Amazing Program April 16, 2020

By (Grinnell College) - abroad from 01/19/2020 to 05/16/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program was the best one I could have chosen. I am excited to

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses were not all easy A's like other study abroad programs. They were rigorous but rewarding. All the professors genuinely care and the small class sizes help enhance the learning environment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CYA was so helpful with everything leading up to my semester in Athens! I felt comfortable talking to the staff about any concerns and could tell they cared about my individual experience. When I got to Athens, they provided transportation to our apartments which was helpful and from there we had a very informative orientation week. Additionally, the school sponsored trips are not only educational, they are extremely fun and we had plenty of free time. The professors are all helpful and eager to teach about Greek culture. Overall I am very happy with my program selection. Unfortunately, my semester was cut short due to COVID-19 and even through the chaos CYA was helpful and showed how much the student experience mattered to them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Wonderful apartments near campus and close to the city center.

* Food:

CYA only provides lunch during the week days. The options for vegan/ vegetarians were sometimes repetitive but overall decent 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:

Like all cities, there a rougher parts of Athens. CYA was in a nice area and as a woman I always felt comfortable walking around alone (even at night).

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)

Athens is one of the cheapest cities in Europe. It was easy to budget and I hardly spent more than 50$ a week in the city.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I tried to eat in for half of the week to save money for things I wanted to do on the weekends including travel.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? nothing
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? start practicing before you get there!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?
  • Other Students
  • School Trips
  • Staff
* What could be improved?
  • Food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is so important to enjoy the moments while they are happening and spend some of your time in Athens dont travel every weekend.