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.

2006 Summer School in Heraklion Crete (CSE 4421 3.0; June 23-July 20)

Sponsored by ICS/FORTH

Application Form

As previously communicated in the fall 2005 to all students enrolled in 2nd, 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 continuing to expand these by planing in 2006 summer schools in Crete (CSE4421 3.0) and Warsaw (CSE3421 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 toward 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 (Fall and or Winter terms; instruction in Summer Schools is in English). This accommodation extends to instruction and examination. 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 it 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.

If you want more advise or information and your target is Crete, then email me, if Warsaw, then email Professor Gryz, if Bonn, then email Professor Cribb.

Course Outline

Course Director: Dimitris Tsakiris, ICS and Department of Computer Science, University of Crete.

  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. ("Moni Preveli" is a must see.)
  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 (CSE 4421 3.0)?  You will enrol at York using REM. However this is by permission only (as, for example, is the enrolment procedure for CSE 4080). It will be necessary for you to obtain prior permission from me (George Tourlakis). Permissions will be influenced by your standing (gpa in CSE courses is a major factor) and the fact that there are only a total of approximately 10 spots available. Needless to say that prerequisites must be totally met. CSE 4421 3.0 (SU06) has been mounted on the student information system at York (SIS) and will show up as one of the York courses once the summer 2006 lecture schedule becomes public.
  2. Will this summer course count towards my York degree? But of course. This is from our perspective CSE 4421 3.0. Only it is taught off campus.
  3. What about texts? Will we buy them in Iraklion? The "must have" text is listed in the  CSE4421 3.0 course outline 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 CSE 4421 3.0 then you are eligible to apply for a York International Mobility Award (in short YIMA), 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 30 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 will be reserved at the MEDITERRANEAN hotel, situated centrally in Heraklion (1 Smirnis, Platia Daskalogiani). This is steps away from the bus  stop that will take you to ICS and back (classes will be held at ICS). The hotel stay cost,  based on double occupancy (two people per room) is, on a per student basis,  310.00 Euro for your entire month of stay, that is, about $430.00 (CND) with the current exchange rate (you may want to think of this as $14 per day!).
  8. What are the dates of stay, nominally? The course dates (instruction only) are June 26-July 13. Thus, typically, you will plan to arrive to Heraklion on June 23, and plan your departure, typically, on the 20th of July. The course project will likely be due near your departure date (approx. July 20, 2006).
  9. Will there be any "survival Greek" instruction in this summer school, and what will it cost to register?  Yes, there is expected to be. And it will be compulsory. 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 in Heraklion. Instruction is in Voutes, in the ICS premises (see map). This is outside Heraklion.
  11. 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: March 20, 2006