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Meet the American College of Thessaloniki, Greece

Published Bernice on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Meet the American College of Thessaloniki, Greece

The American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) is an American, private, nonprofit post-secondary academic institution that operates in Greece, with rich history that goes back to 1886. The College operates at a beautiful 55-acre wooded campus on a hill, overlooking the city of Thessaloniki and the Aegean Sea.  The city of Thessaloniki is a safe, vibrant, modern metropolis of more than 1 million inhabitants that recently has been designated as European Capital of Culture and European Youth Capital. It is located a few miles away from the birthplaces of Aristotle and Alexander the Great.

ACT is chartered in the State of Massachusetts and is governed by a Board of Trustees that is headquartered in Boston. It is fully accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as an independent institution of higher education operating outside the US. ACT is a full and long-standing member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU). In Europe, the degrees awarded by ACT are recognized by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) of various European countries, including United Kingdom and Germany.

All academic offerings at ACT are taught in English and lead to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in three academic divisions: Business, Technology & Science, and Humanities & Social Sciences. For disciplines not covered by ACT (for example engineering) students have the option to start their studies at ACT and  seamlessly transfer in a major US university (Washington University in Saint Louis, American University in Washington, Northeastern University, etc.) though specific articulation agreements.

The majority of ACT’s faculty hold academic credentials from US institutions that include institutions in the University of California System. ACT’s academic mission is also supported by the Michael Dukakis Center for Public Policy, an Entrepreneurship Hub, and a Lifelong Learning Center.

ACT graduates routinely continue their studies at marquee name institutions around the world such as: London School of Economics, King’s College, University of Oxford, University of London, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, La Salle University, Maastricht University, International University in Geneva, Columbia University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and others.

In addition to degree-seeking students, each year ACT serves a large number (~400) of college students from the United States though Study Abroad & Exchange programs, First Year programs, and custom faculty directed programs.

In particular ACT is a dedicated STEM site for Northeastern University and is the 11th year of running a Pre- Freshman program with them. Popular courses for the US students include: Chemistry I & II, Chemistry for Biological Sciences, Calculus I, II & III, Discrete Structures, Physics for Science & Engineering  I  &  II,  Engineering Problem Solving and Computation, Biology I & II, Anatomy & Physiology, Ecology, Greek Life and Culture, Politics of the European Union, Social Psychology, Religions of the World, and Advanced College English Skills. The list of these courses will be enchased next year by Organic Chemistry, Linear Algebra and Big Data Analysis among others.

Study Abroad & Exchange. Since 1997, ACT offers a full service study abroad experience in Thessaloniki, Greece. Students take US accredited classes in English alongside ACT degree-seeking students and integrate into our campus community. Students can study abroad at ACT for one term or one year while earning credits towards graduation. ACT provides US-style residence life services that help students acclimate to their home away from home. US students are invited to join ACT’s competitive sports teams, sailing certification courses, clubs, student government, workshops and have access to all academic and sporting facilities. During the time abroad, students enjoy a multi-night trip to Athens and day trips to local museums as part of the study abroad experience.

First Year Programs. Since 2008, ACT has provided study abroad experiences to first year students who study in a cohort model as part of admissions initiatives of their home school. Hosting more than 200 students per year in first year programs, ACT hosts the largest single study abroad cohort.  This opportunity allows students to experience life abroad while fulfilling core course requirements. This type of early experience abroad helps students develop an informed global view of current events, history, society, politics, economics, sciences and more, while developing skills in navigating an international environment. After the program abroad, students are able to share their firsthand experience in their classroom at their home university and are likely to go on to participate in other international experiences through their home school.

Custom & Faculty Directed Programs. ACT pairs with US institutions to create a customized hands-on academic experience. ACT works closely with academic departments and professors in the US to develop programs of custom interest in topics such as gastronomy, politics, mythology, religion, history, drama, immigration, tourism, journalism, genocide, conservation, archaeology, business,  economics,  STEM  topics and more. Programs are typically 1-3 credits and last from three to five weeks in length.



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