The CYA Experience comes once in a lifetime March 28, 2020

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/02/2019 to 12/20/2019 with

CYA (College Year in Athens) - Semester/Academic Year Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
CYA was the perfect balance of engaging academics and connection to place. Having the freedom to do other things than study gave me a chance to look inward at who I wanted to be, which is not something very many busy college students have the chance to do.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Greece is a very affordable country, so whether you eat out every day or cook every day, you will be in good shape.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Whether or not your home institution requires that you take modern Greek, CYA provides you with a two-day Greek crash course so that you can navigate your way around Athens. After all, most Greeks speak English well, so you will be alright regardless.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 6th grade Greek
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Duolingo is an undervalued resource. It's also helpful to have Google Translate downloaded onto your phone.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • CYA Staff and Administration
  • Creating lifelong friendships
  • Exploring a diverse culture in a small country
* What could be improved?
  • More integration with students from different institutions
  • More program-wide trips
  • More emphasis on using language and exploration of Greek culture
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you can, stay for the whole year and not just the semester.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Action in Ancient Greek and Contemporary Analytical Philosophy

Course Department: Philosophy
Instructor: Evgenia Mylonaki
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course contained mostly philosophy majors, lending itself to advanced philosophical discussions. We examined ancient and contemporary philosophy to understand how philosophical thought has developed in the continuum of time. This led to fascinating revelations and contradictions that kept the class energized for the whole semester.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Business, Ethics, and Politics

Course Department: Philosophy
Instructor: Evgenia Mylonaki
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was the perfect fusion of philosophy and its practical utility in society. We developed an understanding of how philosophical theories impact the world that we live in through critical discussions, readings, and essays.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Greek

Course Department: Greek
Instructor: Stavroula Alexakis
Instruction Language: Modern Greek
Comments: Having a background in modern Greek prior to the CYA program, I was unsure of what language offerings would be available. CYA surprised me by creating a 2-person Intermediate Greek course for speakers with a background in the language. This afforded me lots of individual attention that drastically advanced my language skills. Some of the highlights outside the classroom included practical outings to Greek concerts and restaurants.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Sociology of Dissent

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Rosa Vasilaki
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Greece is a perfect location for a course on Sociology of Dissent, as it is situated the one ancient city of Athens that is not a thriving, diverse metropolis of 7 million people. We were able to take advantage of Athens' changing political and social climate both in the classroom and on periodic field trips to different parts of the city.
Credit Transfer Issues: