Rening Ruminggangga / 2017 July / Gap Year (Indonesia)

INCREDIBLE! That is an exactly the right word to describe what is HISA’s memories was. I came from Indonesia to Greece on summer June, 2017. I had been spending all of my summer season having the hot weather, beach, watermelon and etc in Indonesia but a decision to spent my “sweet seventeen summer” in Greece was an epic adventure!

Well, my trip to Greece especially for study in HISA was my first international flight and study abroad as well so i expected a lot to get UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES there. One thing that i know is studying in HISA was beyond my expectation. Greece, especially in Parikia, Paros Island and HISA were a package of a lifetime experience.

Study abroad in HISA for a month encouraged my soul, my mind and my knowledge. In addition it also transformed my perspective of a life. Barry Tagrin and Yuko were inspirational person, they spreaded the love and intellegnece in sense of art everywhere. They made us feel like “Greece is a sweetest second home and greatest place to study in the art” and that’s feels so right. In HISA, i took the painting class and my teachers name is Neva. In the begining i was concerned about my capability on painting but working with her and my classmates made me realized that “i believed miracle can happen, so possibly” it builds my confidence and i did it! I produced six paintings by my own sense of art and that’s unbelievable.

We went to Greece islands such as Mykonos, Delos, Santorini, Naxos, Antiparos even Athens, the capital city of Greece. What an incredible hostorical trips. We learned so much about the Birth of Atina, the legend of Greece mythology in Athens, we went to photography exhibition in Antiparos, we visited the Temple of Demeter in Naxos, we watched the unforgettable most beautiful sunset ever in Santorini and many more.

I have never fallen so in love with a place and memories but Paros and HISA took a special place on my heart (right deeply on my heart). The teachers were extreemly friendly and thought me each interesting different personalities and my group was amazing. I’ve learned so much from them, shared many stories and getting along together. All of them is American and i am just feels like “this is trully amazing experience”. Getting together in a daily conversation with them was improved my english so much.

Also, i’ve learned many Greece words in basic and that’s interesting. I ate many delicious foods you could ever imagine such as Souvlaki, Gyross, Baklava and many more. Don’t forget about Tzaziki and amazing cheeze taste of Feta. Walking in seafront with swimsuit and hearing the special song, Perfect by Ed Sheeran on evening is also being my favorite moment. My dad said, “you go there as a young girl and will come back as a young woman” and that’s feel so real with HISA’s memories. I wish that i’ll come back there oneday.


Kerry Simonsen / 2017 Fall / Emmanuel College, MA

Studying abroad at HISA has been one of the best decisions of my life. I come from Denmark and go to school in Boston. I needed a breather from the stressful and competitive college life and HISA was perfect. The school is not like any other as it welcomed each student including myself into the lives of the caring family who runs it. I felt that the courses focused on my own creative process instead of test results and I loved seeing myself grow as an artist. I have an introverted and quiet personality so the small class sizes and caring teachers felt great. Who would have thought that school could be fun? It was important to me that I would not feel pressured to join any of the school trips and activities. This wish was met with understanding and I found myself gladly saying yes to almost all of them. I have learned a lot from these past months. I have become more confident not only as an artist but as a person. I am a better cook, dancer, student, listener, taster and creator. The people who I have met have been some of the most wonderful people, and I will forever cherish the friendships that I have made over the semester.
In addition, I wish to give a shout out to the women of the faculty who were clearly the glue of the school, who were always kind and passionate as my teachers and mentors.
I hope that many more future groups of students coming to HISA will have equally great adventures.


Kassidy Coplan / Summer 2016 / Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN

Where do I even begin? My study abroad experience in Greece far exceeded my wildest dreams, and I have the HISA family to thank for that. The professors were passionate and excited about the subjects they taught, which made learning far more interesting. The field trips and hands-on experiences made the information easy to understand and fun to learn. The staff was always there for us, always easily approachable and consistently available to answer any questions we had. The program directors and professors genuinely care about their students and took the time to get to know us on a personal level. The HISA community is a family, and they made me feel right at home. The relationships I formed with the students and staff will be something I cherish for a lifetime. Best of all, I know that when I choose to return to Paros Island, I will be welcomed back with open arms. I could go on and on about how this experience positively impacted my life, but I highly suggest you experience it for yourself.


Brianna Castillo / 2016 Spring / THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

Greece was the experience of a lifetime! Every day of my stay was a different memory getting the opportunity to meet locals, learn new Greek words, try new unique foods and immerse myself in the beautiful culture that welcomed me and anyone to become apart of their home community. I've never been outside of the United States nor have I traveled alone before so going to another country by myself at 18 seemed super scary but HISA made the travel and the entire trip easy and worry free. The friends I met were diverse in ideas, backgrounds and cultures and taught me so much about myself. The housing was so cozy; when the three months passed I had such a difficult time parting with the place that I spent relaxing, reading and doing homework. My favorite parts of the entire journey of studying abroad in Paros Island Greece was of course being able to walk just across the street and indulge in backlava and the best gyros you could ever imagine! The second best part was the outstanding instructors that inspired me to think about different perspectives and do things I never thought I would have the courage to do. I took painting, sculpture, philosophy, art and culture and the goddess course where I got to be around such well knowledgeable, funny and extremely unique instructors that had so many awesome experiences to share! The instructors and faculty were more than leaders and guides for us they became our friends. I wouldn't trade my time In Greece for anything. It was a priceless experience that I will always cherish.


Jesa Minnick / 2013 spring / Millersville University of Pennsylvania

I had lived in Northeast Pennsylvania my whole 21 years until I decided to study abroad in Greece. I attended a state school for art education and sculpture for 2 ½ years before going to HISA for sculpture, Philosophy, Painting, Greek, Black & White Photography, and the Theory of Art. You will understand once you meet the professors that the hardest thing to choose is which classes not to take. I think I could have studied absolutely anywhere with these talented professors because they are so passionate about their subjects. Of course, they only add to the dream that you are living: a resoundingly beautiful island with a rich culture and lovely loquat trees. From director Barry Tagrin, I was inspired to look for other ways and places to travel. After my semester in Paros, I travelled through Western Europe for about two months. This year, I am planning to go to South Korea and Japan for a teaching job.