Noa Gelb

Noa Gelb
Graduated , Student Ambassador , U of Michigan
Email: [email protected]
School:University of Michigan
CYA Term:Spring 2017
Major:Classical Civilizations
Anticipated Graduation Month/Year:2018

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? 

When you are in a new place with no one you know, you learn a lot about yourself, what you like, and what you are comfortable with. The workload is challenging, but less that my home institution, giving me time to explore other interests, like writing and personal research. I had the opportunity to take local cooking classes and have meals with the Greeks. I have spent time at local cafes and bars and learned the language through immersion. I have figured out what I want to do with my Classics degree and made professional and personal connections that will last me a lifetime. I honestly wish that I had spent the whole year abroad. There is so much more I want to do and one semester is just a taste of how amazing being abroad can be.

What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in or planning to study abroad with CYA? 
What do you wish you knew before starting your study abroad experience?

You cannot go in with any expectations. Even if you've been abroad before, Greece is it's own little corner of the world. Talk to the locals, go to the islands, walk around, you'll be surprised at what you'll find. Everything about this country is unique and special, and Attica is different from the north, or the Peloponnese, or the islands. There is so much to see, so much to learn, so much to experience. If you come in expecting an experience similar to anything you've felt before, you will be overwhelmed. This country is a world unto itself and an identity so unique its hard to describe. The only way to fully experience it is to walk in open-minded, open-hearted, and ready for an adventure like no other.

What would you be willing to share about your CYA experience with other students?

  • Finances while abroad
  • Religion while abroad

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

I was at a bar with my friends, all of whom study modern Greek. I, not studying modern Greek, was trying to keep up with the conversation happening between our table and the bartender. At one point, I answered the bartender's question and he gave me a weird look. Apparently, the conversation had been taking place in Greek and I had responded in English, not even realizing that I had been understanding the complete conversation. It was then that I realized that I had completely immersed myself in the culture, language and all, which immediately connected me to the bartender and staff and we spent the rest of the evening talking, laughing, and drinking in a mix a Greek and English.

Favorite food in Greece?

Octopus

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Sports, Games, and Spectacles in the Graeco-Roman World

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Written by Maria Makripoulias
CYA Digital Content Coordinator