Nora Graziano
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:Depaul University
Cya Term:Fall 2023
Anticipated Graduation:6/9/2026

I could go on for hours about the benefits of spending a semester abroad, but I will just state a few. I think my top three would be the places you get to see, along with the cultures they bring make a huge impact on how you view the world. One of my favorite things was being submerged in the culture of Greece, learning how they live, work, eat, and many other things. This can open your eyes to a different type of life from America. My second would be the friends you meet studying abroad. These are friends that you share this one unique experience with and honestly, they become your family while you are abroad. There is not a bond like the one you make with these friends because you really only have each other. The third one would be the different ways that you learn here in the classroom. While studying at CYA there are plenty of hands-on opportunities that your professors use so that you learn. From going to museums to the Acropolis, you never know where your classroom is going to be. I think I have mentioned how studying abroad has contributed to my academics. However, for personal development, going overseas to a country with no one I know has pushed me to be more social and realize how social I really am. For professional development, I have learned about networking with people from other schools, and also from my friends about the next steps in college. Being a sophomore, I am not as ahead on the track because many of my peers here are juniors or seniors. But they have taught me what the next steps look like, about internships, etc.

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

My advice on future students for CYA would be that you should save up a lot of money before you come out here, because it'll never be enough. Especially if you want to travel to other countries with your friends. I don't think I saved enough, I mean I got through and was semi-comfortable, but I could only go on two trips. Seeing all of my friends go on trips without me was hard sometimes, so save! My second piece of advice would be to talk to as many people as possible, you only going to know these people for four months, don't fear it. My last piece would be to BRING A COAT. I am cold right now.

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 for me in about two ways. The first was being a part of the LQBTQ+ community. In Greece this community is relatively smaller, but still around. I think a lot of the time I was a little scared to mention the fact that I had a girlfriend or that I was Queer, because I didn't know how people would act. However, I never felt uncomfortable at CYA, I had a supportive friend group, and all of the professors were supportive. The second reason the social climate felt different was being a woman. Here people stare A LOT, and being from America and a woman sometimes you take offense. However, here I don't think it is as creepy as America. One time though, I was walking in the farmers market when an older man came up to me saying how pretty I was and offering me a job in his commercial for Coke. For this I was trying to walk away, but he noticed and said that Americans are too nervous and think badly. After talking to him for five minutes though I managed to say I had to go, and he did leave me alone.

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:

Dietary restrictions, First-time international traveler, LGBTQIA+ student, Mental health

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

When we visited the Met area the professor in charge explained how much Greeks care for peace and relaxation and the enjoyment of life. Oftentimes in America we constantly are working and moving but sometimes it is okay to just be in the moment.

Favorite food in Greece?

can I say all of it?

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Ancient Aegean art

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