Before They Leave Home

The following is a list of essential information to help parents prepare students to study abroad.

How can I help a student prepare to go abroad? What expectations should I have?

Studying abroad can be a defining period in a student’s educational experience; it will transform their perspectives on the global environment and significantly contribute to their personal growth and future goals. However, you – and the student – may have a wide range of feelings about this upcoming experience, from excitement about its potential to stress at the idea of being far apart and dealing with a new culture.

Encouraging independence before students depart will make it easier for them to thrive once they are actually in Greece. Students may ask for help in preparing for their studies abroad, for example. Instead of offering to do something for them (filling out paperwork, calling our office, etc.), you can empower them by encouraging them to do the research necessary to complete tasks themselves. Before they depart, also make sure that you discuss their and your own expectations and encourage them to contact our on-site staff if they have any questions or concerns once they arrive in Greece.

What documents do students need to prepare in order to travel to Greece?

Students need to obtain a passport (valid for 3 months past the end of the program) and a Greek visa if they are a semester/year student. Summer students who are US citizens do not need a visa unless they are planning to stay in Greece longer than 90 days. Students of other nationalities should check with the nearest Greek Consulate whether they need a visa for less than 90 days. They should also prepare a copy of any prescriptions for medications they are currently taking.

What do student need to submit to CYA before their program starts?

CYA’s North American Office will be in touch with students at every stage of the pre-departure process to ensure they submit everything necessary. Each student must submit all CYA forms, a signed participation agreement, and payment for any program fees that are not covered by the home institution. Semester/year students must also attend a visa webinar.

How should students book their flight to Greece?

CYA’s North American Office will be in touch with all students about arrival dates once they have been accepted into the program. Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to Greece. Before purchasing a ticket, we recommend doing some research into student travel agencies, discount airfares, and the airlines themselves. Remember to ask about student rates. Once a flight has been booked, students must submit a Flight Information Form (found on the Accepted Student website) in order to notify CYA of their arrival date and flight information.

How will students’ phones function while abroad?

In an effort to enhance student safety and security, Semester students are required to carry a mobile telephone with a Greek phone number.  CYA will provide students with Greek SIM cards and assist them in purchasing a pay-as-you-go plan.

It is recommended (but not required) that summer students also purchase a Greek SIM card and pay-as-you-go plan for their time in Greece.

Students who currently carry GSM mobile phones with international capability can use these phones while in Greece – if ‘unlocked’ – by replacing the US SIM card with a Greek one. Contact your mobile phone service provider to confirm that your phone has international capability and is ‘unlocked’.

With a Greek SIM card, incoming calls from anywhere in the world are free of charge provided that the student and telephone are (physically) in Greece.

What important documents/information should students take abroad with them?

It is good practice to make a data file containing all the information you and a student might need while they are away. We suggest that this file contains:

  • contact information for the student at CYA
  • contact information for the study abroad office at the home institution
  • information about doctors who have treated the student in the past
  • details of citizen assistance available at the Greek embassy or consulate nearest you
  • details of the U.S. State Dept. Office of Overseas Citizen Services
  • insurance policy numbers and information about how to submit claims
  • the student’s credit card numbers
  • the student’s passport number
  • a duplicate lost passport kit: two passport photos, an official copy of the student’s birth certificate, a photocopy of the passport photo, signature, and visa pages
  • CYA pre-departure information and calendar