Sophia Jenkins
Student Ambassador

Email: [email protected]
School: Kalamazoo College
Cya Term: Fall 2021
Major: Chemistry
Anticipated Graduation: 6/12/2022

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 wanted to gain a new sense of independence from my time abroad and that was my main focus when I came. Not only have I gained this new sense of autonomy, but I have also adjusted the way I think about life at home and the life I want to live in the future. It's much different to understand the United States when living outside of it, and it has made me question if I want to live my life, for an extended period of time, there. Through I am not making any drastic or impulsive decisions, studying abroad had sincerely opened my mind to different opportunities and ways of life that I had not previously considered for myself.

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

I was advise them to be prepared to be uncomfortable for a bit. When moving far from what you are used to it is natural to be uncomfortable. I don't think I anticipated exactly how uncomfortable I would be, though through this discomfort I was able to grow into a more adaptable person. While I would advise them to prepare for this, I would also reassure them that this discomfort is temporary, and is a precursor to personal growth.

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 are much more open to talking about politics in Greece and I appreciated that.

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, STEM major

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

I went to a Greek soccer match and it was so interesting to see the difference between Greek fans and American fans, as well as the layout of the stadium itself.

Favorite food in Greece?

Gelato and spanakopita!

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Sociology of Dissent!

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