Mary Wallace
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:Harvard College
Cya Term:Spring 2022
Anticipated Graduation:5/23/2023

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?

While abroad, I became much more confident in myself and my abilities. It was really nerve-wracking not knowing anyone in the program, but CYA faculty, staff, and students were extremely welcoming. Everyone I met wanted the best for each other, and it really motivated me to become the best version of myself. The Pangrati community was also very welcoming (especially Kekkos!) and it was amazing meeting people from a completely different place with different cultures and religions, yet still finding commonalities among us. With CYA, I took courses that I never had before (at school, I have only taken STEM courses). I was able to learn in a different way this past semester, and it was amazing seeing what we were learning in the classroom play out in the field. I gained public speaking skills through my multiple presentations for classes, and taking these classes forced me to think in ways I haven’t before. Outside of class, I met so many different people and experienced a way of life that was similar yet different to back home. It was an amazing experience and I can’t speak highly enough about it.

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

Having an open mind is the key to experiencing it all! The food, music, etc may be different from what you’re used to but try it all out if you can! By participating in as many opportunities as I could that CYA offered, I had an extremely enriching experience while studying abroad. I was definitely nervous about going abroad, but reaching out to other students in the program makes it so much easier to adjust. I would also say, if you can, take classes, unlike any others you have previously taken! I did this and absolutely loved my courses, and it has influenced what I will be taking for my final year in school.

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, STEM major, Food allergies while abroad

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

While in Thessaloniki, listening to a group playing rebetiko music. It was unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and reminded me of the influence of the Ottomans and the fusion with Greek culture. It is such an emotional form of music and it ignites feelings of passion, fear, sorrow. I left yearning for more.

Favorite food in Greece?

Espresso freddo! Giant beans.

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Aegean Art and Archaeology; Attic Tragedy in Translation

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