CYA - Study Abroad in Greece! (Semester Program)

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About

CYA has offered study abroad programs in a wide range of academic disciplines for over 50 years. With supplemental activities varying from archaeological digs to study-travel and volunteer/internship opportunities, students are able to actively engage with their course material. Students live in apartments or homestays in downtown Athens and will be inspired to immerse themselves in the environment and expand their worldview. As a European capital, Athens is both rich in history and a contemporary hub for art, international business and relations, and debate on economic, political, and migration issues.

The CYA curriculum comprises of academically rigorous courses taught by expert faculty. Our course offerings encompass a range of academic disciplines. All courses are taught in English, but optional Modern Greek language courses are available. Classroom lectures are complemented by onsite courses and 3 field trips each semester to major historic and contemporary sites around Greece.

Highlights
  • Onsite classes and study-travel incorporated into program
  • Exciting courses in a range of disciplines
  • Hands-on volunteer and internship opportunities
  • Personalized attention from faculty and support staff
  • Opportunity to learn Modern Greek

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 25 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 25
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Kim
10/10

Say "Ναί" (yes) to College Year in Athens!

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
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Kristen
10/10

Pondering the Parthenon: My Semester in Greece

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
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Sarah
10/10

A Faith in Me Even I Didn't Have

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

Black Girl Magic Takes Over Greece!

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
Ariana
10/10

A modern city’s ancient history

The academic richness of this program blew me away. Not only did we have daily art history and archeology classes in and on the ancient sites of Athens, we took two weeks to tour Greece with leading archeologists to see and understand close up the ancient life of Greece. But the modern city was just as illuminating. I took marble carving classes and learned Greek Sign Language, made friends with other Athenians, and came to feel Pangrati (our neighborhood of Athens) was my Home. I’ve returned nearly every year to this country and city, and love visiting the CYA offices. As my academic interests have evolved, I’ve formed new relationships with faculty and continued pursuing research in Greece. And five years later, my best friend is someone I was matched as roommates with for the semester. CYA was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Go for it!

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you for your review Ariana! We love that your time in Greece had such a large and lasting impact on you! Please keep in touch with us as you continue exploring Greece!

Yes, I recommend
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Kim
9/10

Lifetime of memories in just 4 weeks

I had a great time with CYA! The classes were the perfect mix of educational trips and fun adventures exploring the city or island. Our professor was super chill and gave us great tips on where to go and what to eat. The smaller class size made it easy to become super close to the people I was with. Even though the class was only a month long, it felt like I got a lifetime of memories from it. Overall I was super happy with my experience and if I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would recommend improving would be the housing. The apartments were nice but some of the hotels on the islands lacked hot water and were a tight squeeze.
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you for your review Kim! We love that you were able to get so much out of your courses! We hope that you will keep in touch with us!

Yes, I recommend
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Sonja
9/10

Personal and Academic Growth

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Greece. CYA is not a rigorous program and it took me a while to adjust to the fact that learning can occur in a non-stressful environment. I have learnt here in an unprecedented way. Each of the classes are related to Greece in some way (ancient architecture, economics, history, philosophy, language etc.). It is definitely not as rigorous as it would be at my home institution, but many of my classes occur off-site. We routinely visit museums or archaeological sites. I feel like I learn much better when I can experience the subject of our study. Further, the relaxed academics allow me to take advantage of the culture. I have tried to make my stay here as immersive as possible -- I watch Greek films, have Greek friends, eat and cook Greek food. So for these reasons, I'm thankful that CYA has given me the space to develop myself both academically and personally.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you for your review Sonja! It sounds like you were able to get the most out of every part of your semester abroad in Greece, and we love that you immersed yourself in the culture while you were there! Please keep in touch with all of us at CYA!

Yes, I recommend
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Maria
10/10

Study with CYA!

My semester with CYA has been truly amazing. Living in a such a historical city as Athens, I had unique opportunities to have onsite lectures, such as at the Acropolis, or National Archeological Museum. I have been able to see in person, so much of what I had only previously learned in textbooks. And my professors have had so much personal experience, such as being involved in excavations, that they are then able to bring an incredible amount of knowledge into the classroom. CYA also organized great trips throughout the semester, that took us to Olympia, Sparta, Thessaloniki, and so many other amazing places. I have been able to see so much more of Greece then I ever thought I would, and am truly going to miss the culture and the welcoming people, that make this beautiful country feel like home.

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps by offering more social activities throughout the entire semester; the hikes and cooking classes were only really offered during the first half of the semester. The more the better!
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you for your review Maria! We love hearing that your semester with CYA enabled you to get so in touch with ancient and modern Greece! We hope that you will continue to stay in touch with us!

Yes, I recommend
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Kyle
10/10

It's in your best interest to highly consider CYA!

My study abroad experience with CYA was nothing short of fantastic. It was an experience I will cherish for a very long time. Even when you disregard the historical significant, amazing weather, food and people (which are very hard to disregard) CYA has everything a study abroad experience should be. Located in one of Athens best neighborhoods and located literally right next to one of the cities biggest attractions the location, academic curriculum and endless historical significance Athens possesses differentiates this study abroad experience from others. The administration, faculty, kitchen staff and professors not only go over the top to accommodate your needs, but also are willing to bend backwards to help assimilate you into their city in any way possible. My study abroad professors have been some of the most knowledgeable individuals I've encountered from an academia perspective. Most of who have studies across Europe and or the United States at some point in in their professional careers. CYA does a wonderful job incorporating mandated school "field trips" traveling to other parts of Greece, in an educational but fun way. CYA is continuously sending students email updates regarding volunteer opportunities, local hikes, sporting events, cooking classes to not only help students get the full Athenian experience, but to make your duration of stay in a foreign major city, much smoother. CYA was one of the best decisions I have made in my college career, hands down. Bottom line, CYA does study abroad the right way.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you for your kind review Kyle! We love hearing that the environment, faculty, and CYA updates were so helpful; it really sounds like you were able to get a lot out of your semester with CYA! We truly hope that you will stay in touch with us!

Yes, I recommend
Sarah
10/10

My Life-Changing Semester in Greece!

CYA made my time here in Greece absolutely unforgettable! They helped organize everything from pre-departure paperwork to my arrival and even activities throughout the semester that they thought might be fun! One such activity was learning how to carve marble, and at the end of the semester I had my very own masterpiece to show off back in the states. I loved being immersed in the Greek culture— it was so different from America, and so refreshing! Having most of my classes on site was also amazing...it's not very often that you get to stand inside the Parthenon while learning about it. All of the staff was truly amazing the entire time I was abroad, and I can honestly say this is a semester I will never forget. I have made some really great lifelong friends here, and can't wait to come back!

How can this program be improved?
More social activities throughout the semester, not just during orientation!
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Sarah! It is so good to hear that you were able to connect so well with the history and culture that Greece has to offer! We hope that you will stay in touch with us in the future!

Yes, I recommend
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Cara
10/10

My CYA Experience

The program was so helpful before I even arrived in Athens with preparing the right documents and setting up trusted transportation from the airport right to our apartment. I loved where I lived in Athens. CYA did a great job of finding very local housing in relation to other students and the campus buildings. The location of the school is perfect for becoming emerged in the Athenian culture. It was a short walk to the Parthenon and it is located in front of the Panhellenic Stadium, which served as a unique place to hang out with a view of the Acropolis. The program field trips allowed the students to see historical and archaeological sites that we never could have imagined having the opportunity to see. The close-knit feel of this program prevented me from feeling homesick in any way, and since being back in the states, I feel homesick from Athens!

How can this program be improved?
Organization and communication with students, options of changing roommates
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for the review Cara! It sounds like you had a very successful time with CYA, and your pictures are absolutely beautiful! We hope that you will stay in touch with us in the future!

Yes, I recommend
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Peyton
10/10

Go Greek!

What a wonderful program! I loved living in the city center of Athens! The professors and staff helped me learn about the Greek culture- past and present! I traveled to Delphi, Crete, and the Peloponnese (Olympia and Sparta) on the included field trips guided by the professors- experts in their fields. I ate the local food at the many tavernas and drank coffee at local cafes. My classes went on field trips to museums, sites, and cafes around Athens. I miss Greece already!

How can this program be improved?
More social events (like movie nights)
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Peyton! We love to hear that you were really able to connect with all different parts of Greece while you were there! We love the pictures you included, and we hope that you will continue to stay in touch!

Yes, I recommend
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Andrea
10/10

An Experience of a Lifetime

The strengths of College Year in Athens definitely included the fact that they were able to offer a variety of opportunities for all academic and non-academic interests. They also did a fantastic job with our experience outside of the classroom.
What I learned outside of the classroom was most definitely the most valuable piece I took away from studying abroad. College Year in Athens does an incredible job at making sure you learn not only in the classroom but also outside of the classroom with the optional and required field trips that are offered. Outside of the classroom I was able to connect with the Greek culture by visiting coffee shops, going to the National Garden, and even going to a different part of Athens and interacting with the locals. I was luckily able to learn a little bit of the Greek language and was able to interact on a different level with the Greek population. I also volunteered most of my time at the refugee center in Athens and I was able to immerse myself in the culture and the lifestyle of a refugee. I was able to learn incredible stories about individuals who were of a variety of ages and came from different places. Outside of the classroom I was also able to learn a lot about myself, who I really am and the impact I can have on a society and those around me.
In academics, College Year in Athens shines! Especially because they have some of the greatest professors in the social science realm of studies. Not a heavy course load but one always needs to make sure they do the work and pay attention, like any class.
The living arrangements were not the best but they also weren’t the worst. One has the option to live with a host family or live in an apartment with other individuals. Everything you need is in the apartment and if it isn't there you can request something. Also, the staff was extremely nice and responded quickly if there were any issues that had arisen within our apartment.
I cannot say better things about the director and the program staff, they are absolutely incredible. During my time in Athens, they were extremely helpful, attentive, and focused on each student’s own needs in order to succeed. I enjoyed working with Nadia, she was helpful in assisting me in attaining my internship with the refugee center.
I absolutely enjoyed my internship at Caritas Hellas, the refugee center located in Athens. I was able to connect with all types of individuals on an extremely personal level. I was in a different country surrounded by people from various different backgrounds and beliefs, yet for some reason I felt a connection with each and every one of them. I am so thankful I was able to assist the little time that I was at the refugee center. I will never forget my time there, the people I interacted with, and the way I felt when I was there. This internship was unique because I actually felt that I was making a difference, even though it was small. I worked a lot in the women’s clothing center and I was lucky to meet so many women that came from so many different places. I would assist them in choosing clothes that they needed for themselves and for their children, they had a total of 10 minutes to do so and some of them had at least 5 children, it was complicated but when we were able to find a coat for them or clothes that was the perfect fit they would break down in tears and give us all hugs. They were so thankful for something as simple as a coat, that was when it hit me and realized I had taken many things for granted. Working at the refugee center changed and further developed my perspective of myself and the world around me. Reflecting back on my experience, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Andrea! It sounds like you had a really well-rounded experience in Athens, and we love hearing how much you enjoyed it! We really hope that you will continue to keep in touch with us in the future!

Yes, I recommend
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Hannah
10/10

Fall 2017

Studying abroad is a terrifying yet exhilarating thing to do, but believe me when I say that every waking moment was worth it. I can't say much for other countries, but I know for a fact that Greece is such a wonderful place to live. The people are warm and welcoming, helping your time there become 1000 times better not because that's their goal, but because that's who they are.
Now CYA goes above and beyond to make your experience abroad one full of new experiences and memories. Between the mandatory trips we took around Greece, and the on site classes, CYA really tried to make sure we enjoyed as much of Greece as we possibly could.

How can this program be improved?
The living conditions could be improved but they weren't that bad. The only real issue was the kitchen. You were given everything you needed but the utilities were old and could use an update. And besides, you probably won't even been in your apartment that often anyways.
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Hannah! We love hearing that your time in Greece was so positive, and that the culture helped you feel more comfortable with the idea of studying abroad! We really hope that you will stay in touch with us in the future!

Yes, I recommend
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Morinade
10/10

Best Experience Yet

CYA was amazing. The neighborhood was perfect and there was always something to do. Night life is so fun! Nadia always sent out a weekly news letter with events around town which was soooo helpful and Jennifer was always ready to find something for you! There is so much to see and explore. Greeks are so welcoming and they have a way of making you feel as though you never left home. I was so nervous at first and extremely home-sick at one point but its all a part of the process and it did not last forever. I wouldn't change anything about my experiences or how I felt because everything fell into place. This experience was life-changing and I can't wait to go back! Home-stay was great and not very far and the farmer's market was the best part along with the waffles from Poco Poco <3. The field trips were very hands on and you get to learn about ancient Greece. The islands were so beautiful and you really get an opportunity to travel that you could not get anywhere else. The staff were passionate about the sites which made it more interesting and not so boring. Overall, CYA is a must! Get ready for the best gyros, waffle ice-cream, and tons of coffee! Also, be ready to party!

How can this program be improved?
The wifi in the library could be better along with hours. Emergency access could be improved as well.
Yes, I recommend

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About College Year in Athens (CYA)

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...