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.