Staying for the Summer (Pt. 2 of 2)
This summer, a couple of spring semester students stayed for the summer in order to participate in internships with various organizations. Follow along as we interviewed Olive Baerde, our second student staying in Greece for the summer while taking part in an internship.
Olive (left), is a CYA Spring 2019 student who attends Tufts University where she studies International Relations with a concentration in European Studies. While here at CYA she took ‘Crisis and Change in Greece and Europe’, ‘Global Cities: The Case of the Port of Piraeus‘, ‘Sports, Games and Spectacles in the Graeco-Roman World‘, and ‘Byzantine Art and Architecture‘. Olive is interested in Europe and politics, and she would love to work in Europe after graduation. She is also working to create a start-up that allows college students to carpool with other students. See what Olive had to say about her summer in Athens!
So you stayed for the summer? How much do you intern? What do you do when you aren’t interning?
I am doing my summer internship at ELIAMEP [Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy]. I intern 5 days a week, with two days in the office, and the other 3 days on my own. When I’m not interning I do crossfit while here in Athens and I have been trying to visit more islands. I do crossfit at a gym in Gazi. I like this gym because it is smaller and I have started to see familiar faces.
Tell me a little bit more about your internship.
One thing I realized when looking for an internship, was that most internships required you to have a Master’s degree or to be an EU citizen. If you’re not, it is really hard. So I didn’t know if I could work in Greece, but I talked to CYA Executive Director of Student Affairs, Nadia Meliniotis, and told her that I wanted to work in the EU and Entrepreneurship. She connected me with CYA professor and Director General of ELIAMEP, Thanos Dokos. […] I am doing two small research projects, one on non-state activism and another on China’s rare earth. I work mostly on my own, but I do some administrative work, such as a report for EuroDirect and a report on different countries stands on immigration. I will also help them organize their library.
Do you have any tips for semester students looking to stay after their semester? In what ways did your semester at CYA prepare your for this venture?
I wish I took Greek during my semester, because I live in Zografou. In Zografou, most people only speak Greek, so I wish I knew more so I could talk to more people. One challenge I faced was getting my resident permit. It’s not necessarily difficult for American students, but if you’re an international student, it is hard to get the resident permit. You may have to go to the office several times and wait for many hours before speaking with someone.
How did you go about finding housing?
I went on the Athens short-term housing page on Facebook, and now I share [an apartment] with a Greek girl. When we met we just clicked and I choose her. After [moving in] she introduced me to her friends and took me to festivals in Athens.
What is the best part about staying after?
All of the festivals and events in the summer and the beach in the summer! During the spring semester, I didn’t really visit any islands except Santorini, so I’ve been trying to visit more. Since I knew I was going to be here for the summer I knew I didn’t have to spend my weekends doing that. All my friends that went to the islands in the spring were miserable because the weather wasn’t great. So I’m glad I stayed because I can actually enjoy the islands and the weather. I went to Ios and I have plans to go to Aegina, Paros, and Crete.
What is something new you learned by staying here for the summer?
I found it interesting hearing my roommate’s perspectives on politics and it provided me a different viewpoint from what I learned in class.
How did you go about making new friends after your classmates left?
I went on Facebook groups for foreigners in Athens and the Erasmus group. I also use Bumble’s best friends feature which allows me to find others who are here for the summer doing internships or visiting for a few days. I use Couchsurfing’s hang out board and I’ll post on there about what I want to do and people will comment if they want to join. I feel safe as I always meet people in public places and usually we have more than two people meeting up.
Main Photo (left to right): Olive Baerde ('19) and Cheyenne Paulson ('15)