Staff Spotlight: Cheyenne Paulson

Campus and Student Relations Coordinator


Cheyenne started working in her current role with CYA in January 2020. However, she is not new to CYA as she attended the program in 2015 and spent Fall 2018 with CYA representing the program at study abroad fairs across the country and Summer 2019 onsite in Greece as a MediaLab intern.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is, while I studied abroad with CYA in 2015, I took part in the Excavating in the Aegean class. While the class involved excavating on a real archaeological excavation, the memories with my classmates both on the excavation and off are ones I will never forget. We hiked the nearby hills of the island we were staying on, spent endless hours at the beach, and ate fresh seafood every day. It was a blissful time and I remember it so fondly.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since I started working with CYA in 2018, I have grown immensely. I finished grad school and developed new skills in the field of international education. I have become a representative who can speak highly of the program as well as giving my personal experiences in Greece. I have thought intellectually about what makes CYA a successful program and hope to continue to grow with the company!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I've had several interactions with CYA alumni; however, my favorites revolve around the students I met the following summer (2016) while excavating in Romania.

While in Romania, I met several other CYA alums and we all bonded over our experiences of Athens and Greece. Each had amazing stories about their times in Athens, hiking Mount Olympus, volunteering at the Ancient Agora, and spending countless hours at Kekkos drinking coffee and doing homework!

While none of us were in Athens at the same time, all of our stories seemed to be shared and we bonded over how much we missed Greece and CYA.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would say that my biggest regret from undergrad was not attending CYA for a full semester. While the summer was great and it fit perfectly with my academic schedule, I left longing to return and wish I could have added a semester to my summer abroad.

I wish that I could have taken the Topography in Athens course and the Ancient Greek Sports classes. Outside of Classics, I would have loved to take a sustainability course or an economics course as well!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

As one of the leaders in Greek study abroad programs, I think CYA is unique because of its academics and experiential learning opportunities. CYA aims to take its students out of the classroom as much as possible, and we continue to make the program even more immersive.

I am proud of CYA and study abroad in Greece as a whole when I look at the Open Doors reports and see how much study abroad within Greece is growing! It makes me happy to see students interested in Greece and CYA!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think that the biggest factor in being a successful company is one's ability to adapt to changes in student needs and interests.

When CYA started, it was a Classical Studies Center; now CYA has grown to include disciplines such as Environmental Studies, Psychology, Economics, Political Science and more!

Adaptability is key and I strongly believe that any successful company must be able to understand not just the obvious needs, but also the needs that may not be immediately apparent but could lead to a positive international experience.