Jessica Hopkins
Student Ambassador

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Miss Jessica Hopkins, 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?

It has broadened my academic understanding and curiosity. It has helped me to see beyond my borders to other people and countries. It has pushed me to go outside my comfort zone, by meeting and living in a different culture and environment. I have learned to enjoy what they have to offer as well as appreciate the luxuries I enjoy at home. Living abroad has helped me see my world differently.

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

Bring your own notebooks and pens. Pack light; like pack what you think is light, and then take out more. Make friends, it can be scary but everyone is just trying to have a good time. So take a chance and go out when you have time, but don't be afraid to say no as well. Make time to go to the sites you want, you never know when a pandemic will hit and the opportunity will be lost.

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 never had a political discussion with Greek people. I did have conversations with other students, but not Greeks. The climate was different in that there are more than two parties and while the left and right were still heavily divided, they seemed united in their dislike of the police. The police was more an everyday oddity than politics.

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, Finances while abroad, Religion while abroad, Mental health while abroad, keeping up academics

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

I was lost in the park and some elderly men helped me find my way out. They didn't speak English well but were very kind. Later I saw one of the men on the street, he smile and kissed my head. While it was a little odd for me, I knew that it was meant as gesture of good will, and kindness. It made me feel welcome in the city. Basically, as long as you try to communicate and listen, everyone is very nice.

Favorite food in Greece?

PORK!!!! There was the best pork belly dish in Nafplio, and Best Grill has the BEST pork Slouvaki

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Both of Rosa Vasilaki's classes (SOC and HIST)

Favorite quote from abroad?

Anything Huseyin said on our Peloponnese trip.

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