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About American College of Thessaloniki
ACT is the first post-secondary institution in Greece to introduce service and community programs to such a large percentage of its student body. These programs reflect the community-focused mission that the institution as a whole ascribes to.
Students at ACT perform their community service at close to 20 carefully selected NGO sites throughout the city. The Community Service program offers study abroad students a way to experience another dimension of Greek society and helps them gain work skills that can be important for future employment opportunities. Certificates of recognition and awards of appreciation are provided to students for their volunteer work.
Community Service opportunities exist in a variety of fields:
SPECIAL NEEDS CENTERS: Students can volunteer for organisations that protect, support and provide educational and creative outlets for people with special needs. Students are assigned to volunteer at a specific organisation depending upon their interests, previous experiences and skill sets.
SOUP KITCHENS: Students can volunteer alongside localsto prepare food for people in need. The work is basic but necessary:peeling potatoes, stacking shelves, washing pots and pans, and similar activities. Soup kitchens are a great place to learn how to make Greek food from home-cooks, and practice speaking Greek in an everyday context.
LOCAL SCHOOLS: Students can volunteer as teacher’s assistants in the English programs at elementary schools, both at Anatolia and at local public schools in the west Thessaloniki district. This community service opportunity is especially appealing to students who are studying education. Each school has its own character; some are in low income housing areas where the volunteer’s job can be more challenging yet very rewarding.
YOUTH CENTERS: There are a variety of youth centers in Thessaloniki that provide after school workshops in arts, crafts and music as well as foreign languages. The youth centers usually accommodate youth from low-income housing as well as immigrant families where the need for extracurricular activities, training and entertainment is greater. Volunteers help run workshops in the English and Greek language, math and science as well as arts and crafts. The opportunities are flexible and depend largely upon the volunteer’s abilities and skills.
DIGITAL REPORTING: Students who are particularly interested in social media, blogging and web design can be a great asset to local website businesses and organizations. ACT students can write blogs on the political and economic situation in Greece and Europe. Alternatively they can help run the ‘Local’s Like’ program which features video interviews of locals from around the city and their recommendations on where to go, where to eat and what to see in the city of Thessaloniki. “Local’s like’ provides a great service for tourists and foreigners in the city and also provides great insight for our students.
TUTORING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: Students can volunteer to provide assistance in math, science, history and other school subjects for local pupils who are struggling in school; these tutoring sessions usually take place with one or two pupils at a time. Some schools organise larger groups of pupils (15-20) in which 2-3 volunteers help tutor English conversational skills, especially for pupils who plan to take the proficiency English exams.
URBAN LIVING: In collaboration with the different municipalities in the region of Thessaloniki, ACT helps organize both cultural events and projects to improve urban living standards.. Examples include: beach cleanups, helping at music festivals, helping organise a day of cultural, sports and tree planting initiatives in the forest of Seih-Sou, weeding green areas in the city and tree planting in the pedestrian centres of the city. Once a year ACT also organises olive picking projects in nearby villages.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and has been characterized as the “Greek Youth Capital” for its large number of permanent young residents. More than 100.000 students give to the city a completely unique pulse and vibe.
The American College of Thessaloniki provides off campus accommodation in safe residential areas near downtown Thessaloniki and a short drive from the ACT campus. The housing locations are well served by the city’s public bus system, with buses running at 10-15 minute intervals. Our housing is in close proximity to supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, and post offices. In addition, ACT provides shuttle bus service to and from campus once per day. An ACT Residence Assistant (RA) resides at each housing location and is there to help students settle in and get to know Thessaloniki by organizing outings and planning activities.
The studio apartments are furnished, however you provide your own kitchenware and linens. The building offers free Wi-Fi access and access to a common washing machine. Both single and double-occupancy studio apartments are available to study abroad students. Housing preferences are indicated on the housing application and housing preferences are granted in the order that the housing deposits are received.
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