02.11.2012

Mike Agnew / 2011 Fall / Chapman University, CA

The Greece I visited was much more than the beautiful, historically sublime place you read about in old books or see in the movies. We spent a few days in Athens, near Syntagma Square, and the only conflict we ran into was that of how to best divide our time between the Acropolis, the restaurants, and the winding streets of old Athens. A semester spent on Paros, exploring the Cyclades, living in another culture, and receiving one on one instruction from inspirational teachers helped me grow up. I wish I was still there.

24.10.2012

Hannah Zoppi / 2012 Spring / Flagler College, FL

HISA has given me the opportunity to explore different aspects of myself and
my art in ways I didn't know possible. I found a new passion for writing and
painting that I hadn't known existed before coming to the island. The
professors are the most inspiring and nurturing people I have ever worked
with, and without them and my year at HISA, I would never have known what I
was capable of. I am insistent that everyone give the wonderful island of
Paros a chance, because until you work with the HISA professors and artists,
you are not reaching your full potential.

23.10.2012

Catherine Lee / 2011 Fall / University of North Florida

Life Changing. The experience I had at HISA is one that has changed me from my most inner core. I have never fallen so in love with a place and a program in my life. I was there during the Fall 2011 semester with 17 other beautiful and brilliant souls who I think about on a daily basis. HISA is a program that does so much more then teach academic classes, but in addition enriches the soul. The island of Paros alone will teach you so much!! The faculty is some of the best people you will ever want to meet, and will help you hone whatever skill it is you want to work on the most, be it writing, sculpture, photography, ect. The possibilities are endless for what you can accomplish and how much you can grow as a person even in just a semester. I promise you will always think fondly of your time at HISA, as our class does, it is a place and experience that will stay with you forever!!!

12.02.2012

Kat Camden / 2004 Summer & Fall / Evergreen State College

Intense experiences like studying abroad change everyone, so it sounds cliché to say that “studying abroad changed my life.” Of course it did. You went to a new place, met new people, and experienced new things. None of this would have happened if you'd stayed at home, and those memories will continue to color your perspective.
Paros became more than that for me. Working with Barry and Dion at HISA encouraged me to look at my poetry and creativity in new ways. The experience was intense and concentrated. I was not only more productive than back home, but I was able to take the time to refine my work. If I'd decided to continue on to an MFA, I would have been well prepared. The Women's Studies Goddess class was also stimulating and provided a new angle with which to appreciate the historical sites we visited during our visits to Turkey and other islands.
Classes were relaxed, yet focused. The professors were not afraid to take learning out of the classroom to places such as a photography boat tour around the island or a poetry class spent picking olives. Creativity and spontaneity were encouraged, and the professors are caring people who take the time to work individually with students. They were readily available to talk, whether at the school or more informally, in a taverna on the seaside in the evening. Besides learning from some amazing teachers, I also learned from my fellow students and developed friendships that are still strong today. The student art exhibition and reading at the end of the semester was a celebration of everything we had accomplished.
For me, studying abroad in Greece not only left me with important memories, but it changed the trajectory of my life and my art. Everything had been planned out very neatly before then: Study abroad in Paros for 6 months, return to Evergreen, go to grad school and get my MFA, etc. But I never went back. Instead, my time at HISA and on the island of Paros instilled a lust for travel that I still haven't completely satisfied.
Since my time at HISA, Paros has become a sort of second home to me. I've returned every summer and for some visits in between and am always welcomed back into the arms of HISA and this island. This island is a special, inspiring place to which artists of all types love to return. It's the perfect place for an art student to study abroad.

30.06.2004

Jenny Thomas / 2004 Spring / Virginia Commonwealth University, VA

As a Photography major at VCU, I wanted not only the beauty of a Greek island but teachers who could guide me in capturing it on film. To Cameron, Len and the professionals at the HISA digital lab, my deepest gratitude for the most caring study abroad experience I can imagine. The many working field trips to Santorini, Delos, Myconos, Samos and Turkey were really inspiring, and you helped me to get to know and really understand the people, culture and history of the Aegean. All the projects we did together throughout the semester helped give me the confidence and photographic results I needed to fulfill my senior portfolio requirements, and construct my own website. I especially appreciate the fact that HISA is sensitive to the different levels of experience their photography students have, which allowed me to advance quickly from where I was before I came to Paros.