Studying Political Science in the Birthplace of Democracy September 13, 2022

By (Political Science, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill) - abroad from 06/30/2021 to 07/28/2021 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the origins of democracy and the local culture in Athens. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My class was a political science course. The work was mainly in class, with a paper at the end of the course. It was immersive and engaging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was helpful and kind! Everyone I interacted with who was connected with CYA made me feel so welcome, right from the beginning.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved that the apartment unit I stayed in with my classmates was part of a building where locals lived. I loved being integrated in that way and absolutely loved the neighborhood we were in. It was small, but it was everything we needed for a month.

* Food:

We had one meal included a day during the week with CYA. I can't think of a single meal I didn't love--the food was fresh and delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You have to make an effort to meet people outside of the program, if that's a priority for you. But there is ample time to, and there is so much sight seeing around the city that you are definitely exposed to the local culture every day.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health problems during my time overseas, but CYA had resources available.

* Safety:

Athens is a big city, and there were a couple of times I felt unsafe, but I mainly just had to make sure not to be out alone at night. My professor would encourage us stay stay with at least one other person. I had one bad taxi experience when using it late at night, so I would suggest a different transportation method. The city is pretty walkable and the metro is easy to use.

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

CYA gave me resources, immersion, and a great quality 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)

Food is very affordable in Athens, and having one meal provided for through CYA was helpful. Personal expenses were minimal but there were grocery stores within walking distance with affordable options if I ever needed toiletries or food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $90
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pick a night or two a week where you cook with your classmates that you live with! Street food is very affordable, so you don't have to look hard to find dinners under 5 euro. That way, you can save the more mid-size or expensive meals for weekends.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Class structure
  • Apartments
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would need to make an effort to meet locals

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.