"It is easy to get stuck in the routines of our everyday lives, mindlessly complaining about the traffic, or how long our reading assignment for class is, or not getting enough sleep. But when you experience the amount of joy that radiates from every single individual at a shelter like this, you forget about the petty things in life,"
Rachael Bittick (Athens Hope Cafe)- University of Michigan
We help dozens of students to arrange volunteer or internship experiences; CYA students have done everything from volunteering in law firms to serving at local soup kitchens and assisting beekeepers.
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and build friendships and networks while in Athens. CYA is also a Bonner Approved study abroad program, which means Bonner Leaders & Scholars are able to satisfy their required community service through study abroad at CYA in Greece.
Internships are an ideal way for students to get hands-on experience in the world outside of the classroom, to enjoy cultural immersion and gain intercultural communication skills.
Opportunities for volunteering cover many different areas, including: refugee aid, soup kitchens, environmental groups, animal welfare, special needs education, film and theater, writing and editing, libraries, museums, art galleries, kindergartens, marketing and advertising, and various non-profit organizations.
CYA has been helping students to secure internships that give them the opportunity to work with and learn directly from professionals in their fields, ranging from sectors that connect to Greece’s ancient heritage, to contemporary economic and social issues, to business, the arts, and many, many, more. Internships at some organizations may be arranged as part of specific courses.
Click here to read our student volunteer stories
We offer a fantastic in-house opportunity for students interested in building their portfolio, knowledge, and skills in digital media and communications. Applications for the CYA Media Lab Internship are open to all CYA students prior to the beginning of each semester, and application deadlines are announced beforehand.
Click here for more Information about the CYA Media Lab Internship
CYA has a strong network of contacts in Athens. Below are details of just some of the organizations with which we collaborate and some of the opportunities on offer.
Volunteering tasks and internship content will depend on each organization's needs at the time of application
ANEMON PRODUCTIONS - produces documentaries, educational programs and cross-media projects as a catalyst for discussion, inspiration and impact. Special focus is given to projects promoting intercultural and historical understanding, across Europe, human rights and sustainable living (translation, backstage support, film/ theatre marketing and production).
ARCHELON - (Save the Mediterranean Turtle) Environmental rescue projects to protect the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through monitoring, research, habitat restoration, raising public awareness, and rehabilitating sick and injured turtles.
ATHENS AUTHENTIC MARATHON
Volunteering with the community and athletes during the race
BLEGEN LIBRARY-WIENER LAB at the American School of Classical Studies – Cataloguing, archival work, support with video archiving of lectures (Wiener).
CARITAS HELLAS, Charity with many initiatives including “Big Brother” & “Big Sister” programs for refugee children, general support for refugees and the homeless via soup kitchens, and English language lessons. Volunteers might work in a soup kitchen or teach English.
CYCLADIC MUSEUM – Museum dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus with an emphasis on Cycladic art. Volunteers might assist with translations, research, office and educational program support, archiving, museum tours in English.
ELIAMEP (Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy) - Provides a forum for public debate on issues of European integration and international relations. Conducts scientific research that contributes to a better informed and documented knowledge of the European and international environment. Volunteers may assist with office work, research, support on special projects.
FAROS - Offers humanitarian care and support to unaccompanied children and refugee youth. Each child receives individual and tailored care and the chance to live with dignity and hope. Through FAROS these young people find safety and a sense of worth. Volunteers may give English lessons and help with other assistance to unaccompanied children and refugee youth.
HELMEPA (Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association) Association based on the voluntary commitment of seafarers and ship owners to protect the seas from ship generated pollution. Volunteers might assist with office work, research, special projects, and more.
HOME PROJECT - Provides services to unaccompanied refugee children arriving in Greece. The children are moved from camps, the street, detention centers, etc. to places where they are taken care of and prepared for eventual social inclusion and integration. Volunteers might provide assistance with certain activities, teach English, as well as other supportive tasks.
INSIDER MAGAZINE – A periodical covering art, design, travel, opinion, and reviews that originally began as an information guide for tourists and expatriates, but has worked its way into the everyday life of Athenians in general. Volunteers might help with digital content-creating newsletters, archiving, tagging and uploading content on the website, and social media management.
IOBE (Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research) – A private, politically independent, non-partisan body dealing with major economic issues. Volunteers may do research and assist in preparations for conferences and special projects among other duties.
JEWISH MUSEUM-A museum whose purpose is to collect, preserve, and exhibit all elements of history, tradition, and culture of the Greek Jewish community. Volunteers might help with archives, do some translating or transliterating, research projects.
LALOUNIS MUSEUM – Museum and non-profit organization devoted to the art of jewelry and jewelry making in Greece. Volunteers might help with archives, research projects having to do with the info on the history of the jewelry.
MELISSA NETWORK- Network providing supportive services to migrant and refugee women and their children. Volunteers might help through interaction with and care of the children in the day care center, as well as other tasks.
METADRASI- Facilitates the reception and integration of refugees and migrants, as well as unaccompanied migrant and refugee youth in Greece. Volunteers might teach English to young refuges and migrants.
MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF ATHENS (ATHENS CITY MUSEUM) - Housed in a building that was the first royal palace of Greece, the Museum's collections include Athens-related items from antiquity to contemporary art, and displays of furniture depicting typical living-room arrangements of 19th century Athenian aristocracy. Volunteers might assist with scanning and digitizing items for the museum’s archives, work on research projects aimed at potential collaboration with other museums and organizations, and give museum tours in English.
MVI (Medical International Volunteers) – Provides medical support and care to immigrant refugee women and children. Volunteers who speak Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Bangla, and Hindi might assist with translation, some project management administrative tasks, social media, and fundraising support.
PRAKSIS - Program of development providing social support, and medical assistance to vulnerable groups such as refugees, migrants, and Greek families experiencing hardship. They provide assistance and relief to the homeless, day care centers to support families with young children, and strive to return families to a state of self –sufficiency after crisis. Volunteers might interact with refugee children and youth, and offer English lessons.
PROLEPSIS – Humanitarian organization specializing in preventive medicine, environmental, and occupational health. Volunteers might assist with medical research, health promotion, other office work.
RAINBOW SCHOOLS - Voluntary collective supporting LGBTQ diversity, seeking to eliminate discrimination and promote and educate on inclusion and sustainability regarding attitudes and practices around sexual orientation, gender ID, gender expression. Rainbow addresses and informs on gender characteristics in the Greek school system, including educators, students, parents, institutions, and the general public.
SOCIAL HACKERS ACADEMY-Providing tech education for refugees and other economically vulnerable groups in Athens, with the aim of gainful employment and integration to society. Volunteers may help teach IT skills when appropriate, and offer support in general.
SOLIDARITY NOW – A collective providing a space for civil organizations to collaborate and design programs and activities that address poverty and social integration of marginalized and vulnerable groups. Volunteers might do office work, help with research projects, help children and adults learn English.
WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) - Organization that works to save the natural heritage of Europe and the Mediterranean by working to protect biodiversity, and reduce the human footprint. Volunteers might assist with social media, dissemination of information, office work, fund raising support.