Simon Kiel
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
Cya Term:Fall 2022
Anticipated Graduation:5/17/2023

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?

Studying abroad is a critical part of anyone's college experience. I knew I would regret it if I did not make the decision to do so, and CYA only confirmed my beliefs by providing me with such a fantastic experience. In terms of academics, even as an English major I was pleased with just how cool and interesting all of my professors were. I went out of my comfort zone by taking courses about history and classical studies, but I never felt as though I would fail because all of my teachers were really there for me. My experience as a non-classics student was that I was able to go out of my comfort zone academically and enjoy it instead of fearing it. The greatest effect I felt when I came home from my CYA semester was a thought that occurred to me while I reflected on my trips. My home institution is only an hour away from the Capital of the United States, and yet I have never been. I spent three months in Greece traveling around every weekend as if that were the norm, yet I have barely traveled around while at my home school. One thing to take away from CYA with all of the built-in and optional trips is that the world is smaller than we think. People including myself do not really think about how easy it is to travel to other places, and now that I am back from CYA i have already begun my trip planning to D.C.

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

Just moving to Greece and starting this program is a big adjustment, but I would also recommend that a person be prepared to make the most of their time by really opening up to people and making travel plans with classmates because most everyone is enamored with their time in Greece and CYAers are nice enough to go places and do things with any of their classmates. It is so easy to travel and do things while you are in Athens. Don't be afraid to talk to Greek people either though because it is easy to make friends with your other CYA friends and stick to them, but I ended up making a few Greek friends near the end of the semester and I wish I would have gone out and met them earlier because they were super cool people.

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.

Political conversations come up a lot in Greece because there is a lot going on economically/ socially and we lived in the capital. Personally, I treated political conversations as a way to learn more about Greek culture, and I did not find politics to be as contentious. Especially since I had Greek friends, I know that you can ask Greek people about politics and they will not be offended and are very proud to voice opinions, ask you questions, and teach you more about what is going on in their country. Personally, I did not have any issue navigating political conversations because in general I found people's opinions and observations very interesting and they were very honest with me no matter what our level of friendship was.

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:

Finances while abroad, Religion while abroad

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

Taking a solo trip to Thessaloniki by train and visiting the Byzantine Museum and the Orchestra.

Favorite food in Greece?


Favorite class you took at CYA?

Modern Greek Language and Culture

Favorite quote from abroad?

Its the Greek Way!

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