Leighann Vinesett
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:UNC Chapel Hill
Cya Term:Summer 2021
Major:Journalism / Graphic Design
Anticipated Graduation:12/12/2021

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’m so glad I spent the summer abroad! First and foremost it provided me with the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone to meet new people and learn new things. I was clueless about Greek food and culture before CYA and now I consider myself way more of an expert! The relationships I built not only with other CYA students but also with Greek locals are things I will not soon forget, and that I hope I can continue for years to come. The learning style of abroad is so hands on, you make whatever city or island you are on like another home and you get a firsthand experience of what it is like to be Greek, if only for a semester or a summer!

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

Open your mind to new opportunities and be willing to lead to charge! I would have missed out on so much if I hadn’t taken the initiative to talk to people (CYA students AND locals!), organize trips (in Athens and island hopping!), and try new things (especially the foods!). You only are in Greece for so long, make the most of your trip! Don’t be scared to put yourself out there, ask questions, and choose happiness!

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:

Mental health while abroad

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

Being in Ikaria was such an interesting and enlightening experience! The Ikarian way of life is drastically different from the way of life in the US - they are famous for their apathy towards set times. While this is a funny joke, the emphasis on having a healthy work/life boundary in Ikaria, letting family come first and not having a culture of stress around work, is something I really appreciated (especially as someone who’s career field is deadline oriented and often stressful!) My time in Ikaria reminded me that often it is best to slow down and take time to invest in people and relationships.

Favorite food in Greece?

Briam or soufiko! Yum!

Favorite class you took at CYA?

ANTH 325 !


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