Some UC Santa Barbara students seeking a change of scenery this summer will be able to do so while still taking classes.

With tuition going up, UCSB Summer Sessions has become increasingly popular for students looking to graduate on time or early, but many students also like to use the summer break for travel or to go home for work. UCSB has a plan to enable more students to travel and go to school at the same time with more off-campus extension programs and two summer sessions programs abroad – one in Mexico and a new program starting this year in Greece.

In the new Greece program, students can take up to 12 units and have five class choices. Classics Professor Apostolos Athanassakis will be directing the program and will teach with two other faculty members. In the program, which has been in development for two years, half of the classes will be taught near the Parthenon in Athens and the other half in Paros. Students wishing to take 16 units or do a research project need to get Athanassakis’ permission prior to signing up.

“[It was designed for] UCSB undergrad students interested in studying Greek civilization, literature and archaeology in the classroom, as well as expanding their horizons by traveling to Greece and getting an insight into Greek life,” Summer Sessions Associate Director Robert Mann said.

Summer programs in Greece are already offered through UC Davis and UCLA, but these programs only offer two courses and are not based on the requirements of UCSB academic departments.

Mann said the new Greece program is integrated with UCSB’s curriculum and G.E. requirements.

The program enrollment deadline has been extended to May 30, but few spots remain. The Greece program costs $69 per unit plus a one-time materials fee of $1,800. Students also have to provide their own airfare.

Students who wish to stay a little closer to home but need to live outside of the Santa Barbara area will have more off-campus class locations available this year. UCSB will continue to offer classes in Santa Maria but is adding an additional off-campus facility in the San Fernando Valley. Classes will be taught at Birmingham High School during the first session only. Birmingham High School is located at 6435 Balboa Blvd. in Van Nuys near the junction of Highways 405 and 101. The courses will be broadcast on video to the off-campus locations from the main UCSB campus, and students can call or e-mail professors with questions.

“Birmingham High School is within 30 minutes of 800 students so they can go there and take classes that will be taught live here and broadcast there,” Director of Summer Sessions Loy Lytle said. “We’re trying to tailor that curriculum to what they may not have and want.”

If the program does well there, summer sessions may expand the program to offer classes in other areas such as San Diego or the San Francisco Bay area. Lytle said the Santa Maria program was popular with students because they could go home to work and still take classes and that he expected the Van Nuys program to be popular for the same reasons.

“If you go home and you have a job you can still take courses,” Lytle said. “We’re really trying to expand students’ ability to go home.”

At $69 per unit, the off-campus classes are less expensive than on-campus ones, and off-campus students can fill out a waiver form to not pay fees for student services such as use of the MTD bus system and the RecCen. The fee cap, however, is higher, at 12 units instead of eight for on-campus students. If students combine classes off campus with classes on campus, the 12-unit fee cap still applies.

UCSB students can still sign up for those classes using GOLD.