Anna Duong
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:Brown University
Cya Term:Spring 2024
Anticipated Graduation:5/18/2025

As someone who was more hesitant abroad, I could not recommend the experience more after spending a semester with CYA. CYA and spending time in Athens has allowed me to appreciate and gain insight into an entirely new culture and its people. Getting to know Greek culture has been so rewarding in not only adding to my experiences but also gaining perspective on how other cultures view the world. It has made me a more understanding and appreciative person for sure. Spending time in a new country has allowed me to see beyond what I’m familiar with in the US and appreciate that what I’ve grown up with is not always the best way to operate. Witnessing the community around Athens for example from something as simple as a kafeneio reminded me that life is all about experiencing things with others. It has especially reminded me to be grateful while we’re young since CYA is unique to Athens and Pangrati. In the US, many college students frequently feel stressed with work and the future but being able to live in a new country with other college students has reinforced in me and others in the program that life is about experience and travel too. Additionally, the classes I’ve taken and have heard about at CYA offer plentiful experiences in learning, not others available in the US. From visiting archaeological sites to doing anthropological research about gender in Greece, we truly gain the opportunity to have Athens be one large field of study. Even as a STEM major, I am extremely grateful to get the opportunity to take classes in subjects and topics I have not touched in school, a sentiment I shared with many other STEM students at CYA.

What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in or planning to study abroad with CYA?

I would 100% encourage other students to do it. I would remind them to truly soak in every moment in Athens and take some time to really explore the city and country. Despite going on field studies and spending some weekends in Athens, I still wish I had more time there just to talk to Greek people at a cafe or participate in dancing in the squares. Athens is truly a “small” big city in that it is so easy to create relationships with locals in the area and I hope to advise future students to take advantage of that as well. I also want to add that Athens has so much more than what first meets the eye when you look it up on travel sites. I am grateful to have spent time exploring places like Exarcheia, Lake Vouliagmeni and wish I had more time to do trips around Athens. I hope others will get to hear that before they take off to Athens as well.

How was the political climate in Greece different from what are you used to? If applicable, describe a time when you had to navigate a political conversation during your time abroad.

I was a little taken aback by the differences in cultural exposure and gender roles in Greece compared to home. As an Asian American, I received many comments about where I was from that I found interesting and reflective. My conclusion is that these conversations haven’t been brought up in Greece the same way they have in the US and that although we have our opinions based on what we're taught, it is important to look at it from different perspectives as well. This really taught me to have a better tolerance and understanding in everyday conversations, not just with Greeks but also here in the US. I appreciated learning that people’s background and history shape their way of thinking rather than an ideology equating to someone’s character.

please select any of the following that apply to you, and that you would be willing to share about your CYA experience with other students:

Finances, First-time international traveler, STEM major, Student of color

Favorite food in Greece?

Fried Feta with Honey and Sesame

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Greek Language and Culture

What extracurricular activities were you involved with in Greece?

Student affairs events, student council, cultural immersion experiences on my own such as Carnival celebrations, Easter, etc

Your name: *
Your phone: *
Your e-mail: *
Contact Preference:
Title of Message: *
Text: *
Our company collects this data to be able to provide services to you. We process this data according to our Privacy Policy. If you consent to our usage of your data, click this checkbox.