Camryn Shevlin
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:University of Southern California
Cya Term:Spring 2024
Major:Psychology and Cinema and Media Studies
Anticipated Graduation:5/16/2025

I cannot truly put into words how much this study abroad experience contributed to my development. First off, there is an indescribable value in exposing yourself to a new culture and being able to immerse yourself in it for 4 months. As someone who has only ever lived in the US and rarely got to travel outside of it, my worldview was forever changed by being able to live and experience life in a completely different country. The opportunities for travel and learning about new cultures were boundless in my time abroad, and because of this I know how important travel will always be in my life. The exposure to such a beautiful culture, Greek culture, has forever changed the way I choose to live my life.

The Greeks have inspired me to not take life too seriously, to follow their passions, and reminded me that nothing is more important than spending time with the ones you love. Who cares if it's 9 pm on a Monday? You should be sitting at a taverna with your friends and family and laughing like there's no tomorrow. This kind of lifestyle is so different from that in the US and something I know I will carry with me forever. Greek culture is such a beautiful one, one that emphasizes tradition and telling the stories of our past but also never stops in its passion for making the world a better place. Specifically, I got to go on a few different field trips around Athens for the psychology classes that I took at CYA and was able to be exposed to the amazing mental health work being done in Athens. It's amazing to see how many organizations in Athens are working to support mental health for different groups, particularly refugees and those of low socioeconomic class. Seeing this kind of work around the city, and the work often being government-funded, was truly shocking and inspiring to see. I feel much more inspired to pursue this kind of work in the future because of the positive effects that I was able to see from learning about these organizations in class.

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

DO IT DO IT DO IT!! I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved CYA and everyone in this program. Most students who study abroad are studying at a local university in the city they are studying in, which obviously has its pros but is a completely different experience than the one offered by CYA. CYA is a program made for students studying abroad which explains the deep care that all CYA staff have for the students in this program. Through field study trips across Greece and weekly optional activities hosted to expose students to Greek and Athenian culture, CYA makes clear its passion for making students as immersed in Greek culture as possible. I have many friends who studied abroad in other programs that didn't feel that connected to the country they studied in. As a CYAer, I could not disagree more. I completely fell in love with Greece and every city we traveled to within it, and I know it is because of CYA that this was possible.

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.

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:


Favorite food in Greece?

Elvis and Grill and Pita will forever have my heart

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Trauma and the Remaking of the Self taught by Eleni Koukouna

What extracurricular activities were you involved with in Greece?

CYA Media Lab, intern with Athens Insider Magazine

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