Once in a Lifetime Experience April 28, 2020

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/20/2020 to 05/14/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more independent, flexible, and patient. It was 100% worthwhile.

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.

Classes were informative and hands on. Academics were enriching, but not exhausting. Workload is light until the end of the semester.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

FANTASTIC! They truly care. I had some people go out of their way to help, which was amazing.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a spacious single in my apartment. The apartments are in an urban location and with that have the same issues as one would expect.

* Food:

The meals were either very good or pretty average. We are provided with lunch Mon-Fri. The other meals we make ourselves.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Due to COVID-19 I left early. I believe if I had stayed longer I would have felt more integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Great response with COVID-19. They brought in a doctor to give a presentation and we got many emails.

* Safety:

I never personally felt unsafe. I knew others who had been pickpocketed, but it is a city and one must always be aware of their surroundings.

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)

These were personal choices I made, but Athens is an affordable city.


* 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

The classes were taught in English. My home institution required me to take Greek so I was encouraged to speak Greek in that class and the mandatory classes in orientation.

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
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Learn the alphabet beforehand.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Experiential learning
  • Caring staff
  • Greece
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation
  • Lunches
  • Communication Before Arriving At the Start of the Program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had taken every advantage to do something new, especially since my program ended so abruptly. Also, Athens is very hilly and urban.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.