Greece is often recognized as the cradle of Western civilization. Its influential history dates back to the great civilizations of the Minoans (2600 – 1500 BC), the Mycenaean (1500 – 1150 BC) whose history is captured in Homer's antiquity books of the Odyssey and the Iliad; and the Classical and Hellenistic Periods (500 – 146 BC) which gave birth to powerful city States such as Athens and Sparta. During these last two periods Greece's cultural and political influence stretched all the way from Spain to the Indus River, whose famous characters such as Alexander the Great, Pericles, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, to name a few, fill our history with fascinating and revolutionary events. During the Classical period Athens reached its greatest political and cultural heights: the full development of the democratic system of government under the Athenian statesman Pericles; the building of the Parthenon on the Acropolis; the creation of the tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides; and the founding of the philosophical schools of Socrates and Plato.
Today Athens is a modern bustling cosmopolitan city offering many internship and learning opportunities for students in the midst of thousands of spellbounding ancient temples and archeological sites. Only twenty minutes away by bus from Athens lies the port of Piraeus whose ferries take tourists to Greece's fabulous and picturesque Greek islands in the Cyclades, Dodecanese and the Aegean.