|School:||University of Michigan|
|Cya Term:||Spring 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?
Studying abroad was easily the best time of my life so far, and every day since I have returned home, I have taken time to fondly reflect on my time in Greece and abroad. As someone who had never previously traveled outside the United States prior to CYA, I naturally was very uncomfortable moving to a foreign land where the native language was not mine, and I felt uneasy during my first couple of weeks in Pagrati. Fast forward four months to May 12th, my departure day back to Michigan, and I have not cried harder than I did that morning getting into a yellow taxi one last time. I jumped out of the comfort of what I knew in the U.S., and what I thought was going to be a terrifying free-fall turned into the most enjoyable four months. Moving to and exploring Europe allowed me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, helping me realize that I actually love seeking adventure and newness. I found a home in Pagrati, not just because of Athens’ rich historical beauty but because of the people I chose to surround myself with. From my classmates who have become some of my closest friends to Kekkos’ very own Dimitri and Katarina to my CYA professors, I loved who I spent time with this past semester. I have never felt more confident that studying abroad was the best risk I have ever taken. Take chances, seek passionate work, cross your own comfort zone, and do it all with a smile. Studying abroad has instilled in me these values that have inspired the way in which I approach my life post-graduation and beyond. If there’s no risk, there’s no reward.
What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in or planning to study abroad with CYA?
It’s easy to choose a study abroad program based on where the majority of your friends or classmates are going. Sure, it would make the adjustment to a new country and language easier in the beginning, but easier doesn’t inherently equate to more fulfillment, and I think that’s easy to forget. The beauty of studying abroad in a city where there are fewer students from your home institution, like Athens for me, is that there is no other choice than to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace the new people and cultural landscape in front of you. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to break away from the comfort that my home institution provided me, because some of my closest friends are from CYA, and they attend colleges all around the United States. Without CYA and the ability to branch out, I would not have some of the incredible people in my life that I do today. If there’s no risk, there’s no reward. Seek discomfort and you will be amazed by the joy it brings you twofold!
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:
Accessibility services, Religion while abroad, leaving the US for the first time to attend CYA
Favorite food in Greece?
1. Dakos salad! 2. I'm still dreaming about the hummus from AB Supermarket, my roomies and I bought two tubs of per week. 3. The pizza in Pangrati is the best I've had! 4. Feta Cheese
Favorite class you took at CYA?
The Orthodox Church and Sports, Games and Spectacles in the Graeco-Roman World