipes, as well as collective sports activities in nature.

Your Host Country: Greece

The program will take place in Greece, where the Mediterranean lifestyle has been implemented for thousands of years.

During the first week, the program’s educational activities will take place in Athens, the capital of Greece, one of the world's oldest cities. While in Athens, students will visit monumental sites and archaeological places and traditional food markets and establishments, as well as experience other opportunities that the city has to provide.

The main body of the program will take place in Crete Island, the largest and most populous of Greek islands. While in Crete Island, students will explore the remnants of the ancient Minoan civilization, as well as learn about landmark studies carried out in the island, as a means to familiarize with the history and evolution of the Cretan diet and lifestyle. The program will focus on the fundamental principles of the Mediterranean diet through lectures regarding its health benefits, and workshops on the production and nutritional properties of wine and olive oil, both fundamental parts of the Cretan diet. In line with the island’s rich food production sector, lectures and educational activities will address the cultivation of citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and herbs, and the production of honey, traditional dairy products and spirits. Students will also be exposed to the complex concept of food systems and its association with culture, public health, economy and the environment through the example of the agriculture-based diet and economy of Crete Island as well as the characteristics of environmentally friendly and sustainable food production with emphasis on organic agriculture and livestock applications.

Tentative 2017 Syllabus

Travel and Accommodations


Students are required to make their own travel arrangements.  If accepted into the program, we recommend you purchase your airline ticket as soon as possible.
Please note: Program begins July 10, 2018 at 7pm in Athens.  Please arrange to arrive accordingly.
Transportation from the Athens airport to the hotel in Athens may be provided.  Please check with Saharish Javed, Program Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Accommodations and Meals

Accommodations and most meals are included in the program's fees.  In all locations, bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets if necessary) will be provided.  Meals will be either offered in the selected accommodations or provided by local establishments as part of the program's educational activities.

If students want to purchase extra foods or snacks, there will be opportunities for them to visit local supermarkets (not included in the program's cost, as applies to any other personal expenses.)


The Rutgers Lifestyle Science Study Abroad Program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. We encourage all students, Rutgers and non-Rutgers, to apply as soon as possible. There is limited space. Applications will be considered while space is available. 


Required (pre-acceptance)

  • Application to the Program 
  • Responsibility Statement
  • $35 Application Fee (non-refundable)

Applications to open December 2017.

Note: In addition to the forms above, a transcript for all applicants is required.

Required forms (post acceptance)

  • Medical Form
  • Flight Information

All application materials must be submitted via drop box on Sakai, access will be granted once you apply.

Upon receiving all (pre-acceptance) materials and the application fee, applicants will be scheduled for an interview appointment with Ms. Joanne Hunt, Program Academic Advisor.

Course Registration

Upon being accepted into the program and submitting the deposit fee:

  • Rutgers students: may contact the department for a special permission number and then register using the WebReg.
  • Non-Rutgers students: please fill out the Registration Inquiry Form which can be found on the Register for Rutgers Winter Session page.  The form will be available beginning September 25, 2017.  An RUID and Personal Access Code (PAC) will be generated within three business days of submission.  The RUID and PAC are used to register for classes via the Web Registration System (WebReg).

Financial Information

Summer 2018

  • A program deposit of $1500 is due within 2 weeks of acceptance into the program to secure your spot.  The balance is due by April 27, 2018.
  • Payment by check or money order only (no credit cards or cash), made out to:  Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Payment accepted by mail or in person to:
    Department of Kinesiology and Health
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    70 Lipman Drive
    New Brunswick, NJ 08901
    Attention: Saharish Javed

For more information about the program cost and additional non-billable expenses for this program, please view the tentative program budget sheet.

As part of your preparation to apply for this study abroad program, please familiarize yourself with the Rutgers Greece Study Abroad withdrawal policy.


Students are encouraged to start researching scholarship opportunities as early as possible.  There are many kinds of scholarships available, with different eligibility requirements and application criteria.  To get a sense of what scholarships are available for your program, please visit the Center for Global Advancement Scholarship Directory for a comprehensive list of study abroad scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is there an application fee?  Yes, $35, non-refundable.

Can I pay cash or use my credit card?  No.  All payment must be made via check or money order payable to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  Please mail checks to:  70 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.  Attn.: Saharish Javed.

I am in my last year at Rutgers.  Can I still apply?  Yes.

What are the deadlines for applying?  We prefer students to apply as soon as possible.  The application deadline is March 16, 2018.

I am a Rutgers student.  How can I obtain an unofficial transcript for application purposes?  Rutgers unofficial transcripts can be obtained by clicking here and logging in with your NetID.  Click the green Print Full Transcripts button on the top right of the page, and download and save the PDF document to your computer.  You can then upload your transcript to the Sakai site.

How can I submit my application and other documents?  All documents must be uploaded to Sakai.  To gain access to the course site, please email the program manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  (Note:  You will be contacted for an interview appointment within two weeks of submission.)

I submitted an application and attended my interview appointment.  When will I be notified of my acceptance or denial?  Within two weeks.

Does financial aid apply towards the program?  Yes, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.  You may also want to look into scholarships.

I am a Rutgers student.  Can the doctor's form be filled out at one of the campus health centers?  Yes.

Is there a deposit?  Yes.  A deposit of $1500 is due within two weeks of acceptance.  The balance is due by April 27, 2018.

How do I register for the study abroad course?  Once you have been accepted into the program and pay the deposit:
For Rutgers students, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a special permission number.  You can then register via WebReg.
For non-Rutgers students, please fill out the Registration Inquiry Form.  See Register for Rutgers Winter Session webpage under Visiting Students.

I am a non-Rutgers student.  How can I obtain a copy of my transcript at the completion of the program?
Please contact the Rutgers Transcript Office.

Quick Facts

Applications to open December 2017.

Submit Forms 
Supporting application materials (e.g. transcript, medical form) must be submitted via drop box on Sakai.
Application deadline: March 16, 2018 (Limited space - apply early to secure a spot!)
Upon receipt of application and transcript, you will be contacted to schedule an interview appointment.

Course Registration
Upon being accepted into the program and submitting the deposit fee of $1500:
Rutgers students should email for a special permission number and then register using WebReg.
Non-Rutgers students should fill out the Registration Inquiry Form which can be found on the Register for Winter Session webpage (under Visiting Students).

Program Term
Summer 2018

Program Dates
Start: July 10th at 7:00pm
End: July 30th

Note: Program begins July 10, 2018 at 7pm in Athens. Please arrange to arrive accordingly. Transportation from the Athens airport to the hotel in Athens may be provided. Please contact Saharish Javed at for further information.

Tentative Program Syllabus

Fact Sheet
Language of Instruction: English
Suggested G.P.A.: 2.5
Class Standing: Undergraduate / Graduate
Number of Credits: 6 (Fulfills 6-credit upper level elective for Exercise Science and Sport Management majors. Other majors should check with their Department for any credit equivalency.)
Program Type: Faculty Led
Program Director: Labros Sidossis
Non-Rutgers Students: Yes
Majors: All

Financial Information
Program Cost:

​NJ Residents: $TBD
Non NJ Residents: $TBD (Estimated cost: $4,600)

Program cost includes:
Tuition (lectures, provided educational material and field-experimental educational activities), accommodations, most meals, excursions, in-country transportation and international medical insurance.

Program cost does not include:
Travel to/from Greece, some meals, major medical insurance, all personal expenses, Rutgers summer session fee.

Contact Us

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Department of Kinesiology & Health

Loree Gymnasium
70 Lipman Drive
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525
P: 848-932-7058