Ashley Ferreira
Student Ambassador

Email: [email protected]
School: Harvard University
Cya Term: Summer 2022
Major: Government and Art, Film, and Visual Studies
Anticipated Graduation: 5/24/2024

Based on your experience with CYA, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester or summer abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?

The benefits of studying abroad are innumerable; at no other point in your life will you have the chance to travel and live abroad for months at a time, studying and learning about the most fascinating people, places, and cultures you never knew existed. Studying abroad not only broadens your perspective but offers you new ways of understanding and knowing the world in which we live. From my own experience, I can say that the people I met, the places I visited, and the knowledge I gained are invaluable and have equipped me with the skills and the confidence to thrive in any situation. Before coming to Athens, I had never even been on a plane, crossed an ocean, or visited a foreign country outside of Canada. Now, after studying abroad in Greece for two months over the summer, I’ve done that and so much more. I’ve traveled by boat and plane to several Greek islands I’d never heard of, actually lived in a different country and survived in a completely new environment, and made long-lasting friendships with classmates who’ve shared in my adventures along the way. Looking back on my experience, I have absolutely no regrets; the only regret I could think of is if I never went.

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

My most important piece of advice is this: it’s ok to feel lost, disoriented, and a bit overwhelmed when you first arrive, especially if you’ve never done anything like this before. In fact, it’s normal to experience culture shock when you leave everything you’ve ever known, all that was familiar to you, and are suddenly transported to an entirely new and foreign environment. But this change is actually what makes the experience all the more worthwhile, and though it can be frightening at first, it will soon become a new normal, a new set of familiar faces and places that you’ll soon find yourself never wanting to leave. Lean into this discomfort and take advantage of the opportunity to throw yourself into an entirely new experience. CYA has great resources for helping students adjust to the new climate, atmosphere, and lifestyle, such as the CYA Student Affairs Office, and provides orientation activities, social advising, and academic support. Your peers will also be there to help and support one another because you’re all experiencing the same situations together; share not only the discomfort but also the rewards, the good times that you’ll treasure and fondly remember once you return home.

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 while abroad

Favorite food in Greece?

Moussaka

Favorite class you took at CYA?

The Strangeness of Ancient Greece: Diversity, Difference and Regionality among the Greek States 

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