Kaitlin Birnbaum
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:Vassar College
Cya Term:Spring 2022
Anticipated Graduation:5/21/2023

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?

Spending the semester abroad has taught me so much. It has opened my eyes not only to new ways of seeing the world but to new ways of viewing myself and the people around me. Studying abroad exposes you to so many different experiences, many of which are outside your comfort zone. Being able to immerse yourself in another country for a longer period of time allows you to truly get to know the people, culture, and climate- something you won’t be able to get by briefly visiting a place. It is very freeing to have the independence you do while abroad, to make the choices that you want to make that will directly result in how you want your semester to go. Balancing travel, navigating new relationships, and staying on top of school work all at the same time is a lot, but it is completely worth it as it can force you to become a better planner and shape how you look at how you get things done- something very helpful for the adult world later in life.

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

Some advice I have for a prospective student would be if you are considering or second guessing studying abroad, do it. For planning to study abroad, I would advise making a list of places and things you want to do and putting loose dates on your calendar to achieve that. I would also recommend solo trips- whether it’s just an afternoon or a whole weekend, it's very liberating to know you can do things on your own. Be aware of travel burnout and not run yourself to your limit- be able to enjoy yourself and do the things you love wherever you go! To know that you have an amazing support system at CYA- the administrators and professors are here to help you and guide you along the way to an overall positive experience. There will definitely be bumps along the way, but ones you can learn from and get help where you need it.

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:

LGBTQ student, Student athlete, Mental health while abroad

Favorite food in Greece?

Giant beans, falafel, zucchini balls...

Favorite class you took at CYA?

ANTH 356 Gender and Sexuality with Professor Placas

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