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.


Phoebe Lifton / 2012 Spring / Global College of Long Island University, OR

My experience at HISA is one that continues to unfold, the creased truths of cultural experiences hide in the folds of my personal experiences. I made an origami rose of my time and whenever I recall it the sweet smell brings me comfort and longing for the place and people. Academically I was challenged in every class, with the support of my teachers along the way I was able to grow in a supported community. The teachers involved with HISA are one of the things that make this program special. You cannot leave without feeling like you have gained a mentor, a friend, and a mutual fan. The only regret you will have is not taking this opportunity to study abroad.

“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than moving planes, ships or trains.” ― Alain de Button, The Art of Travel