Intensive Summer Course on Migration and Refugee Studies in Greece

Important Information at a Glance

Note: This application platform is for Harvard students only. Non-Harvard applicants should apply through our partner, the NKUA, here. Application fees and application periods are different for non-Harvard applicants (see details here).

Date: July 11, 2022 – July 31, 2022

Application Period: December 20, 2021 – February 15, 2022

Open to: Students from all Harvard graduate schools as well as Harvard PhD candidates

Cost of Participation: $3,300

Course Credit: Graduate Students can choose this course for Independent Study Credit to be credited during the Fall Semester

Location: Greece: Athens, Nafplio, Lesvos

Scholarships: Harvard graduate students with a refugee background and with demonstrated financial need can apply for the Albina du Boisrouvray Scholarship offered by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. The Scholarship will be offered to two eligible students.

Financial Aid: Harvard graduate students with demonstrated financial need can apply for Financial Aid offered by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. The amount of Financial Aid will be determined on a case-by-case basis

Harvard Program Director: Dr. Vasileia Digidiki

Program Brochure: Click here to download the brochure

Apply Here


Core Faculty

Harvard University

  • Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights and FXB Center Director of Research, Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health
  • Dr. Vasileia Digidiki, Harvard Instructor and FXB Health and Human Rights Fellow

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

  • Professor Emmanuella Doussis, Professor of International and European Studies
  • Professor Maria Gavouneli, Professor of International Law
  • Dr. Evika Karamagioli, Sc. Associate, MSc Global Health – Disaster Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Professor Manos Pikoulis, Professor in Humanitarian and Catastrophe Emergency Medicine
  • Professor George Pleios, Professor of Communication and Media Studies

About the Summer Course

The François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, in collaboration with the Refugee and Migration Studies Hub at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, and with the support of the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece and the U.S., is offering a three-week intensive, interdisciplinary course on migration and refugee studies. The Refugee and Migration Studies Hub is an independent academic unit, established in 2021, which aims to conduct and promote interdisciplinary research on the various forms of migration flows and to contribute to an integrative perception of this global contemporary phenomenon. The course is designed to offer participants both conceptual and practical engagement with key issues related to contemporary forced migration.

The course will include lectures, seminars, interactive class sessions and fieldwork. It will be held in three sites – Athens, Nafplio and Lesvos. Enrollment will be limited to 30 students (15 Harvard graduate students and 15 students from Greek and other European Universities). Expert lecturers will include leading scholars, politicians, leaders of international organizations, civil society organizations and migrant/refugee groups. The course will be taught in English and organized around a multidisciplinary, rights-based curriculum that draws on legal, medical, environmental and broader social science approaches to migration policy and practice.

Course Structure

Located at the crossroads of three continents, Greece became a critical frontline country for over 1 million distress migrants, and a testing ground for Europe’s new migration management policies. Due to its significant role in receiving and managing large-scale distress migration in recent years, Greece provides an important location for studying both the theoretical and practical aspects of refugee studies, and the associated challenges of managing large scale forced migration in context. The program will take place in three Greek locations:

  • Athens, the capital of Greece and city with the largest concentration of asylum seeking and refugee migrants;
  • Lesvos, the Aegean island, which more than 500,000 forced migrants have landed on since 2015, becoming one of Europe’s largest migration hotspots;
  • Nafplio, a historic city, the first capital of the Modern Greek State, and headquarters of the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece

Who is Eligible to Apply for Enrollment?

Students enrolled in any Harvard graduate school, including PhD candidates, are eligible to apply. Enrollment is limited to 15 Harvard students. In addition to 15 Harvard students, the course will include 15 European university students. In addition to the 30 students, the program will include as students two refugees or asylum seekers currently residing in Greece and interested in enrolling in the course.

Students have the option of selecting this course as an Independent Study for course credit in the Fall 2022 semester. We will work with Harvard Graduate students and their respective Schools to facilitate this process (the costs of an independent study are included in Harvard tuition and therefore will not add to the Summer School costs).


The curriculum is thematically divided across the three weeks. Teaching styles will be varied and will include in-class lectures, debates, small group seminars, and simulations. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork. Topics to be covered include (but are not limited to):

  • The global architecture of contemporary migration and its geopolitical underpinnings
  • Drivers of forced migration globally, with a range of geographical focal points
  • Emerging conceptual and policy challenges to established state practice
  • Digital technology and its impact on migration management and access
  • Securitization, externalization and the challenge to migrants’ rights
  • International and regional policy and legal frameworks: their scope and limitations
  • The role of public health in forced migration settings: limitations, opportunities, innovations.
  • Climate change and forced migration
  • Adolescent agency and mobility: opportunities and obstacles
  • Gender justice as a factor in forced migration
  • Refugee and migrant leadership in agenda setting
  • The meaning of “the best interests of the child” in a migration context.
  • Human trafficking and exploitation in the context of forced displacement
  • The role of host community solidarity in driving migration policy.
  • The role of COVID-19 pandemic on forced migration and migrant rights

Application Process, Scholarship Opportunities, and Financial Aid

Applicants are required to submit a short application that includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A description of previous academic, professional and/or extracurricular experiences relevant to refugee and migration issues
  • A statement of interest in enrolling in the course

Application forms can be found here.

The FXB Center at Harvard is offering two full scholarships for applicants with a refugee background and with demonstrated financial need. The Albina du Boisrouvray Scholarship will cover the full cost of participation to the program. It will not cover the cost of airfare to Greece and personal expenditures during the course. You can apply for the Albina du Boisrouvray Scholarship here.

The FXB Center at Harvard is offering Financial Aid to applicants with demonstrated financial need. The amount of Financial Aid will be determined on a case-by-case basis. You can apply for FXB’s Financial Aid here.


In Athens and Nafplio participants will share double occupancy rooms in hotels in each city center.  In Lesvos, students will stay in single occupancy rooms. If students wish to stay in single-occupancy rooms in Athens and Nafplio instead, they should clarify this in their application forms. The additional cost will be $830.

Breakfast is offered in all hotels. Lunch will also be provided and be covered by the program. Though some dinners will be covered by the program, students will need to make their own dinner arrangements for the majority of their stay. Ground and sea transportation for specifically defined program activities will be covered by the program.

  • In Athens, students will stay at Amalia Hotel, located close to the Acropolis. Classes will take place at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
  • In Naflio, students will stay at Rex Hotel. Classes will be held at the facilities of the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece.
  • In Lesvos, students will stay at Hotel Lesvion and classes will be held at the University of the Aegean.

Cost and Expenses

The cost of participation ($3,300) includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Lunch and some dinners
  • All program activities, including scheduled cultural activities
  • Ground and sea transportation for planned program activities
  • 4 COVID rapid tests while in Greece

There are a number of expenses that are not covered by the program fee that students are responsible to cover on their own. These expenses include:

  • International airfare
  • Ground transportation for personal reasons
  • Personal expenditures, communication, course materials, and incidentals

It should be noted that students who need a visa to travel to Greece are responsible for securing their visas themselves. An invitation letter to support the visa application can be provided by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.


Successful applicants should pay a $550 nonrefundable deposit by March 20, 2022 to secure their place in the program. The remaining amount should be paid by May 15, 2022.

Recipients of the Albina du Boisrouvray Scholarship are exempt from this requirement.

Program Cancellations

In the event of cancellation of the whole course, all amounts paid towards the course cost will be refunded to students, including the deposit. The program is not responsible for refunding airfare, visa application fees, or any other incurred expenses not covered by course fee. While planning for your trip, consider purchasing travel insurance or refundable airline tickets.

If students decide to cancel their participation for personal reasons, the deposit is nonrefundable.

Ensure Safety while Traveling Abroad

Global Support Services 

For Safety Information and Recommendations while traveling abroad, please visit Global Support Services (GSS). ​Harvard’s Global Support Services (GSS) offer important tools, as well as a list of steps for your departure planning and for staying safe while abroad.

International SOS  

Ensure that you register your trip with the Harvard International SOS. International SOS provides 24/7 medical, mental health, and security support and evacuation services to eligible Harvard students abroad as well as access to helpful resources and alerts.

Important Dates to Remember

  • December 20, 2021: Application process opens
  • February 15, 2022: Application process closes
  • March 1, 2022: Notification of successful applicants
  • March 20, 2022: Payment of deposit of $550 to secure place in the program
  • May 15, 2022: Payment of full amount
  • July 9, 2022: Departure to Athens 

Need Additional Information?

For additional information on the program or application process, please contact Dr. Vasileia Digidiki at

Register Now Apply for the Albina du Boisrouvray Scholarship Apply for Financial Aid


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