CYA - Study in Greece (Semester Program)

Video and Photos

Ancient Fame
Ancient Fame
View from the Highest Point in Athens
View from the Highest Point in Athens
Athens Marathon Finish Line with View of the Acropolis
Athens Marathon Finish Line with View of the Acropolis
Parthenon
Parthenon
Mt. Olympus
Mt. Olympus
Sunset
Sunset
Views
Views
Parthenon class trip
Parthenon class trip

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

Hello Nicole, thank you so much for your question! Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate students with emotional support animals. Our housing is in residential apartments, and the landlords do not allow animals. In addition, animals would not be able to travel with us during our mandatory field trips because they are not allowed on chartered buses and many hotels will not accommodate them.

Reviews

95%
based on 45 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 45
Default avatar
Blaike
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision of my Life

Studying abroad with CYA was life-changing. This program made Athens feel like home. All of my professors really cared about their students, and worked endlessly to form personal connections and give us the best experiences possible. The field trips were super fun and informative, and the optional trips were well-priced and gave us chances to grow close as a program. Greek culture is warm, welcoming, and community based, and CYA completely embodies that! Program lunches every weekday are healthy and yummy. The school and apartments are in city center and within a 15 minute walk to the Acropolis! Pangrati, the district where the school and apartments are located, is very safe and has a great community scene complete with farmers markets and cool cafés. CYA and Greece in general provide so many opportunities to get outdoors compared to other programs- so if that's your cup of tea you can definitely seize those opportunities! The workload is manageable and there are lots of course offerings for both Classics and non-Classics majors! The administration was also incredibly kind and helpful in finding hair salons, buying concert tickets, or any other small detail to make students feel at home. Between the multiple times I was able to travel to other countries, and the many adventures I had all over Greece- this program increased my worldview and experience tenfold. Best semester ever!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take pictures and videos so you can remember what your friends' voices sound like, what that sunset at Sounio felt like, or capture the full glory of your gyro! Also: take the optional trips. I went on the Andros Island and Metsovo/Meteora/Ioannina trips, and I made some of my closest friends on those vacations, because they were for smaller and more tight-knit groups of students. And take the time to talk to professors and staff- they're some of the coolest people you'll meet abroad!
Default avatar
Ariel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A

College Year in Athens gave me the best semester of my entire life. From the exciting weekend trips to daily class visits to the Ancient Acropolis, I had a life changing experience at least once a week. Learning about ancient history while standing in the place where it took place was simply awe-inspiring. I had a lot of "pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming" moments during my semester in Athens, especially when one of my classes took us INSIDE the Parthenon. I loved the city of Athens so much and I loved my apartment even more. It truly felt like home by the end. Another thing that made my experience so special was the people who worked at CYA. I felt safe and cared for. The faculty and staff was always willing to help with any problem - anywhere from laundry to home sickness. They truly wanted me to love Greece as much as they did. Lunches were yummy and the main course always varied so it never got old. The CYA dining hall was a great place for socialization when my fellow classmates as well as professors. The culmination of all these things made my semester in Athens truly spectacular. I am so thankful that I chose CYA.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-wracking moment was summiting Mount Olympus! The path was perilous but the thought of getting to the top helped me push through. The view from the top was spectacular and fulfilled all my childhood Percy-Jackson-related dreams.
Default avatar
Sophia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such an amazing experience!

While at CYA I had the opportunity to take classes and do things I would not have gotten elsewhere. I was able to get immersed into the Greek culture quickly. The staff was so helpful and helped me get an amazing volunteer opportunity. CYA gave me an experience that allowed me to grow as a person. I never realized how much I could learn being in a different country. Everyone in Greece are so friendly and wants to help you succeed. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who wants to experience a new culture

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go everywhere. Being in Europe gives you such great opportunities to travel all over. Although to is nice to be in Athens on weekends and explore there, the opportunity is there for you to go elsewhere. Explore throughout the week in Athens then travel on weekends. The 4-day weeks really allow for you to be able to go anywhere.
Default avatar
Veda
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Experience

CYA was an amazing experience and it has truly been life changing for me. The administration was so careful and aware of our needs and the orientation sessions, though tedious, were helpful when it came to navigating but still saying safe in Athens. CYA gave me the opportunity to travel Greece and visit parts of the country I would not have had access to otherwise, both through mandatory and optional trips. The perfect location sealed the deal on CYA being the place for me. Being across the street from the Panathenaic Stadium and within walking distance of major historic sites is something that not many can say.
I wish there had been more on campus activities where people can meet others with similar interests that they go to school with. Regardless, though my biggest worry beforehand was finding people I connected with, it was not as difficult as I believed and there was a friend group for everyone! I found that having friends with similar interests really improves traveling, exploring, and the CYA experience over all. Bonding with my fellow students came easiest on the optional trips that were offered on weekends through CYA. Usually, it was an intimate group of 20 to 30 students that would participate and you got to know everyone else very well.
In Athens, and at study abroad and general, it was so important to go out and explore! During the first few weeks especially, I felt as though I didn't really know the area so making it a point to explore, not just Pangrati, but further out as well, was a great option. In the CYA handbook, there was a list of many places listed that we could visit within walking distance. Beyond that, Nadia was sure to email us upcoming festivals and surrounding popular cafes, promoting interacting with the locals (while also allowing us to practice our Greek!). Overall, this is definitely an experience I wish I could revisit. I have developed a newfound love of Greece (both the culture and the food) and plan to return for sure!

What would you improve about this program?
More school guided exploration in the first weeks.
Default avatar
Marissa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Constant exploration and fun!

The best part of living in Athens is the accessibility students have to a multitude of activities. Museums are dispersed throughout the city and allow you to better understand the history of Greece and the cultures nearby that have influenced the country.
At night, Ghazi offers a different experience. The night life was always fun and the clubs were welcoming to Americans.
Unique and beautifully decorated restaurants are scattered throughout Athens. Syntagma was my favorite place to shop and find new cafes.
The beach is only a twenty minute cab away!
I was never bored in Athens!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take a Modern Greek class! Your experience will be so much more authentic and immersive if you talk to natives in Greek.
Default avatar
Armine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Σ'αγαπω Αθηνα

I decided to study abroad in Greece relatively last minute, but in the end I left it all very content with my experience, with a strong desire to return. The CYA program staff are very communicative and helped with every step in the visa application process and other prep coming to the country. While there, they were also pretty accommodating about various arrangements/needs. It was definitely a challenge to take classes while living in a new city and traveling quite frequently on weekends. However, the courses I took were very interesting and more engaging than my home college classes due to the small class sizes and on-site classes. Learning about the Acropolis sitting atop the Acropolis was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The three field trips built into the program (Delphi, Peloponnese, and Thessaloniki) were another great opportunity to site-see and learn on-site. Our neighborhood of Pangrati was an ideal location, with key tourism sites and shopping areas in very close walking distance. The local cafe became a second home and ideal study spot for most CYA students. I greatly enjoyed the endless opportunities to learn more about Greek culture and politics.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would make even more of an effort to engage with local Greeks, especially those closer to my age, in an effort to make long-lasting connections. I would also attempt to do even more exploring within Athens and in Greece at large instead of outside travel.
Default avatar
Harrison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thank you CYA

CYA helped me grow in so many ways. I learned how to quickly adapt to new cultures and communicate with language barriers. The teachers were always there to help and gave us constant advice. They were also brilliant in their fields, to the point that it was almost scary how smart they were. The staff of the program was quick in responding if we needed help, and made sure we were fed and had a nice roof over our heads. I learned far more than i ever thought I would have, and am so grateful that CYA gave me this opportunity. I made friends from universities I had never heard of, and definitely would not have met, and am able because of them to have a network around the country. Greece became one of my favorite places very quickly, and I cannot wait to go back. I do not feel comfortable in new situations quickly, but orientation week and the helpful sessions we did there allowed this place to feel like a second home. All the friends and business owners I met here made this experience one of a kind.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The Olympiakos vs. Panathenaikos soccer match we went to as a class. The craziness of the fans was so crazy, but by remaining with our professors and making sure we stayed together, we were able to navigate it safely and effectively
Response from CYA (College Year in Athens)

Hello Harrison! Thank you so much for your review! We love hearing about all the experiences you were able to have, and how positive your time in Greece was!

Default avatar
Hayley
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Semester to Remember

My semester in Athens was invaluable. I feel as though I grew as a person by creating an intimate and irreplaceable connection with Athens and the Pangrati neighborhood. Pangrati is the perfect mixture of historically fascinating, socially invigorating, and culturally welcoming. I will always cherish the connections that I made with locals, coffee shop baristas and store owners (many of whom became some of my most loyal study partners!). Athens, to me, is one of the best cities for study abroad; the food options were numerous (while Greek tavernas always rank as my #1), the nightlife was plentiful but not overwhelming and historical ruins and museums seemingly mark every street corner. Academically, CYA boasts a diverse faculty that bring international knowledge and experience. I found that much of my learning came from the one-on-one conversations and relationships that I developed with my professors. I learned experientially through attending football (soccer) matches, observing the famous May Day parades, and even just listening to my professors talk about their lives over coffee and dinner. I would recommend CYA to anyone who is truly interested in experiencing a culture that is politically active and socially vibrant.

What would you improve about this program?
While CYA does everything in its power to help you integrate into the community and create a home in Athens, it is important for incoming students to understand that they will not be in classes with Greek people and therefore need to find extracurriculars or other methods of meeting locals. It isn't hard because the Greek culture is so outgoing and friendly, but it is important to understand the structure of the program.
Response from CYA (College Year in Athens)

Hello Hayley! Thank you for your review and kind comments! We love hearing how much you were able to get out of your semester abroad and we hope you'll stay in touch!