|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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 a semester abroad offers you a unique chance to live in another country and another culture. I feel like by spending 3-4 months in Athens, I really got the chance to feel at home in the space and I think finding a space to call home in another part of the world is incredibly enriching and simply cool. I gained a lot of independence and confidence in myself because I was able to navigate myself through a new culture, make new friends, travel all across Europe, and feel at home in a foreign country. I can't imagine my life now without having this experience. It greatly expanded my worldview and I think made me a more well-rounded person and better global citizen. It also further opened my heart to new places and lit a deep passion for traveling and exploring within me. The experiences and lessons I gained from this experience are ones that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in or planning to study abroad with CYA?
My advice is to really take the opportunity to explore Athens and Greece while you are here. Traveling to other places within Europe is amazing and you should definitely incorporate that into your semester (especially during fall break), but I would really encourage you to take in as much of Greece as possible. It is a beautiful country with amazing people and culture and you will want to soak up as much of it as possible. By spending more time exploring Athens and Greece, I felt more like I actually lived in a different country for a few months as opposed to going on a big trip for a few months.
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 political climate in Greece was different than what I'm used to back home, but I think a lot of that has to do with Athens being a big city and being more prone to strikes and protests. Athens felt like a very politically active city to me, but never in a way that made me feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If anything, looking at local news and having conversations with Niki at CYA, I realized how interconnected the world is. While the political histories of the US and Greece are very different, today, they are both dealing with sexism, racism, homophobia, and other issues just like the US is. It made me realize that a lot of the same issues impact people all over the world and made me feel more connected to other people on a global scale.
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:
Greece-based traveler, Mental health, STEM major
Briefly describe a cultural experience you had that was significant to you in any way.
Getting to dance a traditional Greek dance with some Greek women on the island of Aegina. They invited a few of us to get up and dance with them and walked us through the steps of a simple dance. They were so welcoming and kind to us and it made for a very magical night. I really felt a sense of hospitality from those we danced with that night and also got to appreciate the joy and sense of community that comes from Greek dancing.
Favorite food in Greece?
Feta with sesame and honey
Favorite class you took at CYA?