Mr. Vincent Gadioma, 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?
Summer abroad in Greece was truly a blessing as it allowed me to completely immerse myself in my new surroundings without having to worry too much about taking fifteen or more credits while in another country. Having only one class gave me the free time to visit and truly take in many museums, islands, and historical sites not on our class’ itinerary. As opposed to studying a full semester where, as a biology major, some classes would distract me from fully experiencing different parts of Greece.
Having this available travel time has forced me to interact more with Greek and European citizens. This has improved my confidence when talking to other people as these dialogues help remind me that I am capable of interacting with people who do not share the same national identity as I do. Studying abroad in Greece also taught me to appreciate the diversified regions within the country. I was so grateful to experience traveling from the busy city of Athens, to the mountain tops of Delphi, and to the peaceful ruins in Crete all within a single week; I cannot travel to different areas like this from where I live around NYC.
What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in or planning to study abroad with CYA? What do you wish you knew before starting your study abroad experience?
To fully experience where you are staying, it is essential that you leave your phone shut off. There is so much to take in wherever you go that if your eyes are glued to a screen that you have access to all the time you will miss a lot of things. It is important to admire where you are in the moment because there is nothing in the US that resembles the beauty of Greece. That’s also why you MUST bring a camera, so you can show off your adventures to everyone back home!
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 very first night there was some sort of election that just happened and I remember having a conversation with one of the CYA officials about the results. The CYA official said it was a surprise as to the party that had won, which is somewhat similar to the current US president’s administration win two years prior. I was fascinated to learn of the many different parties that comprise the Greek parliament as the US has two main parties and does not talk with the EU. That said, more political parties allows for more diversified degrees of political correctness, something that in America you don’t see.
In America, any political comment is likely to rally one side but alienate another, something I feel that Greek citizens did not have to worry about. I’m glad I never felt like there was just one side or another, and that the political climate of Greece was less polarized than America.
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:
Religion while abroad
Mental health while abroad
What extracurricular activities were you involved within Greece?
Planned own trips to other historical sites, involved myself with local farmers' markets
Briefly describe a cultural experience you had that was significant to you in any way.
Visiting Crete and being taken around the city and Minoan museums
Favorite food in Greece?
Favorite class you took at CYA?
Dialogue Between Greeks and Jews
Favorite quote from abroad?
"Let's live Life: Cretan Style" - Steve Bowman