discovering myself while leaving my comfort zone and having fun January 12, 2022

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/30/2021 to 12/17/2021 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live on my own and navigate an unfamiliar environment without the stability of family or a university to lean on. While I had help and support, it was up to me to figure out how to live in Athens. Studying abroad was definitely worth it. I had so many experiences that I'll never get to do again and met so many amazing people. My time in Greece was so much fun and taught me a lot about what I need to do to feel successful.

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 program was not very rigorous. It was good at integrating the courses with field studies and visits to sites. CYA provided a lot of resources for us.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

A lot of resources were provided to help us acclimate to Athens.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I enjoyed the placement of my apartment a lot.

* Food:

The kitchen provided options for dietary needs. I enjoyed the Greek meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was difficult to get involved with the local culture, especially because of the pandemic and the language barrier.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I wasn't able to find flu shots. The hospital we were recommended to was far away and didn't work well with insurance.

* Safety:

The most dangerous part was Greek drivers. It felt very safe to walk at night and be by myself. There were some instances of creepy men, but they didn't feel threatening.

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

I loved the independence of living in an apartment in Athens. The history of Greece was so amazing to experience every day.


* 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)

I was able to walk to cheap street food and cook food for myself.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~80 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Have staple foods like rice, noodles, and eggs to have cheap meals.


* 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

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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
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? Practice ordering food and greeting the workers at shops/cafes.

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?
  • the ability to live in and explore Athens
  • the food
  • access to the historical museums and sites in Athens
* What could be improved?
  • health information for the students from the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much I would have to push myself to go out of my comfort zone and meet new people instead of sticking with what is familiar. I think it would have been more rewarding for me if I interacted with more strangers.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

A Service Learning Aproach

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor: Aimee Placas
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course exposed me to a lot of aspects of Athens that I wouldn't have seen otherwise such as the homeless shelters and the radical areas. The teacher was very knowledgeable in explaining the dynamic of the city to us and what society is like in Athens. The discussion in the class was very engaging.
Credit Transfer Issues: