Fun, Education, and a Lovely Semester January 30, 2022

By (undeclared, 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 much about Greek history and archaeology, which is not something I have been exposed to in detail before. I also learned about taking care of oneself in a foreign country and learning to live in the moment. This was certainly a worthwhile experience.

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.

I am not a classics or history student, but I would say several of these classes were adequately challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was attentive and responsible in helping students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I enjoyed living in apartment buildings with Greek residents because it allowed me to connect with the culture more so than I would if students lived in a dorm environment.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I needed a visit to the hospital, and the program provided several local hospital recommendations that were accustomed to working with international residents. The administration called to check in on me afterwards, and generally worked to make sure that the whole experience was more comfortable with me. Additionally, the international hospital that they recommended had many kind staff and nurses who worked to keep me comfortable as well.

* Safety:

I never felt at-risk, but several other students reported uncomfortable situations in which people either tried to rob them or make unwanted advances. Women were especially uncomfortable around some men who were persistent in their sexual advances even when the women denied their requests.

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

My only bad experiences existed with one professor, and they became more apparent later in the semester. Everything else was wonderful, and I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this program!


* 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)

You can live on a low budget if you want to because prices in Greece are very cheap, but you can also spend a lot if you want to! Up to each individual.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around 50 Euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You only live once.


* 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

We were never required to know or speak Greek, but we were always encouraged to learn the language and told about many helpful phrases and sayings.

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? n/a
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? Just learn through experience and listen to the greek people around.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?
  • Professor connections
  • Real-life experiences
  • Broadened education
* What could be improved?
  • More transition time in field-studies
  • More student mixers
  • Better communication about how to share concerns about courses and instructors.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be afraid to take risks because they likely will help you have a better experience.

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:

ANTH 357-1 A Service Learning Approach

Course Department: Athropology
Instructor: Aimee Placas
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I believe that the professor appropriately challenged and guided my class through the content and college experience in Greece. She was attentive, and I always felt that she truly cared about us as students. Additionally, she shared many aspects of Greece life and its complicated history without including much bias.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

HIST 355-1 Sports, Games & Spectacles in Graeco-Roman World

Course Department: History
Instructor: John Karavas
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The class was not challenging, but I enjoyed the content and real-life experiences learning about the ancient greek athletic life. Unfortunately, the instructor never provided feedback on assignments and only had one graded assessment before finals period. As such, it was impossible to know how to improve class grades or better perform on the assignments. Additionally, he did not actually share feedback on the prior assessment, so it was challenging to know what he expected of students or wanted them to contribute. I believe the instructor is a fine person, but I do not appreciate the academic experience in this class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

ARCH 331-2 Aegean & Ancient Greek Art & Archaeology

Course Department: Archaeology
Instructor: Huseyin Ozturk
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was the most challenging I took, but that is likely because of my unfamiliarity with art history. There were several relevant field trips to museums and archaeological sites in Athens, which certainly helped with the understanding and review of course materials. Additionally, the instructor was kind and approachable, which allowed me to feel comfortable reaching out for help and to just chat about life. All assessments were returned in a timely manner and graded thoroughly, which allowed me to make improvements for the future. Overall, this is my favorite class from the semester.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

SOC 360-1 Sociology of Dissent

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Rosa Vasilaki
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course not too challenging, but I still feel like I learned much about the materials. We had several assignments throughout the term, including an engaging debate and several presentations. The class environment was welcoming, and I appreciated all of our class experiences, including field trips. I would encourage everyone to take this course.
Credit Transfer Issues: