Testimonials

“This is my second time with Cycle B: History, Philosophy, and Sociology of International Relations. Both times, it’s been just thrilling. Three engaged scholars giving it their all, sometimes going after each other, but never leaving the students out”.

Nicholas Onuf, Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Florida International University; Professor Associado, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro.

 

“Teaching at the Olympia Summer Academy is as much fun as being a student. There is a wonderful collegiate atmosphere, and I learnt huge amounts about comparative politics and Greek history and culture during a relaxing week in the beautiful town of Nafplio…”.

Andrew Wilson, Professor in Ukrainian Studies at University College London; Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations..

 

“Although my presence has been marginal, I dare say that OSA is a remarkable endeavour that brings together high-quality intellectual exchange, and loads of creativity and positive energy! I had the chance to witness the commitment of the participants to OSA goals, further amplified by the inviting setting of Nafplio. And, not least of all, I can feel that OSA acts as a catalyst for the creation of an invisible, yet far-flung and durable, web of global contacts cemented by the strength of genuine friendship! Congratulations for this unique initiative which has withstood the test of time and is now confidently marching into the future as an example of what meaningful globalisation stands for!”.

Plamen Tonchev, Expert in Program Assessment and Design; Managing Director, Plamengo Ltd; Associate Senior Fellow, Institute for International Economic Relations, Athens.

 

“The Olympia Summer Academy combines access to high-end scholarship in international relations, political violence and political risk assessment with cultural and recreational activities in Nafplion and the surrounding areas. It achieves an exquisite balance between the activities within and outside the seminar halls”.

Harry Papasotiriou, Professor of International Politics, Panteion University of Athens; IIR Director.

 

“Olympia Summer Academy doesn’t just bring together students and professors from diverse backgrounds for intensive scholarly seminars and discussions. It creates an idyllic setting that facilitates interaction and learning outside as well as inside the classroom. The result was a truly memorable educational experience, for both professors and students.”

Jason Wittenberg, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

 

“Nafplio OSA offers the perfect mix for an amazing experience: a world-class faculty, smart and engaged students, a top-notch team of organizers and a beautiful location. What else could someone ask from a summer seminar?”

Antonio Barroso, Senior Vice President and Deputy Director of Research, Teneo Intelligence.

 

“Olympia Academy provides a unique opportunity for graduate students and faculty to engage in debate on international politics across various subdisciplnes in the field. Attended by PhD/Master’s candidates from top-ranked institutions in the U.S. and Europe, the course I convened on Europe’s Shifting Order helped us jointly explore the multiple crises bedevilling the EU of today, from Brexit and the eurozone’s troubles to the rise of revisionist Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. It was a week of intense and mutually enriching discussion, helping us learn from each other. I can truly say that my time in Nafplio was an inspiration for my work as researcher and educator.”

Dimitar Bechev, Visiting Scholar, Center for European Studies, Harvard; Director, European Policy Institute, Sofia

 

“The OSA is an extraordinary experience on all levels. It is incredibly intense and stimulating, and offers a unique environment where a researcher’s pedagogical and intellectual qualities are both enhanced and challenged in all the right ways. The History, Philosophy & Sociology of IR seminars provide a refreshing alternative to the routinised format of everyday university teaching. The seminars are co-taught and bring teachers and students into a unique and unexpected conversation. This mix of good-old solid preparation and of creative, collective improvisation is at the heart of the OSA experience, and provides a great antidote to authoritative monologues in the classroom. The students are brilliant, genuinely interested, and remarkably engaged, and the diversity of their cultural and academic backgrounds sets valuable parameters for a discussion of the discipline’s past, present, and future. All in all, the OSA is a truly rewarding endeavour, organised by a group of friendly and efficient administrators, in a most welcoming and gorgeous Mediterranean setting. The extra-curricular conversations and activities are an integral part of this experience that make it truly unique and memorable.”

Inanna Hamati-Ataya, Reader in International Politics, Aberystwyth University

 

“The Olympia Summer Academy is definitely one of a kind. The combination of top-notch academic staff, thought-provoking curricula and the beautiful town of Nafplio was more than enough to make this a highly inspiring and fun experience. Resting between ancient ruins and modernity, Nafplio was the ideal place for contemplating our ever-changing world.”

Elli Palaiologou, MPhil candidate, University of Oxford

 

“The Olympia Summer Academy has been a wonderful learning and living experience for which I am utterly grateful. For two weeks, we had the opportunity to engage in vivid debates, network with well-established academics and practitioners, and meet talented peers from all over the world, while fully experiencing the Greek culture and lifestyle. I truly enjoyed every moment of it: all our classes and informal discussions, our lunches and dinners together, the breathtaking beauty of the natural landscapes in Nafplio, our exciting trips, our lazy afternoons at the beach, and many more! At the end of this eye-opening journey, I feel wiser, more knowledgeable about the world, others and myself, surrounded by a global circle of friends, full of joy and memories for a lifetime, and definitely eager to come back to the next OSA edition and to Greece! This wonderful experience would not have been possible without a dedicated organizing team and a well-thought schedule! So, thank you once again for your constant support!”

Ruxandra Bosilca, PhD candidate, The University of Oslo

 

“One could not imagine to find a place in the world where goofy dancing and intellectual rigor go as well together as in Nafplio’s OSA. The OSA brings together students of all levels and backgrounds to discuss the aspects of social science they are most passionate about. The result is simply astonishing: a feast for the brain and memories to cherish.”

Tim Stork, PhD candidate, Leiden University.

 

“Religion & International Politics were undoubtedly given a novelapproach while Political Risk Analysis was outstanding beyond measure! Professor’s and lecturers were unquestionable top notch. OSA staff very friendly and attentive. As for fellow attendees, the most benevolent and cultivated people one could have the privilege to meet and converse with. Thank you so very much for the fine opportunity!”

Christine Yannou, Associate to Ambassador, Taipei Representative Office in Greece

 

“2016 OSA academy was a great opportunity both to get new knowledge and friendship. Big variety of courses, simplicity for understanding of material given, interpretation of the same topic from different views/sides and various approaches in presentation of material are those cornerstones that make OSA academy unique. 2016 OSA was a great experience that gave a new breath to young researchers for discovering new horizons in their researches.”

Kateryna Paiuk, PhD candidate, Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University

 

“The Olympia Summer Academy is a unique opportunity to combine both academic and cultural experiences. This allows researchers from all around the world to stay in touch in the same friendly environment. On the one hand, the Cycles provide the proper literature and lectures, whereas, on the other hand, the final paper is a great stimulus for the students to produce knowledge by themselves. Definitely it worths the experience!”

Marcos Vinícius Mesquita Antunes de Figueiredo, Professor, Brazilian Institute of Capital Market (IBMEC-Rio)

 

“The Olympia Summer Academy was a success. Firstly, the content of the courses was excellent and the lecturers were highly professional. The teaching methods were interactive which allowed for different views of various parts of the world to meet in a fruitful way. Secondly, the overall organisation of the Academy was exceptional. From the beginning of the journey until arrival back home, I was very well informed of the different schedules. Furthermore, there were many cultural and other activities through which it was possible to get to know the other participants. I will recommend the Academy to my colleagues and friends in Finland.”

Anne Nykännen, PhD candidate, University of Tampere

 

“The Olympia Summer Academy is a unique, once in a lifetime experience. We had the great opportunity to enjoy Greece at its finest, meeting at historic crossroads in Nafplio while learning about conflict(s) from its roots while problematizing about political violence. It was a great blend of, knowledge building, development of critical thinking, networking and the generation of important ideas. The teaching quality was excellent and it gave us the chance to enjoy international know-how in one classroom. The summer academy was situational, topical and international at the same time. It really gives assists post-graduate students with acquiring a sense of belonging and stamina to progress with their studies. I highly recommend this summer academy, for its teaching quality, staff, the beauties of Greece in the summer and the creation of international friendships. I am happy to be a graduate of this academy.”

Melissa Mavris, PhD candidate, University of Aberystwyth

 

“Attending the Olympia Summer Academy in 2016 was the highlight of my year. Our lectures were engaging and intellectually challenging, and we benefitted from learning from some of the most inspiring experts within the field. After classes, the debates continued over local food or while swimming in the ocean, with amazing new friends from around the world. It was the perfect balance of being great fun but also a true learning experience. I really could not have picked a better way to spend the summer!”

Caitlyn Dykes, MSc candidate, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

 

“Take a group of well qualified students from across the world. Combine with political scientists and historians who are leaders in their various fields. Add intensive classes, cultural visits and enjoyable leisure. Set it all within the beautiful and historic Nafplio, first capital of modern Greece. Result: a remarkable educational experience known as the Olympia Summer Academy”.

John Breuilly, Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity, London School of Economics.

 

“The OSA is a unique educational and academic experience. Excellent students, from a wide range of countries, engaging with faculty whose expertise and backgrounds are richly varied. The beautiful setting, the stimulating programmes, and the intellectual and social exchanges are all memorable and truly valuable”.

Richard English, Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Politics in the School of International Relations, University of St Andrews.

 

“I would start by saying that, as everyone, I naturally had expectations and a vague idea of what it would be like to spend ten days at the Olympia Summer Academy, thanks to a friend’s testimony from last year’s OSA. However, I was surprised in a positive way. Any modest expectations I had before arriving to one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to, were greatly exceeded in all respects. This amazing human team that represents the soul and core of the organization, managed to find the perfect balance that every student dreams of: lectures with high academic level and fun social extracurricular activities. Somehow and for some reason, the organizers were able to gather an incredible and diverse group of students from different parts of the world, backgrounds, ages, but with the same interests and positive energy. As a result, I avail myself to affirm that this has been one of the most enriching experiences, not only academically speaking but also personally.”

Fabian Ybarra, M.A. cand., King’s College London

 

“OSA was a truly worthwhile experience. What a fantastic networking and knowledge sharing opportunity in a beautiful setting! The lecturers are very passionate about their fields of expertise and the OSA team did a great job at taking care of us (and were loads of fun too). I would definitely recommend attending the OSA to International Relations enthusiasts.”

Viki Ferreira, Practising Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer, South Africa

 

“Wonderfully organised and with perfectly tailored academic cycles, the 2015 Olympia Summer Academy provided great insights that challenged established conceptions. It also served as a wonderful platform for exchange of ideas between participants and faculty in a friendly atmosphere and at the picturesque setting of Nafplio!”

Olesia Kompaniiets, Ph.D. cand., Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

 

“The OSA 2015 has been an amazing academic, intellectual and cultural experience. The academic standards are of the highest level, the quality of the lectures is simply superb, and the faculty is outstanding. The exchange of ideas and the academic debate were original, unique and invaluable, whereas the extracurricular activities were exceptional and included a visit to the ancient theatre of Epidaurus in order to watch Ajax by Sophocles, which was a breathtaking experience. The truly multicultural character, the diverse backgrounds of the participants, and the friendships that are established, are just some of the numerous ”weapons” of OSA. The picturesque and historical town of Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, constitutes an ideal venue, while the overall organization was just perfect. The OSA is definitely a huge ”winner”, and overall has been a stunning experience I will never forget!!!”

Efstathios Tsirmpas, M.Sc. cand., Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

 

The 2012 summer program on the “History & Philosophy of IR” was an immersive experience that topped, for faculty and students alike, just about anything we might have experienced in our scholarly pursuits. For four days, we dug into challenging material with an energy and intensity rarely matched in other settings for more than brief intervals. Superb organization, an idyllic location, students with diverse backgrounds, and plenty of off-duty face-time made the experience even more memorable.

Nicholas Onuf, Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Florida International University, and Professor Associado de Relações Internationais, Pontifica Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro.

 

If you are considering a summer school on political violence or IR theory for 2015 and beyond, I know of no better place than the Olympia Summer Academy, at which I just had a wonderful experience, both academically and personally, learning much and making many new friends. A big thanks to my gracious hosts Andreas Gofas, Stathis Kalyvas, Dimitris Keridis and the rest of the Olympia team for ten memorable days in Thucydides’ land!

Nuno Monteiro, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Yale University.

 

I taught at the 2012 summer program on the “History & Philosophy of IR” and it was a wonderful experience. Dr. Gofas and his colleagues designed an excellent program, and they put it into practice extremely well. The young scholars who participated in the school were bright and engaged, and I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions. This is what all teaching should be like! And set on a magical historical site—what more could one want?

Christian Reus-Smit, Professor of International Relations, European University Institute.

 

The summer school on the “History and Philosophy of International Relations” is a wonderful learning experience for students who want to know more about how the world works. The organizers do a terrific job organizing the various sessions and making sure that the lectures and discussion are interesting and informative. Olympia also provides an ideal environment for talking about international politics in a relaxed atmosphere. This program is a winner.

John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago.

 

Attending the 2011 program on the “History & Philosophy of IR” was a most rewarding experience and gave me an excellent opportunity to teach highly skilled and motivated students. Striking the right balance between ’summer’ and ’school’, the Olympia experience is intensive. Coffee breaks and excursions were great opportunities to continue exchanging opinions on the issues presented during the morning sessions. The Olympia summer school has a very well structured program and is characterized by a stimulating and friendly atmosphere.

Knud Erik Jørgensen, Professor of International Relations, Aarhus University, Denmark

 

The professors were all very helpful and approachable and made an effort to point out to individual students how the course discussions related back to their research topics.

Kai Thaler, Researcher, Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town

 

Olympia was an invaluable intellectual and cultural experience. The seminars have been a great source of inspiration as well as an opportunity to meet wonderful persons both academically and personally. The fact that we were able to attend and be active during class the mornings after speaks lots about how interesting the lectures and workshops were and how brilliant were the presenters. I continue to look back at the materials and remember the discussions from time to time in my conflict prevention work at the OSCE.

Chema Arraiza, Senior Legal Adviser at the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, The Hague, The Netherlands

 

Olympia summer seminars is a truly special experience. The academic quality of the seminars is outstanding but the value of people coming there is even greater. All of this, combined with the harmony of the ancient Olympia site make you think of coming back again and again.

Victor Cebotari, Post-doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Maastricht University

 

It was an exciting experience. All in all, the summer school created an opportunity for learning and making friends with lots of fun!

Sindu Workneh Kebede, Doctoral Student, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Department of International Economics

 

The Olympia Summer School 2010 has been an intense and wonderful opportunity to make progress in my research.

Sara Pavan, graduate student, University of Amsterdam, Researcher and Teaching Assistant at the Institute of Social Studies

 

“I would start by saying that, as everyone, I naturally had expectations and a vague idea of what it would be like to spend ten days at the Olympia Summer Academy, thanks to a friend’s testimony from last year’s OSA. However, I was surprised in a positive way. Any modest expectations I had before arriving to one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to, were greatly exceeded in all respects. This amazing human team that represents the soul and core of the organization, managed to find the perfect balance that every student dreams of: lectures with high academic level and fun social extracurricular activities. Somehow and for some reason, the organizers were able to gather an incredible and diverse group of students from different parts of the world, backgrounds, ages, but with the same interests and positive energy. As a result, I avail myself to affirm that this has been one of the most enriching experiences, not only academically speaking but also personally.”

Fabian Ybarra, M.A. cand., King’s College London

 

“OSA was a truly worthwhile experience. What a fantastic networking and knowledge sharing opportunity in a beautiful setting! The lecturers are very passionate about their fields of expertise and the OSA team did a great job at taking care of us (and were loads of fun too). I would definitely recommend attending the OSA to International Relations enthusiasts.”Viki Ferreira, Practising Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer, South Africa

 

“Wonderfully organised and with perfectly tailored academic cycles, the 2015 Olympia Summer Academy provided great insights that challenged established conceptions. It also served as a wonderful platform for exchange of ideas between participants and faculty in a friendly atmosphere and at the picturesque setting of Nafplio!”Olesia Kompaniiets, Ph.D. cand., Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

 

“The OSA 2015 has been an amazing academic, intellectual and cultural experience. The academic standards are of the highest level, the quality of the lectures is simply superb, and the faculty is outstanding. The exchange of ideas and the academic debate were original, unique and invaluable, whereas the extracurricular activities were exceptional and included a visit to the ancient theatre of Epidaurus in order to watch Ajax by Sophocles, which was a breathtaking experience. The truly multicultural character, the diverse backgrounds of the participants, and the friendships that are established, are just some of the numerous ”weapons” of OSA. The picturesque and historical town of Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, constitutes an ideal venue, while the overall organization was just perfect. The OSA is definitely a huge ”winner”, and overall has been a stunning experience I will never forget!!!”Efstathios Tsirmpas, M.Sc. cand., Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh