Elizabeth Sills
Student Ambassador

Email: [email protected]
School: UNC Chapel Hill
Cya Term: Summer 2021
Major: Journalism
Anticipated Graduation: 5/11/2022

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?

I grew up in a relatively sheltered environment surrounded by people who thought and looked a lot like me. The first 18 years of my life were spent in the comfort of my own likeness. However, spending the summer at CYA allowed me to broaden my understanding of the world through the people I have met and the stories I have heard. This has been an incredibly important experience for me and has allowed me to adjust much of my perception of how we all fit into the places we inhabit. From this powerful abroad experience, I have learned the importance of exploration, as well as the ability to understand other points of view. Through this experience, I hope to further expand my worldview and use this knowledge to inform my future job performance.

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

I would say my biggest piece of advice is to go in with an open mind. Allow yourself to explore and say yes to things you wouldn't typically consider doing. This is how I ended up finding the best views or the coolest museums or the most fascinating islands to visit. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore the city and country of Greece as much as you possibly can.

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, Mental health while abroad

Briefly describe a cultural experience you had that was significant to you in any way.

One moment that I will never forget is spending a bit of time in the home of a Greek couple in Ikaria. A friend and I were walking through the village and came upon a man sitting on his porch. His name was Angelos and he promptly invited us inside and introduced us to his wife, Iota, and they provided us with many, many snacks (fresh cucumbers from their garden and homemade goat cheese) and lovely conversation. It was incredible to be in these situations that allowed me to meet and learn from so many incredible people while also studying in the classroom.

Favorite food in Greece?

As a vegan, gigantes became a staple. Also gemista!!

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Its a tie between my two summer courses, Travel Writing and Anthropology of food



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