Empiria Learning

Alexander the Great
Summer Leadership Academy
in Vergina, Greece

Program Outline

The two-week Alexander the Great Summer Leadership Academy (AGSLA) will be hosted on a private resort in the hillside village of Vergina, near the ancient palace and royal tombs of Alexander the Great’s family, which will serve as our primary campus. The resort is located in a vineyard with endless views of rolling green hills and vineyards, and our classes will take place outdoors, in the middle of the vineyard. Our coursework and classroom emulate educational practices of antiquity. Courses are taught by instructors who hold PhDs from Princeton University.

This course is inspired by the life and legacy of Alexander the Great and is centered around developing knowledge and skills central to effective leadership. The first week of SLAAG will focus of the foundational classical works on leadership, such as the texts of Plato, Marcus Aurelius, and Plutarch. The second week will focus on modern autobiographies and speeches of world leaders in politics, business, and society to identify and analyze the common traits and practices of effective and inspirational leaders.

During the coursework for the Academy, students will take turns leading projects for community betterment and teamwork exercises. For example, we will take part in a local school beautification project, farming a cherry orchard, and hiking the hills of Macedonia as part of a peripatetic philosophy lesson.

For the final project, each student will write and recite a unique speech on a topic of their choice, aimed at convincing the audience of their peers of a specific viewpoint. On the weekends, we will be taking all students for guided visits to the archaeological sites of the Royal Tombs of Vergina, Pella, and the Museum of Aiges. Students will be learning about and seeing historical sites that were central to Alexander the Great’s upbringing and education, therefore contextualizing this larger-than-life historical figure, and creating a more impactful understanding of his life and works, which has transcended time and national and linguistic boundaries.

Vergina

Upon completion of the  Alexander the Great Summer Leadership Academy, students will have in-depth knowledge and understanding of ancient Greek history, familiarity with the major philosophical thinkers of antiquity, rudimentary knowledge of the Greek language and conversational fundamentals, and improved skills in literary analysis. AGSLA students will have honed rhetorical and argumentation techniques, and experience in public speaking. They will have developed social skills including teamwork, critical thinking and debate, self-understanding, confidence-building, leadership, character-building, self-discipline, responsibility, and independence.

Students will have the option of sharing a room with another student, or upgrading to a single room (for an extra cost and depending on availability).

Daily Program

7:30 am - 8:45 am

Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:45 am

History of Ancient Greece

9:45 am - 10:00 am

Break

10:00 am - 10:45 am

Introduction to Greek language

10:45 am - 11:00 am

Break

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Analysis and discussion of assigned autobiography/speech/text on leadership

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Group lunch break. Followed by free time for reading, completion of assignments, swimming, etc.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Rhetoric and debate. Students will study rhetoric and the skills of debate and begin the groundwork for preparing their final project presentation

4:15 pm - 7:15 pm

Leadership, teamwork activities, and community service

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Group dinner

Weekend Schedule

Saturday

7:30 am - 8:45 am

Breakfast

9:00 am - 12:00 am

Board bus and drive to the archaeological site of the Royal Tombs of Vergina for a guided tour

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Group lunch break

1:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Return to the SLAAG campus. Students are welcome to rest, study, etc. in their free time

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Group dinner

Sunday

7:30 am - 8:45 am

Breakfast

9:00 am - 12:00 am

Board bus and drive to Pella, where we will be visiting the archaeological site and museum for a guided tour

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Group lunch break

1:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Guided tour of the Aiges Museum in Vergina

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Group dinner

9:00 pm

Return to SLAAG campus/resort

Saturday

7:30 am - 8:45 am

Breakfast

9:00 am - 12:00 am

Pack our things, check out of the resort, and board bus to drive to Thessaloniki to check in to our hotel. This will be followed by a guided city tour

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Group lunch break

1:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Exploring Thessaloniki and having open-air discussion about the legacy of Alexander the Great in modern times

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Return to the hotel in Thessaloniki. Students are welcome to rest, study, etc. in their free time

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Group dinner

Sunday

7:30 am - 8:45 am

Breakfast

9:00 am - 12:00 am

Board bus and drive to Stageira (seaside village and birthplace of Alexander the Great’s tutor, philosopher Aristotle)

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Group lunch break

1:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Final presentations at the archaeological site of Stageira, where Aristotle once walked, and swim at the beach

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Banquet in Stageira

8:00 pm

Return to Thessaloniki

10:30 pm

Return to ESTA campus/resort

END OF SLAAG PROGRAM, DEPARTURES

Estimated Cost

$ 10,000
00
Monthly
  • Resort
  • Three meals a day
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Transportation for excursions to archaeological sites and entry tickets
  • Tuition
  • Over 50 hours of close teaching and mentorship with Princeton-educated instructors

Expression of Interest