Miranda Van Mooy
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:Connecticut College
Cya Term:Fall 2022
Anticipated Graduation:5/1/2024

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?

This semester has simultaneously been the most difficult and the most incredible few months of my life. With every single step I take I am constantly challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zone. I am learning a new language, a new lifestyle, and a new culture all while expanding my academic and personal growth.

If you have the privilege and ability to study abroad, take it. There is no opportunity that will challenge your worldview like living in another country. We have been taught our entire lives that there is only one way to live, and until you experience a new lifestyle, you never know that there are other options available. For example, something in Greece that has really struck me is the understanding of work-life balance. People here are not expected to exclusively focus on work, and leisure is inherently built into Greek society. Seeing this balance has taught me that I do not want to work every day of my life, something that is built into American culture and my desired field. By understanding that different lifestyles are possible I am now more open to different ways to live.

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

For me, CYA was the perfect program for my study abroad experience. The plethora of resources are there to give you support when you need it, but you are not babysat, and have the opportunity to live independently in a new country.

My advice: be patient with yourself. Study abroad is a really challenging thing, and just by making that choice to go abroad you are already so brave. I wish I really understood what a crazy thing study abroad is. Living in a new country, with a new language, and multiple time zones away is going to take a lot of adjusting and that is ok!! CYA has the support and everyone else is going through the same thing you are just in their own way. Take advantage of your world in Pangrati, and it does not make you lame to not be traveling every weekend.

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.

The way that I was the most challenged by the political climate in Greece was in my academic classes. I am a government major so in my political science courses I was challenged by the Eurocentric views of my professor. For me, this was one of the reasons that I wanted to study in Greece and was the most important part of my academic experience. With so many challenging aspects of American culture, I learned how to explain common misconceptions about America, and ended up talking a lot about America’s gun problem. Once when talking with some other Greek students, a group of us were asked “how are you all friends even though you are all from different states?”. Due to the political differences as shown in the media, the Greek students were surprised that people from other states were even able to talk to each other. While blunt, they were very kind and curious and meeting them was one of the highlights of my abroad experience.

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

Favorite food in Greece?


Favorite class you took at CYA?

Borders Boundaries and Human Mobility

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