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College Year in Athens (CYA)

About

CYA is a non-profit educational institution that offers semester, academic year, and summer study abroad programs in Greece. We offer an academically rigorous program of studies combined with the vibrant experience of day-to-day contact with the people, monuments, and landscape of Greece and the Mediterranean - a rapidly changing region with a uniquely varied past.

We place an emphasis on learning beyond the classroom, providing you with hands-on learning in the rich environment of Greece. Many classes are held on-site and many students participate in service learning, internships, and volunteering, adding a new dimension to learning and a global understanding of the subject.

CYA is dedicated to fostering personal discovery, growth, and cross-cultural sensitivity. Our ultimate goal is for you to return home academically inspired, intellectually stimulated, and with a passionate commitment to the furtherance of international and intercultural understanding.

Founded
1962
Headquarters

5 Plateia Stadiou
11635 Athens
Greece

Reviews

Default avatar
Angel
10/10

I always wanted to go to Greece, being Greek-American. I took the Travel Writing class, even though I am a math major. I loved my experience with CYA. To start, the academics were challenging, but not overbearing. CYA did a great job balancing exploring and learning. They encouraged us to get out and explore Greece. Class time was used well and I learned a lot about myself and about travel writing. My writing skills improved in many ways, and I found a new skill for food writing. I think anyone could find a course at CYA that they find interesting. I would say taking a course unrelated to your major, or your comfort zone, could prove to be more beneficial to you.

The living situations over the course were great. The apartment in Athens was homey and probably one of the nicer places in Athens. It had air conditioning, wifi, and a balcony view. It also was decorated to really make you live like an Athenian and get into the Greek culture. The apartment reminded me of my childhood home, coming from a Greek family. The hotels they provided for outside Athens were really nice. They had wifi and air conditioning and were located in lively areas.

CYA allowed you to get as culturally immersed as you wanted to. If you wanted to stay in your comfort zone, you could eat at places like Dominoes or Mcdonalds. You could talk to only your roommates, or you could break out and get to know local Greeks. You can try and find places where the locals eat, where there is no menu in English because there aren't many tourists. Most of the people attending the program wanted to get as culturally immersed as possible. The staff helps you do it by listing activities you could do and by taking you on some group activities. The entire staff is some of the best, and they really seemed to care about the students. They made sure we were safe and overall, the locations we went to were all safe.

The students attending the program provided a great community. I made so many lifelong friends, and I think most people did, too. CYA gave us enough free time to take day trips to nearby islands and weekend trips to farther places. I was able see so much more of Greece by attending CYA, than if I had gone any other way. I loved my time in Greece and I think anyone would love CYA.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Angel! We agree that the cultural immersion can really enhance your experience, and we are glad you found so many opportunities to experience the culture while in Greece! Please keep in touch with us!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kim
10/10

My time with CYA in Athens was one of the highlights of my college experience. The community CYA creates is fun, supporting and really encourages long lasting friendships. My roommates became my best friends in the program, and I still keep in touch with them to this day! I loved living in Athens in a Greek apartment. Even though we were part of a study abroad program, I felt like I was really living in the city! The neighborhood we lived in was convenient and safe, and easily accessible.

Class wise, I felt like my mind was opened! I hadn't realized how ignorant I had been of the world until I studied abroad and took international relations courses at CYA. I am so glad that I was able to participate in this program not only to gain more knowledge, but to increase my understanding of the world around me; It's so easy to live in a bubble.

I also loved on CYA took us on many included excursions to see other parts of Greece! There are so many amazing places to see. I'm glad CYA took the time and effort to show us some of those places, and offered us opportunities to see more!

Studying abroad with CYA sparked a greater interest in international travel and study abroad for myself. I ended up doing an extra semester in another country to really explore that sense of wonder CYA helped inspire.

Future participants: Greeks are easily some of the nicest, most welcoming people. Go to Greece - you will eat some of the best food, meet some of the most amazing people, and make some of the best memories of your life.

How can this program be improved?
Offer more classes to other majors so that more people have the opportunity to come to study in Athens (like science classes...etc.)!
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Kim! We are thrilled to hear that your experience with CYA had such a large impact on your whole college experience, and we hope that you will stay in touch!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kristen
10/10

College Year in Athens enabled me to make a dream come true while still working towards my bachelor’s degree. It is great to sit in a classroom and learn a new subject, but the whole experience is elevated when you’re living in a place that birthed the content you’re learning about! I took Modern Greek and got to practice it as soon as I left the classroom by walking the streets of Athens, buying groceries and taking public transportation. Greek Philosophy became so much more to me as my class walked in the Park where Plato himself taught his students. I had the privilege of learning about Greek Mythology and then climbed up Mount Olympus, where the Greek gods themselves resided as declared in the myths. As a believer in Christ, I was greatly touched by visiting Areopagus Hill where the Apostle Paul preached to many people about Christ. I even spent an afternoon studying on that hill, reading Nicomachean Ethics with the Parthenon as my backdrop.

Additionally, we took field trips to a variety of places in Greece including Sparta, the Peloponnese, the island of Crete, and Andros Island where we learned more deeply about the culture and history. Not only were the field trips very educational, they were so fun and in some of the most beautiful parts of the world that it felt like vacation! The beaches, mountains, flowers, and art were all breath-taking, as was the food! I quickly fell in love with Tzatziki and feta and still crave it to this day. I also had the opportunity to stand in the original Olympic stadium and run a portion of the very first marathon course! Needless to say, my mind was broadened, my cultural competency was expanded and my desire to travel and learn increased. I’m so thankful for the semester I spent learning in Greece as it has greatly changed me. I fondly reflect on my experience almost daily and cannot wait to return.

How can this program be improved?
In complete honesty, it was an amazing program! Perhaps the only change I could foresee is to make the academics slightly more challenging.
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you for your review Kristen! It sounds like you truly immersed yourself in Greek culture and that added immense value to your time with CYA! We hope that you will stay in touch with us!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sarah
10/10

I fell in love! With Greece that is! I learned so much not only about my field but also about myself! I am kind of lost in the pack back at my home university and always underestimated. At CYA my professors wouldn't just expect things but would stop and help you when you need it, one even guided me through fixing a paper I had trouble writing. I grew close with one of the professors who just wrote me a letter of recommendation for the Masters program at the British School of Athens, and hopefully work alongside him next year in excavations. He believed in me sometimes more then I did and helped me to understand not to underestimate myself.
But that isn't all, I was lucky enough to have a host family rather then live in the apartments and found a second family! I learned Modern Greek with their help and talk to my host mom at least twice a week still. She keeps asking when I am coming home.(LOL) I found another home in Greece at CYA and I miss it all the time!

How can this program be improved?
It's already amazing!
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you for your review Sarah! It makes us so happy to hear that your professor and home-stay family had such great impacts on you, and that they enhanced your time abroad!

Yes, I recommend
Tiaira
9/10

Living in Athens, Greece through the CYA Spring semester program was an absolute dream. I am a first-generation college student and the first time I went abroad was through school. I was very nervous traveling abroad being a black woman. I went abroad the same month that Trump was elected so I was very nervous about how people would see me as not only American, but also because of the color of my skin. I spoke to my counselors of my study abroad about my concerns and they were very open and honest with me. They were very candid about the way Greeks view foreigners and made me feel very comfortable. They also constantly checked in with me to see how I was adjusting to the culture and acclimating to life in Athens. To sum it all up: I had an AMAZING time in Greece! My program took us to explore Thessaloniki, the Peloponnese and Delphi to further expand on the academics we learned in Greece and never did I feel out of place or like an “other.” A lot of people speak of their time traveling abroad and academics during these reviews, but I’m here to say if you’re a person of color that may be nervous about study abroad like I was, PLEASE DO IT! Especially through CYA! Faculty and staff will make sure you’re comfortable and create a safe space for you to speak with them honestly about your experiences as a minority abroad. Safe travels and yamas!

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Tiaira! It makes us so happy to hear that your experience in Greece was so comfortable and positive! We really hope that you will keep in touch with everyone here at CYA!

Yes, I recommend

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