Mark Milam
Student Ambassador

Email: [email protected]
School: University of Southern California
Cya Term: Summer 2021
Major: International Relations
Anticipated Graduation: 5/1/2022

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?

A summer abroad at CYA really helped me to really experience living in Greece. The neighborhood of Pangrati became my second home and soon I was on a first-name basis with the workers of every cafe and gyros shop. I am truly humbled by the friendliness and hospitality of Greeks, especially for a country flocked with so many tourists. Since I have a fascination with ancient greek and roman history, it was truly amazing to be able to visit so many monuments in Athens that made history feel alive! This translated to me being able to better absorb the knowledge in the classroom because I was getting hands-on experience every day with the curriculum. The religious studies course I took was on Christianity in Greece, where the class followed in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. There are no words that can describe reading Paul’s letters in the actual locations he visited, I can definitely say that my faith grew.

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

My advice for prospective CYA students is to prepare for an academic life unlike anything they have experienced at home. First, come prepared with a pair of good walking shoes because you will find yourself aimlessly wandering the neighborhoods of Athens, the cute stone streets of nearby islands, and hiking the many scenic trails in Greece. Next, if arriving in the summer, pack lightly and for hot weather! I certainly overpacked and have had no need for sweatshirts or a rain jacket. Finally, try to have created a realistic budget for your travels. Greece, in general, is much cheaper than big cities in America but you should research destinations ahead of time to work out what you can see within your time and budget.

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, Religion while abroad, Mental health while abroad, Student veteran

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