The Quintessential Study Abroad Experience October 05, 2022

By (Classical Civilization, Colby College) - abroad from 01/17/2022 to 05/13/2022 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I would say collectively the most important thing I learned while I was abroad is to always push your comfort zones when you are given the opportunities. Doing this in Greece allowed me to deepen my understanding of things I already loved and expand my scope to new interests and passions.

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 found CYA to have a wide arange of classes that balanced Academic Rigor with giving students the room to experience the city without being overly pressured by course work. At no point was easily passing classes or doing no work, but no point was I so overwhelmed that I felt I was losing my ability to explore and experience Greece. CYA provides extensive resources and support for academics and at no point did I see this as an issue.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CYA program administration was impeccable. They where their to support students on almost every issues and where throughly prepared, organized, and professional.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my apartment, coming with a kitchen, two bathroom, and a balcony, I could not have asked for something better.

* Food:

The Food in Athens is truly unbeatable, with it being very affordable, widely available, and very diverse.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated into the Local Culture, as I took the local language, but generally speaking Athenians and Greeks are very welcoming of people looking to learn more about their Culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Athens is an incredibly safe city, with the only true concern being pick-pocketing, but CYA does a wonderful job prepping students for this.

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

The College Year in Athens has everything one could need not only to explore Greece but to have a complete and enduring study abroad experience. Although on the surface Athens may seem like a location meant for those interested in Ancient History or Art History, CYA defies this understanding. CYA offers a broad range of courses from Political Science to Psychology to Business. Any student regardless of academic interest can find a home in CYA's academic offerings. However, beyond the diversity in course selection, CYA is structured down to its housing in a way that forces every student to ingrate into their community and explores Athens and Greece as a whole. With the whole program nestled in the Pangrati neighborhood of Athens, every student is forced to be intimately acquainted with local shops, restaurants, cafes, and vendors. Outside of all of this CYA is staffed by helpful and enthusiastic people who have an endless wealth of knowledge that is geared toward supporting American students studying in Greece. They know how to help with every type of problem that could occur, and could not do a better job of making students feel comfortable. Whether they are organizing a cab to your apartment when you first arrive or helping replace a passport, they are there for you. CYA also has a system of affinity and interest groups to help students get involved in different ways across the City. Whether it be looking for underground restaurants or a chance to hike Mount Olympus, CYA students can find extracurricular opportunities. Finally, what would a study abroad program be without more travel? At CYA students embark on two mandatory Field Study trips over the course of their semester. These trips, guided by CYA faculty and supported by CYA staff, bring students to an area of Greece to learn and experience that is outside of Athens. During my Trip to the Peloponnese, I was guided through ancient Sparta, tasted Olive Oil at an Olive Mill, and visited the Ancient Stadium at Olympia. These trips are organized completely by CYA, allowing students to focus purely on learning and experiencing all these great places have to offer! These field studies are jam-packed with fascinating information and unforgettable experiences. Overall, there is nothing more CYA could offer to be a better more holistic Study Abroad Program. Whether you want to or not, you will have a wonderful time, meet wonderful people, and create memories that will last a lifetime!


* 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)


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 0
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? Read and practice as much as possible. Definitely take the language courses at CYA and do your best to speak Greek at every opportunities.

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?
  • On Site Classes
  • Field Study trip to places across Greece
  • The Pangrati Neighborhood where CYA is based
* What could be improved?
  • A better system for selecting Field Studies and giving Students a chance to know professors before making those choices.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't waste a single day, spend every day exploring the city and Greece as a whole. Learn the language, practice it, and see what you haven't seen. Push your view of what Greece is, and really dig into this place.

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.