News of Interest to students who plan a full term (or two full terms) in any of Heraklion, Bonn, Warsaw, in the context of the CAN-EU funded transatlantic student exchange agreement.

N EW: Follow this link to find  out  which courses,  offered by our European partners, are transferrable as York CSE courses
upon your successfully completing them. Each row is a row of courses which will be credited as the York course on the first column.

2005 Summer School in Heraklion Crete (COSC 4441 3.0; June 20-July 20)

Sponsored by ICS/FORTH

Application Form

As previously communicated in the fall 2004 to all students enrolled in 3rd and 4th year computer science courses, the department is actively encouraging international exchanges and in that context it has organised since 2003 summer schools in Germany (Fachhochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg) and is now expanding these by adding in 2005 summer schools in Crete (COSC4441 3.0) and Warsaw (COSC3421 3.0). These schools are consistent with and support a broader exchange program recently established with two partners in Canada (U of New Brunswick and Dalhousie U) and three partners in Europe (Fachhochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Crete and ICS/FORTH).  This allows for well-funded one-term or two-term  student exchanges across the Atlantic. Summer schools are an integral part of this effort. Participating York computer science students will be immersed in a foreign culture and language milieu for approximately a month, and take an intensive computer science course abroad (in English) that counts towards their degree at York. This brief visit, it is hoped, will whet the appetite of students and prepare them to go back, to the same or to one of the other two European partner universities, for at least one full term of study (fall or winter, or both). Unlike summer schools, instruction during the longer exchange visit in the fall or winter terms may be in the host country's native language, although there may also be some courses that are taught in English.

It is important to note that the University of Crete provides linguistic accommodation to English speaking visiting students in instruction and examination language. I quote from

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction is Greek. However, special arrangements for English-speaking students can be discussed with each Department.

The language barrier will be addressed systematically, first by "survival" language courses offered by the host institutions during the summer schools. These brief courses in basic language skills will give the visiting students the ability to interface with the locals in their native language, and will be a good co-requisite towards appreciating the host country's culture. These skills along with the fact that many people in Heraklion, Bonn and Warsaw are able to communicate in English will make it fairly easy for York students to communicate.

For longer term visits, York students who wish to participate in a fall or winter (or both) exchange have access to, and is recommended that they take, intensive language courses at York as part of their preparation to go for a fall and/or winter exchange. York has a rich set of courses in both German and (modern) Greek.

An intensive month-long course in Greek culture and language will be offered by the University of Thessaloniki, August to September 2005. This will be available to two York students on a scholarship (400.00 Euro per person) from U of Thessaloniki. However one scholarship has already been allocated. So please act fast!
This is a self-standing scholarship in the context of a bi-lateral exchange agreement York has with U of Thessaloniki and is not connected to the exchange program with Crete, Bonn and Warsaw that is funded by Canada and the EU.

York International has application forms, please inquire there.

This intensive course is quite fitting for any York students who did not master the language yet (:-) and wish nevertheless to go to Crete in the fall 05 or winter 06 (or both). Note that the fall term in Greece starts in October and fall exams are in January. Winter term starts in February.  In any case, I urge students who are reading this to seriously consider applying to go to Europe this fall/winter under the terms of the Canada/EU exchange program above. If your target is Crete please email me, if Warsaw email Professor Gryz, if Bonn email Professor Cribb.

Course Outline

Course Director: Constantine Stephanidis, Department of Computer Science, University of Crete; and Director of ICS.

  1. Visit Knossos (King Minos's domain). Allow the better part of a whole day!
  2. Visit the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion.
  3. Visit Fodele, El Greco's birth place.
  4. Visit Phaistos (this also has many morphs: From "Festos" to "Phestos" and back. Original is Φαιστος).
  5. Visit Chania (or Hania).
  6. Visit Sfakia (or "Chora Sfakion"). In this context, and if time (and strong legs) permit, you will want to walk the Samaria Gorge. This can be combined with a visit to Chania. While at it combine with a visit to Fragokastelo.  If you are lucky you may witness "Drosoulites", ghostly shadows that sometimes are seen "dancing" on the outside walls of the Castle. Where they are coming from no one knows ...
  7. Visit Agios Nikolaos.
  8. Visit Rethimnon.
  9. Visit the various historic monasteries.
  10. Don't miss "Oropedio" (the Plateau).
  11. If you want to see where Zeus was hidden as a baby by his mother (because his dad, Kronos, had the bad habit of eating his children), then you must visit Dikteon Andron (Dikteon Cave).
  12. But no matter what you do, do taste the food at every opportunity! (I was impressed by "Kyriakos" in my previous visits to Heraklion, but this is only one of many excellent places to eat  in Heraklion and elsewhere in Crete.)
  13. Last but not least, Crete has beautiful beaches. Not too far from Heraklion are "Agia Pelagia" and "Lygaria" beaches. Beautiful sea, and nice little restaurants by the sea for you to enjoy a post swim bite (great seafood!).


  1. How do I enrol to the summer school (COSC 4441 3.0)?  You will enrol at York using REM. However this is by permission only (as, for example, is the enrolment procedure for COSC 4080). It will be necessary for you to obtain prior permission from me (George Tourlakis). Permissions will be influenced by your standing (gpa is a major factor) and the fact that there are only a total of 10 spots available. Needless to say that prerequisites must be totally met. COSC 4441 3.0 (SU05) has been mounted on the student information system at York (SIS) and will show up as one of the York courses once the summer 2005 lecture schedule becomes public.
  2. Will this summer course count towards my York degree? But of course. This is COSC 4441 3.0. Only it is taught off campus.
  3. What about texts? Will we buy them in Iraklion? The text is the same as the one recommended for COSC4441 3.0 in our mini-calendar. Alan Dix, Janet Finlay, Gregory Abowd, Russell Beale, Human-Computer Interaction, Prentice Hall, latest  Edition. Please buy it here before departure.
  4. What about my air fare to and from Heraklion? Am I responsible for the cost? If you have enrolled in COSC 4441 3.0 then you are eligible to apply for a York International Mobility Award (which is means tested, and is usually enough to cover the complete air fare).
  5. How easy is it to book flights to Crete? Very easy! There are several airlines that fly to Athens from Toronto, and from there there are frequent connections to Heraklion (a 50 min. flight from Athens). Check with your travel agent. My experience has been that agents are in general more cost-effective than on-line reservations. I also found that reserving early is cheaper.
  6. Will I need a VISA to travel to Greece? If you are a Canadian citizen, no. Otherwise, you might need one. Please enquire and make necessary and timely arrangements with the Consulate General of Greece in Toronto (
  7. Where will I stay and what will be my accommodation costs? Accommodation has been reserved at hotel "Australia" in the  Amoudara suburb of Heraklion. Check it out here: (note that these links are changing, so they are accurate as of date inserted). The cost is based on double occupancy (two people per room) and the rate includes breakfast. Your personal cost (for the entire month), NET, will be 200.00 Euro, that is about $340.00 (CND) or $11.33 per day. This net price is after applying the ICS subsidy.
  8. What are the dates of stay, nominally? As you will note in the course plan, the course dates (instruction only) are June 20-July 9. Thus, typically, you will arrive to Heraklion probably on June 17 and plan your departure, typically, on the 17th of July.
  9. Will there be any "survival Greek" instruction in this summer school, and what will it cost to register?  Yes, there will be. The cost will be totally absorbed by the ICS or the Computer Science department in Crete so it will be a free service to you.
  10. Are both accommodation and instruction in the city of Heraklion? Accommodation will be as above. Instruction is in Voutes, in the ICS premises (see map). This is outside Heraklion, however transportation to and from the instruction site will be made available free of cost to you, courtesy of ICS. Specifically, ICS has rented two 5-seater cars which will be available to you at no cost for all your transportation needs, including commuting to the instruction site, site seeing, etc.
  11. Who will be the driver(s)? You are! (No chauffer service I am told :-)  We will need two or more drivers among you (see also below).
  12. What do I need to legally drive in Greece? You need a valid Canadian driver's licence and an International driver's licence that is issued by any CAA office in Toronto while-you-wait.

  Last updated: Apr. 17, 2005