Bridge lived and worked in Athens, Greece through the Fulbright Foundation 2015-2016 and studied abroad as an undergraduate in Galway, Ireland in 2011. Bridge works part-time at CYA, while also doing mental health clinical and doula work (doula is a Greek word meaning "person who provides emotional support during childbirth").
Why did you choose this program?
The travel experiences with family and friends while I lived in Greece were unforgettable! One travel memory highlight is taking the train to Meteora (Central Greece) with my grandparents. The tremendous rock formations with ancient monasteries atop them were breathtaking and we hiked down from the rock formations.
A few other highlights include traveling with my parents to the island of Crete and explored ancient ruins and wineries, I went with my sister and friend to Zakynthos where we took a boat ride around the island amongst vibrant blue waters to visit the famous beach with a shipwreck, and I ran a half-marathon in the Peloponnese at the original site of the Olympics with a good friend.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I have learned so much about the world of study abroad and higher education since joining College Year in Athens! It's been wonderful to see all the various pieces and efforts that go into supporting students having wonderful experience living, traveling and learning through study abroad in Athens and Greece.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
When I lived in Greece, two of my friends in my program were graduates of College Year in Athens (CYA). They spoke so highly of the program and experience living in Greece and they had such a love of Greece that they returned to live in Greece again! That planted the seed for me knowing how highly the CYA students felt and spoke about their experience!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
It's hard to choose from the great options. Greece overall is breathtaking, so opportunities to explore and experience the country through the field study or optional trips are amazing experiences. There are so many wonderful courses that I would also love to take! You also can't beat soaking up the sun in Greece during the summer program!
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
CYA was established in 1962 and it's the first study abroad program in Greece for English-speaking undergraduates!
Athens, Greece is an epicenter of history and culture, so living and studying in Athens is a unique experience that offers so much in the vibrant city with delicious eats. In our North American office, the team works hard to support the application process, relationships with Universities and preparations for students getting to Greece! I'm proud of all the efforts the team makes to make the CYA experience possible.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Success can be measured in so many ways. In my opinion, being student-centered is the biggest factor in the success of a study abroad company! Having support, resources and ultimately an engaging dynamic experience for students is what makes for success.
CYA goes above and beyond to support students and I feel that's essential for success.