Zoe Flessas-Finocche
Student Ambassador

Email: [email protected]
School: Union College
Cya Term: Fall 2021
Major: Sociology
Anticipated Graduation: 6/15/2023

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 increases your cultural competence and flexibility. Everyday you interact with people in the community as well as at the program that have different social norms from American social values. As a result, you are pushed out of your comfort zone, which increases your flexibility. One example I can think of is the difference in the openness to discuss politics. In America, it is taboo to discuss politics and therefore, people get very uncomfortable when the issues are brought up. On the other hand, in Greece, the political issues are raised frequently and in casual conversation.

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

My main piece of advice is to immerse yourself within your community. The culture in Greece is in some ways a lot friendlier and unique relationships can be formed with cafe attendants or even souvlaki cooks. The relationships you can form with these acquaintances are incredibly fulfilling. It is a natural way to learn about Greek culture and to feel at home in a new country. It is important to remember when you study abroad that you are not just there to make American friends. You are in a whole different country, so that you can experience that culture and learn from it. Getting to know people in your neighborhood is a great way to do this.

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, Mental health while abroad

Favorite food in Greece?

Κολοκυθια τηγανητά (Fried Zucchini)

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Borders, Boundaries, and social Mobility

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