Thinking of studying abroad in Greece? Not exactly sure whether it’s right for you? Our Associate Director of Campus Relations Katie Sievers paints a clear picture of what it’s like to study in Greece and highlights a few of the things CYA offers to make sure you make the most out of your study abroad experience in Greece, no matter what your academic background is or how diverse your interests are.
Greece is a beautiful, hospitable country with so much to offer, it’s a great place to study abroad
Greece, and Athens specifically, is a place where history is palpable and contemporary conversations are extremely poignant. For an international relations or political science student, for example, studying migration in Greece is important in understanding the refugee situation, one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time. And as the birthplace of democracy, Greece is an ideal location for classics or history students. There is truly no academic discipline that is completely separated from Greece, and our professors really bring those disciplines to life through on-site courses and study-trips to key sites in Athens and other parts of Greece.
There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ CYA student
It’s impossible to sum up an “ideal” student in specific terms. Our students come from vastly different backgrounds and have hugely varying interests, both academically and personally. One of the fantastic things about CYA is that we offer an extremely wide curriculum to encompass this diversity, and as a metropolitan city Athens is the prime location to pursue anything from the arts to business to volunteer service.
An average day in the life of a CYA student isn’t always what it seems
Let’s follow the path of an art student interested in theatre; let’s name her Athena. Athena wakes up and makes breakfast to eat on her balcony, overlooking the neighbor’s garden in the Pangrati neighborhood. She heads to the cafe next door, where she’s greeted with a cheerful “Kalimera, Athena!” and a cookie as she orders a cappuccino freddo.
She heads to class, walking a few minutes down the road, stopping every once in a while to pet the friendly neighborhood street cats, and walks upstairs to her class in the Academic Center. Glancing out of the classroom window at the Acropolis (which will never get old), she and nine classmates discuss contemporary Greek politics and society; using her artist’s lens, she reflects on how the political situation globally and in Greece has impacted the street art she has seen in Athens.
Athena heads to lunch in CYA’s cafeteria, where she chats with classmates about their plans for the night; they will be going to a theatre performance downtown (part of the 2017 Documenta exhibition) at one of the 100+ theatres in the city. After her next Modern Greek language course, she meets with a professor about an upcoming paper, spends some time doing classwork in the library, checks her calendar (at this time tomorrow, she’ll be volunteering at a gallery down the street), then heads out for a run across the street through the National Gardens. As the sun goes down and her Greek neighbors start to head to dinner, Athena and her friends grab souvlaki (a delicious gyro for under 2 Euros!) on their way to the theatre.
The biggest benefit of studying abroad with CYA stems from our decades of experience
As the first provider of study abroad experiences in Greece, CYA is well-established and connected within the Athenian and Greek community. We’ve been in Athens since 1962, and we have all the resources that come with over five decades of commitment to giving students a rounded, excited experience; this benefits our students because they have access to a wealth of not only ultra-qualified professors and outstanding academic opportunities (such as going inside the Parthenon…not an everyday thing!), but also very interesting extracurricular opportunities.
I think our deep roots in Athens help students make their time abroad more valuable, both personally and for their future careers.
We help dozens of students each semester arrange volunteer or internship-type experiences; students have done everything from volunteering at theatres to serving at local soup kitchens to assisting beekeepers…the possibilities are endless. We also have a wide network of organizations and clubs for students to join in extracurricular activities, such as playing with a local sports team.