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The HISA program was founded on the concept of an experiential immersion into the cultural and artistic legacy of Greece and specifically the Cycladic Islands, for centuries famous for their individualistic and creative life style and social environment. We’ve worked to build a program where students can live as members of the community, securely in their own space, free to personalize their experience. The classes, workshops and studio environment are set up to allow students to absorb ideas, create works and develop projects in a collaborative relationship with their teachers.

The faculty are selected not only for their advanced degrees and range of university teaching experience, but as well for their active involvement in creating their own work, whether it be writing, the various studio arts, or a continuing critical investigation into the area of their expertise. The excursions and coursework in the field are designed to integrate syllabi objectives—readings, research, and writing, as well as studio work—with a personalized exploration of significant archaeological and historical sites. To accomplish this, HISA has developed a close working relationship with the local community, helping students to swiftly form new friends and gain a sense of belonging.

The HISA ideal recognizes the challenges inherent in settling into to a different living and learning environment, and strives to instill in students the confidence and sense of companionship required for a successful adjustment. We understand, from the years spent teaching, that every student arrives as an individual, with a different set of experiences and a unique range of goals and aspirations. For this reason, the nature of the program is one of cooperative effort and understanding, of fairness and sensitivity to each student's emotional and developmental needs. A dynamic and creative atmosphere within an unrestrictive yet goal-oriented environment is what HISA is about.

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