Sophia Subramanian
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:Reed College
Cya Term:Fall 2023
Anticipated Graduation:5/12/2025

Studying abroad has been one of the best experiences of my life. Coming to CYA has given me the support and confidence in myself to move outside of my own country and thrive in a new environment. Many of the classes I took at CYA were out of my comfort zone as a neuroscience major, but I was able to form a surprising amount of new connections between my own areas of study and classics and history. It is very empowering to have developed my academic knowledge outside of just STEM, as I think it is really important to have a good grasp on the humanities no matter what field of study you are in. Being at CYA has pushed me to build connections with both my professors and fellow students in a way that I never have before. I am leaving more confident than ever in my ability to form professional and personal connections.

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

My advice to students who are unsure about studying abroad is to not not let anxiety surrounding leaving your home institution stop you. While it is certainly important to plan ahead and make sure you can get any credits you need transferred, studying abroad will be totally worth it in the end. I especially want to reach out to younger STEM students who are nervous about studying abroad outside of their major. Especially at my home institution, more people should be aware that you absolutely can take classes outside of your major while abroad if you plan ahead and are thoughtful about it. Ultimately, my advice to prospective students is to follow your intuition and go somewhere you really want to go, and not let outside anxiety stop you from having a great time.

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. 

A couple weeks ago a CYA alumni visiting Athens approached me and a few other students of color to ask us about our experience in Greece. This question made me reflect on the intentional conversation I attended with Nikki about how the discussion of race and racism in Greece is not nearly as developed as it is in the US. I have not had many instances where I felt uncomfortable as a person of color in Greece, but being approached by a stranger about my experience, as well as talking to Niki, have made me very aware of my position as a person of color in Greek society as opposed to in America. I ended up answering the CYA alumni honestly, explaining how there were times when people asked me about my ethnicity in inappropriate ways, but I never felt truly uncomfortable. Ultimately, I really appreciated the opportunity CYA provided to talk about issues of race in Greece, and hope more can be integrated into the broader CYA curriculum in the future.

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, STEM major, Student of color

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

While this is not the most specific thing, I have learned a lot from the Greek people's willingness to have a conversation with a stranger. I have had so many interesting interactions with shop owners or while doing simple things like asking for directions. I really appreciate the Greeks ability to enjoy life.

Favorite food in Greece?

Dolmades with lemon sauce!

Favorite class you took at CYA?

I loved all of my classes especially Sociology of Dissent and Ancient Greek Theater.

Favorite quote from abroad?

There are to many to say!

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