Zoe Criezis
Student Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
School:Siena College
Cya Term:Fall 2023
Major:Health Administration
Anticipated Graduation:5/10/2025

Some benefits of studying abroad include gaining insight into another culture and trying new and unfamiliar foods. With being in Europe, it is also a chance to be able to travel to other neighboring countries and gain an even wider perspective on the world. For me personally, it was also a benefit that I could learn more about my culture, as I am half Greek. Studying abroad has made me more aware of people and perspectives, more independent while being far from home for an extended period of time, and more adaptable (as I'm typically not a city person but have gained such a love for this city). Doing this semester abroad has made me want to encourage others because there's really no experience like this one.

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

My advice would be to keep in contact with friends and family at home often. I believe this helped me not feel homesick and not feel like I'm missing out on everything back at home. My advice for CYA specifically was to have good sturdy sneakers, as there will be lots of walking and some hiking, and to try using any Greek you can with the locals because they really do appreciate the effort.

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.

I haven't really had any conversations with anyone on the street about politics, but I have learned from the news and my Greek teacher about different protests and movements that happen each year and the reasoning for them. There is some similarity with the U.S. with protesting, but I don't see as much in the U.S. protests happening specific days every year like it happens here.

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, Greece-based traveler, Mental health

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

When I was on one of the Greek islands, Kefalonia, the hotel had a "Greek Night". Traditional Greek food was served buffet style outside and there were Greek dancers dressed in costume. The crowd was invited to participate in the dance so I joined the circle and got to attempt the customary dance. It was a highlight of my time in Greece for sure!

Favorite food in Greece?

My favorite food in Greece is Pastitsio, which is essentially Greek Lasagna but with béchamel. It is delicious and its alternative is called Moussaka, which has eggplant or potato in place of the meat.

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