Summer of a Lifetime! Past Review

By (Anthropology, Archaeology, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill) - abroad from 05/22/2015 to 07/19/2015 with

CYA (College Year in Athens) - Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It is hard to sum up the experience I had with CYA in words.. I can honestly say that the 8+ weeks I spent in Greece have been the best weeks of my life thus far, in part thanks to CYA. I am a science major at my home university, but the two classes I took in Greece that focused on the anthropology of the Mediterranean diet and the archaeology of the Bronze Age really opened my eyes to some more of my academic interests and enriched my liberal arts education. The professors at CYA are obviously passionate about what they are teaching, and I think that this attribute really made us students not only want to learn more but to actually care about what we were learning. The structure of the summer programs allowed for personal travel and exploration which were huge parts of my experience as a whole and really instilled within me a desire to continue traveling in the future. While studying abroad through CYA, students lived with other students from the United States. While I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be living with a more international crowd, I think that this arrangement had some “pros” as well. Culture shock is a real thing and to be able to come back home to other American students that were speaking English and experiencing the same emotions was comforting in a experience that was often very overwhelming and uncomfortable. I was in Greece during the summer of 2015 when the economic situation was very interesting and sometimes unsettling, yet I always felt safe being with CYA because they continuously ensured us that everything would be okay and had emergency plans in place if things went awry. I think that that speaks greatly for the structure of the program. I would recommend a program in Greece to anyone that is looking for a experience full of culture, history, and the iconic hospitality that is often associated with the beautiful country.

Review Photos

College Year in Athens: Summer Programs in Athens Photo

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.

Very enriching experience that expanded my interests and academic endeavors at home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were some minor issues with our housing, but nothing very substantial. CYA sent out maintenance workers (after hours!) when we had a plumbing problem. Great location of housing and the apartments felt very safe

* Food:

The dining hall had both good and bad days. Overall, the food was okay-good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At times I wish we had lived with other international students to feel more integrated. CYA did a great job of notifying us of different events going on in the community in efforts to get students out and experiencing different things in Greece.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The apartments and academic buildings were in an area that felt very safe.

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


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do not eat out for every meal if you travel to the islands; they are very expensive. Only take out as much money as you want to spend when you go out at night. Go in with other students and cook your own meals a couple times a week; you can really save money that way!


* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Classes
  • Travel with Classes
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Food
  • Immersion
  • Information exchange between home institution and CYA
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Some Greek words and phrases, that I would not be able to use a credit/debit card in many places in Greece, proper clothing/footwear to bring

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.'