Growing, Giving, Learning - Volunteering & Internships at CYA Screenshot 2022 01 11 at 1.10.17 AM
10 Jan 2022

Growing, Giving, Learning – Volunteering & Internships at CYA

One of the most valuable parts of studying abroad is the complete immersion into a different culture. Students have the opportunity to enrich their characters by coming in contact with local people and communities. One of the best ways to create an opportunity for such valuable interactions is through the beautiful act of volunteering. And for those that seek exposure to their field of study, choosing an internship can be a great option.

Every Semester, the CYA Student Affairs department encourages students to participate in volunteering and internship activities in organizations spanning across numerous fields – refugee aid, environmental work, agriculture, library science, humanitarian work, museum work, art, child education, marketing, film, and more.

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Fall 2021 Semester has seen record participation in student volunteering placements, with CYA students volunteering or interning across 25 different organizations! 

As the facilitator of those placements, CYA is proud of students’ meaningful work and inspired by the ways the experience helps them grow as individuals and future professionals. Here are some CYA students’ impressions from the experience:

“ Through volunteering, I learned important lessons that I will carry with me both after leaving Greece and for the rest of my life.”

Madison Verhelst – Fall ’21 CYA Student, Volunteer at ANIMA wild-animal shelter.

I learned so much about Greek history that I’ve been able to translate directly into my studies, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity!

Elizabeth GehlingFall ‘21 CYA Student, Volunteer at Herakleidon Museum

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“In my time volunteering, I have learned about Athens and its culture, about working through language and cultural barriers for the common good, and about the importance of giving back to both the city and to people in need. I’ve loved the feeling of giving something back to the city hosting me for a semester—and, the camaraderie I’ve established with my co-workers.”

Ellie Gubbrud – Fall ’21 CYA Student, Volunteer at BOROUME – a collective effort to reduce food waste in Greece 

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I was able to volunteer for a significant amount of time every week, which allowed me to take on larger projects independently. It allowed me to explore certain areas of the law that I was particularly interested in. In addition to teaching me more about the law, this volunteering position helped me improve my research and writing skills.

Elizabeth Messman – Fall ’21 CYA Student, intern at the Karayanni Law Firm

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“Volunteering allowed me to get out in the community and engage with Greeks on a different level than my other activities in the city.” 

Ida Streeto – Fall ’21 CYA student, volunteer at the Children’s Museum. 

“CYA introduced me to many opportunities, and Caritas Hellas caught my attention. I was touched by Caritas Hellas’ mission to help alleviate poverty, and assist excluded and vulnerable groups in society. My contribution helped the lead volunteer select the clothes that were needed by the individuals and families that came to Caritas Hellas. Through my experience, I learned that all volunteering contribution has a purpose no matter how big or small.”

Angelica Delgado Navarro – Fall ‘21 CYA student, volunteer at Caritas Hellas

A database was compiled that showed how the views of women have shifted and evolved over recent decades. A.M. is incredibly committed to her work in the Women’s archives through social justice and feminism. We are so blessed to have been able to learn from her in our time in Greece!”

Sarah Borgmeier – Fall ‘21 CYA student, volunteer at Delfys Women’s Archives

I have been tasked with digitizing both human and animal remains, some of which are millions of years old. Making these collections more accessible by digitizing them is exactly the kind of career I wish to pursue. Every time I leave the lab I feel more and more connected to the past.

Luis Rodriguez-Perez – Fall ‘21 CYA student, volunteer at the American School of Classical Studies

I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker in a panel about women in film & music hosted by the Plissken Fest & the British Council. I was invited to speak about youth’s role in the film and music industry from the perspective of a young director! 

Karo Knapp, Fall ‘21 CYA student, intern at Anemon Productions

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I have not had an experience in a long time (since the beginning of college) in which I could talk about the specifics of farming with someone,  and it was so refreshing to be able to stretch my mind in the field I love. 

Brady Sabolik, CYA Fall ‘21 student, volunteer at Petra Farm, Paros.

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