Choosing to study abroad with College Year in Athens has been one of the best decisions of my life! I made memories and friends that will last me a lifetime. I found that I made steadfast friends, and connected with others on the program naturally and quickly.
CYA did a phenomenal job of offering guidance for those who wanted it, and freedom for those looking for a more independent experience. They offer incredible guided excursion in the beginning of the semester which allow for easy travel, insider opportunities, and time to get to know the people in your program.
Throughout the semester we took field trips that were course oriented, for example driving to Olympia to see the sites of the first olympics, and taking a boat to Crete to see the art and architecture of the Minoans. One of the best features of CYA was on-site classes. I had class on the acropolis one day, and on the agora the next, as a part of my normal week. CYA offers a variety of courses with appealed to me, I took the opportunity to learn about ancient and modern greek culture, and enjoyed my courses immensely.
The apartments were located less than a mile away from the Parthenon, and downtown Athens. It was incredible to be able to walk through these ancient sites on an everyday basis. We truly lived in and amongst the history! The apartments were lovely, I lived in a three bedroom apartment with a balcony overlooking the street. The neighborhood is a lovely family residential setting, which means that it is not only safe, but also getting to know your neighbors is easy. We were invited to our neighbor's name day party which was certainly a once in a lifetime experience.
CYA also understands that exploring neighboring countries is part of the abroad experience. With no classes on Fridays, nearly every weekend is an opportunity to travel, learn and experience. During my semester I explored an underwater cave in Macedonia, bathed in a hammam and shopped in the Grand Bizarre in Istanbul, Turkey, hiked to the top of a tower in Thessaloniki, attended an Austrian ball, and bicycled through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden.
A full week of vacation was granted for the week of thanksgiving. I took that opportunity to hunt down the northern lights in Sweden, and to explore the enchanting cities of Salzburg (home to The Sound of Music), and Vienna.
A small side note- there is a gym very close to the neighborhood that we lived in. As a varsity athlete, keeping in shape was important to me. It was easy enrolling and getting there (a little jog and I was there!), and taking a variety of fitness classes in Greek was an absolute blast (yoga, zumba, kickboxing, etc).
Before choosing College Year in Athens, I looked at many other programs-- With the world at my fingertips it was difficult to choose where to go! Athens ended up being the perfect choice for me. I made incredible friends, went on unbelievable adventures, and learned a whole lot more about the world and myself along the way.
I would agree with a previous reviewer that CYA could facilitate more merging between greeks and american students- perhaps a party/ gathering could be organized to welcome neighbors to meet new students.
The only other drawback was that washers and dryers were located in the academic building, so one has to shlep their dirty laundry through the neighborhood to wash it.