Best thing I did in college! February 09, 2023

By (Geology, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill) - abroad from 08/28/2022 to 12/16/2022 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Lots of friends and confidence in myself and my ability to travel. Definitely worthwhile.

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 thought all of my classes were awesome. Some people definitely had harder classes than others, but all mine felt like a fair workload and very manageable. I really appreciated that a lot of the classes regularly integrate field trips.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CYA administration was extremely helpful and supportive throughout the whole time I was there. They were quick to offer advice, internship opportunities, and everything else and were very responsive. Everyone there cares a lot and works extremely hard!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was really satisfied with housing for the most part. We had a cute little apartment very near to CYA. I got lucky because I did not share a room, but lots of people did. There was a lot of variety in the newness and quality of the apartments, but overall I was very satisfied.

* Food:

The food that CYA provides is very good, I always enjoyed it. In Everywhere in Greece, food is very affordable and super good. I miss it!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This program is not part of a Greek university, so it was hard to integrate with the local college culture and meet Greek college students. Apart from that, to be immersed you need to put yourself out there and get involved. If you do, then it is very rewarding!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experiences with healthcare there, but the pharmacies are pretty accessible. Covid tests were very cheap.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe in Pangrati.

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

CYA was awesome. I made so many friends and I fell in love with Athens. Everyone was supportive and I felt super safe. Just an awesome program overall.


* 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 think it depends on each person, but I found produce and food to be pretty affordable in Greece.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? take advantage of the provided lunch! that made a huge difference.


* 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

Most people took modern greek, and they had a crash course at the beginning of the semester.

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? None
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? Greek is hard! Any exposure helps.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the housing
  • the area
* What could be improved?
  • some classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how important it is to be proactive and get involved!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.