Understanding Activism, Diversity, and Equity: the example of Greece

CYA is offering a new Gap Year program in Greece! To all those who are interested in exploring a new culture, while learning more about activism, diversity, and equity issues, this is your opportunity to experience hands-on learning while you volunteer for a good cause.
 

How are people in Greece working to create a society that is inclusive and equitable? 
What are their methods and goals for protecting human rights, for refugees, people with disabilities, and others who are marginalized in society?
How do they organize to protect the environment and their cultural heritage? 
How do they demonstrate, volunteer, create art, and more, as part of their activism?
You’ll explore the answers to these questions through your volunteerism and conversations with experts, and you’ll learn more about yourself as you’re challenged with new ideas and new people.
 
The aim of this ten-week program is to facilitate a fuller understanding of positive social change and the ways that people make it happen, and a greater understanding of the social context of Greece. You will also learn how to keep an e-portfolio of your reflections, observations, interactive learning, theoretical knowledge, and involvement with your volunteer work, as a record of what you have learned and accomplished through this program.
 
Trips to the island of Aegina, the island of Crete, Delphi and the Peloponnese will allow the broadening of perspective and expansion of worldview.
 
e-Portfolio Workshop 

Portfolios have always been an important component of the resumes of creative arts students. Τhey have now become a key element in the documentation of work done by all students while studying, traveling, volunteering or interning, whether at home or abroad. It is for this reason that CYA is including it in the GAP Year experience. The e-portfolio workshop, led by a member of CYA's faculty, will guide you in the process of curating and sharing your work in a portfolio that fully documents your intellectual and social development during your Gap year. In so doing, you will hone skills of selection, organization, presentation, and self-assessment, all of which are useful in many other areas of academic and professional life.

Program highlights:
  • All participants will have the opportunity to volunteer for an organization actively involved with issues related to working with refugees, protecting the environment, supporting human rights, or other similar concerns.
  • Workshops with CYA faculty and guest lectures by activists working in Greece will help participants learn more about today’s most important social issues.
  • Guided walks of Athens will explore the ways that activism, diversity, and the fight for equity become part of the everyday life of the city, from hip-hop culture, street poetry, graffiti and landscapes of dissent.
  • Two additional week-long tours will take participants around the country to learn more of the culture and history of the country: the island of Crete, the most significant points of interest of the Peloponnese in southern Greece (Nafplion, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Messene, Sparta, and Olympia, site of the ancient Olympics), as well as the site of Delphi (the proverbial center of the world for the ancients), and the picturesque island of Aegina.
 
What’s Included in the Program
  • Visits to sites, museums, and points of historical and cultural interest: the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, Historical Walking tour of Athens, Graffiti Tour of Athens, guided by CYA faculty.
  • Visits to landmarks and points of interest such as the Greek Parliament, the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center guided by CYA faculty.
  • 6-weeks participation in volunteer activities based on individual interests
  • Day trip to the island of Aegina
  • 6-day Field Trip to the Peloponnese & Delphi
  • 5-day Field Trip to the island of Crete
  • Entrance fees to all sites and museums visited in the course of the Program
  • Transportation during all trips
  • Housing in CYA apartments in the residential neighborhood of Pangrati in Central Athens
  • Hotel accommodations while on overnight Field Trips 
  • Lunch on weekdays in the CYA cafeteria while in Athens
  • Breakfast daily during overnight Field Trips
  • Orientation and acculturation activities such as Modern Greek language and culture classes by CYA faculty
  • Health insurance by CISI (including medical treatment for COVID-19)
  • Certificate following volunteer work
  • Certificate following e- portfolio workshop
  • Pre-departure material
  • Arrival day airport meet-and-assist service
  • Use of Library materials
  • Free Internet access in the CYA computer lab as well as free Wi-Fi for laptop users throughout the Academic Center and in the student apartments.
  • Assistance in obtaining a Greek SIM card
  • Support services 
 
Program Learning Outcomes
  • Gain fuller understanding of Social Change and Activism via interactive learning methods
  • Learn basic Modern Greek language.
  • Learn how to create an e-Portfolio of your reflections, observations, interactive learning, theoretical knowledge, and involvement with your volunteer work, as a record of what you have learned and accomplished through this program.
 
Program Fees: $9,950
 
Program fees do not cover personal travel (including travel between home and Athens), meals other than those mentioned above, costs associated with obtaining a visa (if one is needed), personal belongings insurance, medical care not covered under the program's health insurance, personal expenses and incidentals.

 
Payment Schedule
  • A $300 deposit is due within 4 weeks of acceptance or the latest by May 1st. If application is submitted after May 1st, deposit must be submitted at the time of application. 
  • Full payment is due by July 1st.
 
Refunds
  • If you withdraw from the program before July 1st, all monies received will be refunded, including the $300 deposit.
  • If withdrawal is between July 1st and August 15, 80% of the program fees will be refunded.
  • if withdrawal is between August 16 and the official Arrival Date in Athens, 50% of the program fees will be refunded. 
  • If withdrawal is after the official Arrival Date, 10% of the program fees will be refunded. 
 
All payments must be in US dollars. Checks should be made payable to ‘College Year in Athens, Inc.'
For questions on any matters concerning finances, please contact the Bursar at [email protected]
 
Program Details
Program Dates:  September 16, 2021 – November 23, 2021
Duration of program: 10 Weeks
Participants must be at least 18 years of age when arriving in Athens.
Minimum Number of Participants: 5 *

* Note:  CYA reserves the right to cancel the program if the minimum number of participants has not been reached by July 15.  In such case all monies received, including the $300 deposit, will be refunded.  CYA recommends that you do not purchase non-refundable airline tickets before July 15.

Essential Information
The program starts and ends in Athens. Transportation from your home country to Athens and back is the responsibility of the participant. Transportation during excursions is included in the program fee.
 
Enrolled participants will have access to detailed information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about the program. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: http://www.athensguide.com/ and http://www.greektravel.com/
 
Facilities
The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those participants who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Sunday 3:00-7:00 p.m.
 
Housing & Meals
Participants are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in residential apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms. Towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided. 
 
While the group is in Athens, a full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m.
 
Hotel accommodations on overnight excursions will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, in air-conditioned rooms with breakfast included.
 
Application
Apply Early! CYA employs a rolling admissions policy. Since applications are considered only as long as space is available, CYA strongly encourages early application. When space is limited and there are two or more similarly qualified applicants, preference will be given to earlier applicant(s). Early application is, therefore, strongly recommended.
 
A complete application consists of the following:
  •     A statement of 500-800 words describing why and how this program would be a good fit for you and your interests.
  •     Your Resume, which should include contact information of two references.
  •     A high school Transcript.
 


When your application is completed, it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. As soon as a decision is made (typically within two weeks of completing your application), you will be notified by e-mail.

You may contact CYA's North American office at [email protected] with any questions regarding the Program.