Olly Ajao
Student Ambassador

Email: [email protected]
School: Amherst College
Cya Term: Fall 2021
Major: Computer Science and Chinese
Anticipated Graduation: 5/20/2025

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?

I have made friends for life at CYA. In College, you learn how to navigate your academic schedule with your friends and while that does create strong bonds, it is nothing compared to learning how to navigate life in a new country with someone else.

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

Always try everything new with an open mind. Do not be afraid to discover new versions of yourself.

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.

People here are more friendly that I imagined they would be. They also seem to care about what happens with politics but they don’t make it their whole lives. I feel as if when you’re in the US, people’s political views are written on them in a way.

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:

Student of color, Finances while abroad, Religion while abroad, Mental health while abroad, STEM major

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

While I was walking home one day, I saw an old lady walking. It was the start of the new month, so I waved to her and said “Καλό μήνα”. I thought that would be the end of it, but then she began talking to me about where I was from, what I studied, and when I was leaving. As I was answering these questions, I began to realize the whole conversation was in Greek! This shocked me because at that point I had only been learning the language for 2 months. I felt very proud of myself.

Favorite food in Greece?

Μπουγάτσα!!!!!!

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Religions of the Middle East with Despina <3

Favorite quote from abroad?

“Πω πω!” & “Everything we dreamed of, is falling out of the clouds”

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