A Time of Transition-Within Athens and Myself Past Review

By (Environmental Studies/Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University) for

CYA (College Year in Athens) - Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Best thing I've done so far in life. It will serve as a stepping stone to many more awesome things I plan on doing in my life.

Review Photos

CYA (College Year in Athens) - Summer Program Photo CYA (College Year in Athens) - Summer Program Photo CYA (College Year in Athens) - Summer Program Photo CYA (College Year in Athens) - Summer Program Photo

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Enrolled in the same organization, but for two different programs-Spring Semester and Summer 2011
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.

The focus of this organization is to not only teach in the classroom but also take you out and see what you're learning about. Ancient Greek history and archeology meant holding class at the Parthenon or the Agora. A class about the environment took us into the mountains around Athens. A class on society met at coffee shops at different parts of town. The grading system was relatable to my home university, and the professors were great.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Every expectation I had was met and exceeded. The staff was warm, inviting, and helpful with anything and everything. You could find out where to get the best frappe, get directions to the post office, and information regarding the weekend activities are just a few examples.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was great. You lived on your own in Athens either in Pangrati or Kolonaki, both of which are wonderful neighbors. Everything was safe, you were placed with other Americans that you grew close with, and the distance from class wasn't a concern-everything was at max a fifteen minute walk from your apartment. Metro stops, bus stops, trolley stops, and the tram were are close. You had to bring your own bottom sheet and liner sheet if you felt inclined, as well as towels, but the kitchen was fully equipped with necessities.

* Food:

Very accommodating regarding dietary restrictions-vegan and vegetarian food was easily accessible. Quality of food was fantastic, quantity was perfect, and food around town was amazing. Eat at tavernas, shop at the little grocery stores, and visit bakeries often. Try everything-you won't be disappointed.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Many programs were planned by the program. Greek dancing, cooking lessons, movie nights, weekly discussion/lectures on current affairs, as well as two, week-long field trips around Greece were included. Everything was fantastic, and there were always events advertised that were happening in the community.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Athens is the safest city in Europe, even with protests happening. Protests happened every day, but unless you were walking along that one block and met the police, you would have no idea what was going on. I felt safe everywhere I went, day or night, but common sense is encouraged. Just look out for your belongings-tourist areas especially, and if you see groups of people congregating, you avoid that.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

Greek class was held every school day, which was incredibly helpful, but you had to seek out people to practice with. You could practice with your roommates, but they knew as much Greek as you did. But going out and meeting college students your age and practicing with them or in stores was helpful and relatively easy to accomplish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you want to find a second home, eat delicious food, and learn about this complex, fascinating, and historic culture, come. Athens is beautiful, Greece is beautiful, and they want to share their lives with you.