The Hellenic American Union
The Hellenic American Union is a not-for-profit public-service organization with an international focus and strong community commitment, dedicated to providing opportunities for a diverse range of audiences to encounter and benefit from innovative educational programs and cultural events.
It was founded in 1957. Among its founding members were some of the most prominent figures in Greek society and the American community in Greece as well as other Americans abroad. At the time of its founding, the institution was strongly affiliated with the American Embassy in Athens , with which it participated closely in educational and cultural programs, and, thus, the original focus of the institution's programs was on showcasing American innovations in education, technology and the Arts. The institution continued to cooperate closely with the American Embassy, and accommodated the American library and the Embassy's Information Center , while at the same time broadening its mission to include activities and events treating aspects of Greek culture and later on, cooperative programs with organizations in Europe, Latin America and North Africa . In pursuing its mission, the Hellenic American Union has forged educational and cultural partnerships with a large number of American and European universities, cultural organizations, foundations, and other non-profit associations.
The programs and learning resources of the institution together form an expansive arc of true life-long learning. Our basic skills courses in English language training (as well as Greek for foreigners) provide students with one of the fundamental pre-requisites for most jobs, as do our introductory courses for basic computing skills.
A second-tier of courses lead to recognized certificates, diplomas or degrees in a number of more specialized areas such as Translation, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, networking, Business and Public Relations.
A third-tier provides advanced specialized training to current professionals in fields ranging from information technology, finance, auditing, arts management, as a form of continuing education.
This triptych of basic, vocational and professional education is complemented by a series of examinations administered by the Hellenic American Union and others administered by external examination and certification bodies to provide candidates with market-relevant certification of language and IT skills.
Integral to all these programs is the array of services offered to students, such as cultural events, career counseling, the Writing Center, the library and the Information Center for International Students.
When viewed together, the services and programs delivered by the Hellenic American Union reach a significant audience. Almost 90,000 individuals attended cultural events, studied at the HAU or benefited from our services in the year 2004 alone. Admittedly, some of these people may have spent only an hour or two with us, at an exhibition or concert, but others were enrolled in programs lasting hundreds of hours, such as Translation and Cisco Networking Academy. We can roughly estimate that our public spent over 650,000 person-hours in the Hellenic American Union programs.
This large, diverse audience is growing. Registration in courses as the Hellenic American Union has increased in practically all programs .
This audience is largely but not wholly in the greater metropolitan Athens area, which has 4,5 million citizens. Teacher Education courses are offered as well in our facilities in Thessaloniki, along with the standard range of examination services offered in Athens. Teacher training and testing services are provided in FYROM, Romania and Bulgaria. Local academies administered through the Hellenic American Union Cisco Regional Academy currently operate both in Athens and in other parts of Greece. Finally, the Hellenic American Union organizes testing centers in over sixty towns and cities throughout Greece.