[Note: the cost for the 2017 study tour ended up being $4100, so we reduced the third payment from $1700 to $700. The lower price was due to a combination of (a) there being 17 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 26-day (25-night) study tour (including most of a day of travel on each end) will be between $4600 and $5100, 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 $1700 (so it assumes the $5100 price), and after we see what the number is who make the first payment, we will adjust subsequent payments accordingly.
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:
- $1700 due on February 15, 2018
- $1700 due on March 9
- $1400-1700 due on April 9 (depending on the number of students we have, on the airfare we procure, and on the dollar/euro exchange rate)
- Payments can be mailed in the form of a check or money order to:
Business Office ATTN: Greece Study Tour
18952 E. Fisher Rd.
St. Mary’s City, MD 20686
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!”)
2. Or a check or money order can be hand-delivered to the Business Office, which is in Glendening Hall.
3. Or St. Mary’s students can pay as they would any other charge to their student accounts, as accessed through SMCM’s Portal, but shouldn’t do this until the Business Office has posted the first bill to their student accounts. (Otherwise, again, it will go into your general student account.) This posting should happen around Feb. 1 for those whose applications are completed by then, and I’ll notify people by email when it happens.
The Business Office can be contacted at 240-895-4315.
The price includes:
- 5-6 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
- 25 overnights (including one spent on flight to Greece): eight in Korinth, three in Nauplio, one in Olympia, two in Ioannina, five on the island of Corfu, one in Kalampaka, one in Delphi, and three in Athens, all in double/triple rooms with all private facilities in superior tourist class hotels
- Daily breakfast
- 3 lunches (so 22 lunches are not included.)
- 11 dinners (including on the flights; so 14 dinners are not included.)
- Admission fees to all sites and museums
- Transportation costs via bus from Korinth hotel to an area monastery, Blue Lake, and Isthmia
- Chartered, air-conditioned coach transportation with experienced driver for eleven days
- Round-trip ferry tickets to the island of Corfu
- Tour of the island by bus as per itinerary with a local guide
- Folk dancing demonstration and lessons in Olympia
- Gratuities for bus drivers and guides
- Travel health insurance
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).