[Note: the cost for the 2018 study tour ended up being $350 cheaper than expected, so we reduced the third payment by that amount. The lower price was due to a combination of (a) there being 23 students, (b) favorable airfare, and (c) favorable dollar-to-euro conversion rate. But as they say, past performance is not a predictor of future results.]
The price for the 25-day (24-night) study tour (including most of a day of travel on each end) will be between $4800 and $5400, depending on three factors: the number of students (some costs, like our private bus, are fixed), the airfare we are able to get, and the exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro. The first payment due is $1800 (so it assumes the $5400 price), and after we see what the number is who make the first payment, we may be able to adjust the final payment. But applicants should go into this assuming a cost of 3 x $1800.
This is a non-profit educational experience, so 100% of these funds is used for the itinerary; any money that looks like it will be left over is used for the students (to buy an unscheduled group meal, to make an ice cream stop, or the like).
I have never found a study tour to Greece as long as ours is with even a similar itinerary that is as cheap as ours is. I have found a couple that appeared to be priced similarly, or even cheaper–only to read the fine print and realize that it didn’t include airfare, or included far fewer meals or didn’t include tickets to sites and museums, etc.
Additionally, each student (excludes alumni or those not enrolled in any college) must pay St. Mary’s College of Maryland for four credit-hours of tuition (at $200/credit it would be $800–regardless of the student’s home state or home institution), and I estimate about $500 to cover the cost of meals that are not included in the itinerary. (Meals covered are all breakfasts, 2 lunches and 11 dinners.) We welcome alumni and older travelers looking for a memorable few weeks, who would not pay the tuition charge, unless they have reason for the four credits to be reflected on a college transcript.
The fee is payable to the Business Office of St. Mary’s College of Maryland (specify that it’s for the Greece Study Tour) in three installments:
- $1800 due on February 6, 2020
- $1800 due on March 6
- $1800 due on April 6 (possibly reduced, if we can).
Student payments are handled in the Business Office (240-895-4315). The College does not accept credit cards for payment of tuition or study tour charges in-house. Payments with Mastercard, Discover, American Express or Diners Club can be done online via CASHNet. Checks should be made payable to: SMCM and must include student’s ID# and name of study tour in memo section. Address for payments: St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Attn: Business Office Cashier, 18952 E. Fisher Rd., St. Mary’s City, MD 20686-3001. Students may use any existing credit on their student account to pay the Study Tour by submitting the request in writing to the Business Office at email@example.com.
For those paying by check, please note on the check that it’s for “Greece Study Tour,” so that, for current SMCM students, it’s not just dumped into your general account. (“Oh, how thoughtful of this student to prepay a portion of next year’s tuition!”)
The price includes:
- 4 Modern Greek lessons and country orientation prior to departure, starting in mid-April
- Round-trip airfare between a D.C.-area airport and Athens
- Ground transfer from Athens airport to Korinth via private coach
- 23 overnights (including one spent on flight to Greece): six in Korinth, three in Nauplio, one in Olympia, one in Delphi, five on the island of Naxos, three on the island of Paros, and three in Athens, all in double/triple rooms with all private facilities in superior tourist class hotels
- Daily breakfast
- 3 lunches (so 21 lunches are not included.)
- 10 dinners (including on the flights; so 14 dinners are not included.)
- Winery visit in Nemea, including lunch
- Local guide two days in Heraklion for guided day tours
- Coach transportation with professional driver on land tour – not included in Corinth (except one day), & bus one day on Naxos, as per itinerary incl. bus tolls and all bus driver’s expenses
- Group bus transfers to/from the airport & the ports by private bus
- Ferry tickets from Athens to Naxos and from Paros to Athens
- Boat tickets between from Naxos to Paros, and excursion around Paros
- Cooking class, including dinner
- 24-hour assistance from our Athens travel agent throughout the tour
- Admission fees to all sites and museums
- Gratuities for bus drivers and guides
- Travel health insurance
Students in Greece without a valid college/university ID will be charged $80, to cover the price of full admission to our museums and archaeological sites. (With a valid college/university ID, the trip pays half-price for these items, and that price is built into the trip costs; having to pay full price would be about $80 extra.)
Those canceling anytime prior to departure will be refunded a travel voucher in the amount of the airline ticket from the issuing airline, consistent with the policy of that airline (often minus an approximately $200 re-ticketing fee); this is not up to us, but is up to the policies of the airline. As for the program fees, refunds are given as follows:
Cancellation prior to May 01: return of all money paid (that didn’t go toward the airline tickets–see preceding paragraph), minus $500.
Cancellation on or after May 01: no refund of money (just the airline’s travel voucher–see preceding paragraph).