CYA - Study Abroad in Greece! (Summer Program)

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About

Students interested in short-term, intensive study abroad are invited to take advantage of our summer program, which offers unique, experience-based opportunities for learning.

Summer is an exceptional time to study in Greece. Our unique courses are tailored to combine academics with authentic experiences, taking advantage of the sun, the sea and the vibrant summer culture from Athens to the surrounding islands. Explore our country's rich history, get involved in archaeological excavations and delve into the anthropology of food in Greece, and so much more, this summer at CYA.

Our summer courses are offered in two consecutive 4-week sessions that run between the end of May and the end of July. They are arranged so that motivated students may earn credit in complementary courses. Students take one course per session. Each 4 week course/session consists of 60 contact hours.

Highlights
  • Onsite and experience-based classes
  • Study-travel at breathtaking sites across Greece
  • Personalized attention from dedicated faculty and staff
  • Delve into a subject of interest with intensive course structure
  • Experience the gorgeous Greek summer!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 11 reviews
  • Academics 9.2
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 11 of 11
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Caitlyn
8/10

The Anthropology of Food in Greece

This was my first time traveling so I had some difficulties at first with this program. Because there are multiple colleges involved you don't travel there as a class. This meant that I had to fly to Greece and get from the airport to the academic building alone. This was a challenging and nerve-racking experience for me because I had never traveled before. However, I made it and once I was at the academic building it was smooth sailing from there. I had great roommates, ate a lot of good food, both in and outside of class, and really got to learn a lot. This best part about this program is that we lived in a local neighborhood which allowed interaction with locals and the opportunity to enjoy daily life as a local would. Class was very hands on and we learned a lot. As a class we did lots of different food tastings, but we also had the free time to explore and see what we wanted as well. Since the program has ended I've learned to appreciate olive oil more and even took to trying to grow some of my own food.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Caitlyn! We agree, living in a local neighborhood gives you a very unique and special perspective! We also agree that the food is amazing :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Danielle
10/10

Take the Risk

I was very on the fence about studying abroad. I knew I wanted to travel at some point in college, but I wasn't sure if I chose the right time, the right location, or if I was prepared. I had never flown by myself, I had never traveled outside of North America, and I had worried parents who did not like the idea of a college aged woman traveling alone for the first time. To any parents reading this: please let your daughter travel! She will come back with so much joy and excitement and will be so grateful for the opportunity. To any girls reading this: take the risk! Going to Greece was the best decision I have ever made. Not only was my teacher fantastic, but I met some wonderful and adventurous people in my class. I felt completely comfortable maintaining an open conversation with my professor when I needed help. My favorite part of the class was the walking tours where the students researched which monuments we were looking at. This trip made me feel so confident in my ability to take care of myself and have fun in completely new and foreign surroundings. The most refreshing part was that my professor encouraged my class to explore. I have never heard an authority figure encourage trying new things and learning about a place for myself as much as I did in this class (usually these figures tell me: "be careful, don't try anything dangerous, stay close"). This was so beneficial to my education about Greece and my confidence in myself. If you are on the fence about going, you should go! Live your Mama Mia dream :)

How can this program be improved?
Travel to more surrounding islands with the class
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review, and for sharing a little bit of your background Danielle! We agree, traveling can be a bit intimidating at first, but the adventure and memories you make are so worth it! Thank you again for sharing your perspective, and your pictures are amazing!

Yes, I recommend this program
Rosemary Wilson
Rosemary
10/10

Fabulous, Enchanting, Liberating, and Unexpected

My time abroad was everything I could have hoped for and more. I tried to go into my month in Greece without too many expectations, having developed them in prior situations and being let down when things went differently than I had expected. Greece, on the other hand, couldn't let anyone down - this I am sure of. Some of my favorite characteristics of Greece, found in both the city of Athens and in more rustic island settings, would include the merry personalities of people there, the delicious selection of food, the intriguing architecture, and the constantly ideal weather conditions. The first week and a half of my trip were spent in Athens where we had class for three hours a day and took many tours of culturally significant sites around the city such as the Acropolis museum. Our tutor, who had lived in Greece for at least 30 years at that point, explained many things about Greek culture in addition to background and historical information about the sites that we visited over the course of our time in Athens. Between going to class and writing for class, the girls I stayed with in our apartment made the most of our time in Greece by visiting nearby beaches on the weekends, going to a gym nearby our apartment in the mornings, and spending our nights out at tavernas drinking wine, getting to know each other, and observing the foreign environment around us. After Athens, we moved on to Nafplio, Greece, for a couple days, where we lived in a quaint hotel just below an ancient Portuguese castle towering over the city. Although Nafplio seemed to served as a sort of summer tourist destination for those living in Greece rather than a city normally inhabited by Greeks, it was a beautiful small town filled with gorgeous shops overflowing with enticing Greek jewelry and a mini version of the famous Syntagma Square in Athens surrounded by its fair share of comfy-looking tavernas with unbeatable prices for house wine. After Nafplio, we moved on to Poros for the final two weeks of the program. I certainly plan on returning to Poros some day, for it stole my heart and soul and was everything I could have ever hoped for when I first heard the words "Greek island". Just off the coast of the Greek Peloponnese sits Poros, a two-part island with one portion overcrowded with tourist shops and mini tavernas on the coast with spectacular views of the endless supply of fishing boats, visiting yachts and sailboats moving smoothly along the bright blue surface of the cheerful water between Poros and the Peloponnese. The other portion of Poros is more rural, scattered briefly with houses of more long-term residents and the occasional public beach with drink service and everything. All in all, my time in Greece felt similar to the best vacation I've ever had, except with a structure that kept me seeing things I had never seen before at a more organized and timely pace than if I had gone there alone with no true idea of where to start. I got to know locals and learned about their lives, dreams, and prospective futures, and had the opportunity to tell them about mine. I tasted food I had never had before, I went spearfishing, I spent endless hours in the sun enjoying a peaceful and reflective time in my life, and I met people that I fully intend on staying connected with. Prior to departing for my month in Greece, I was nervous that the experience would be too foreign to conquer and that I would leave still stunned by the exotic quality of it all, not knowing one lick of Greek and all. I was quite surprised by the end to find that I felt more or less acquainted with Greek culture by the end of just one month in that country. I would return in a heartbeat, just to spend more time there under the sun, learning from Greek people about their way of life and cultural traditions.

How can this program be improved?
The syllabus could be made a bit more clear and organized. Tour times and excursions could be more set in stone and communication could be slightly improved. Lunch times could be made to be a bit more flexible so that people exploring the city throughout the day wouldn’t have to stop what they are doing midday to return to the cafeteria area. Other than that, A+ experience with so much to offer.
Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Rosemary! It sounds like your time with CYA this summer had a hugely positive impact on you, and we love to hear about how much you enjoyed your time! Also, your pictures look amazing!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Alexandra
8/10

A Bridge to Greek Culture

As a Greek American, it was such a fascinating experiencing learning about my culture alongside people who knew simultaneously knew nothing about it. The fact that someone who knows so much about Greece can still learn new things through CYA speaks to the quality of the class. I took MS325 The Anthropology of Food in Greece with Dr. Aimee Placas and both the class and the professor were amazing. Specifically, Aimee was so passionate about what she taught and really encouraged her students to have an open-minded attitude throughout their study abroad experience. The program itself was unique in that all the classes are focused on Greek culture or history, allowing student to learn hands-on (ex. one day my class learned about coffee consumption in Greece and then went to a local coffee shop to get the experience for ourselves). I would highly recommend CYA for anyone looking to explore a new culture through an academic lens.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Alexandra! Also, thank you for sharing your experience through your particular perspective as a Greek American! We love hearing how much you enjoyed the Anthropology of Food in Greece course, and we agree that our professors are truly dedicated to their fields! We hope that you'll keep in touch!

Yes, I recommend this program
Black and white photo of me at the Acropolis
Julissa
10/10

The CYA Experience and Tips

The professors were deeply engaging and were not afraid to go off in-class schedule if it meant spending a little longer discussing certain themes or ideas. Also, because I was taking a travel writing course, they really encouraged getting to know our surroundings on more intimate levels. This meant, talking to locals, exploring parts of the town alone or regularly writing personal journals documenting our time there. CYA constantly reminded us that because we were in places outside of our native homes, we were bound to develop in ways unexpected to us, and the persons we started out as, would change during the middle and by then end of the program, Which was okay! It was all part of the process, and you have to trust it.

Some useful tips: it is possible to travel on a budget! You absolutely do not need to spend loads of money to find a worthwhile experience (every experience you have is worthwhile and necessary). I only carried with me 500 euros for a month and didn't spend any more than that. With that, I was able to buy souvenirs for family back home, plan a trip to a neighboring island and go horseback riding, eat gelato almost everyday, and pay for 2-3 meals a day including other indulgences, as well as my own laundry. Don't try to be extravagant, just learn to simmer in where you are.

Additionally, be realistic with your travels. I was lucky enough at CYA to visit three beautiful areas in Greece, Athens, Nafplio, and Poros. On my own time with friends, I travelled to one other island, Aegina, but while others went to the famous Santorini or Mykonos, I did not. And that is totally fine. I didn't visit every island or major city in Greece in my 4 week stay because if I had, I wouldn't have given them each their due. Explore the places you can, and don't sideline the places in your backyard.

How can this program be improved?
Of course, I am tempted to say more time, because I still wish I was in Greece but there is not much that needs improving. The workload is a bit challenging but I didn't come to Greece just for vacation, I wanted to learn. And professors were really accommodating and were okay with us prioritizing the experience of Greece more so than readings as long as we could still keep up with the pace of the class and contribute to discussions.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Carly
10/10

Best Summer Ever!

I took the “Anthropology of the Mediterranean Diet” course during summer 2018. It was a one month extensive class that focused of history, culture and of course food. Greece has always been in my bucket list but it exceeded all expectations. CYA was a great program. They were always kind and willing to help and my professor was incredible. I was always on the move discovering and learning new things. Class was a mix of classroom and hands on experience. Our class field trips were always very fun and educational, showing us new parts of Greece I would not have otherwise seen. I went on weekend trips with the friends that I made in my class that were unbelievable. Our CYA apartment was right near the classroom and academic building so it was an easy walk to get there. Overall, this is an experience that I encourage everyone to have. It is something that will never be forgotten.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Carly! We are so excited to hear that your experience was so positive and that you were able to create such meaningful and lasting memories! Our summer programs offer a unique experience, and we love hearing how you were able to use your time to the fullest!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Luke
10/10

Great Experience

I had an amazing experience study overseas for four weeks of my summer. The staff and facilities were awesome, on top of a great learning environment in Athens and other small towns that we traveled to. This program worked well into my schedule due to the program I am involved in, it is very hard to study abroad during the academic year, but this was over the summer before my work started which was perfect. I would recommend this to any student looking to study abroad.

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review and AMAZING video Luke!! We love hearing about your experience on one of our summer programs, and that it worked so well with your schedule! Your video is a favorite of ours, thank you for all the hard work!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Angel
10/10

Greek-American Experiences Greece

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 this program
Mariana Renke go over seas
Mariana
10/10

Something I talk about nearly everyday!

I feel so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to study at CYA. The learning experience is unlike any other due to the emphasis on hands-on learning in museums, on site, and through activities. My professor Angelos Papadopoulos was so knowledgeable and worked with each student individually to meet unique needs and interests. The apartments are very nice and accessible and the public transportation in Athens is very easy to use. Moreover, these courses allow you to travel to different areas in Greece providing ferry and bus transport which makes travel so much easier and accomodating. In addition, the friends I made through CYA I am still in contact with on a daily basis, despite where they live! I was pushed to learn, explore, and experience a new culture expanding my comfort zone and having an experience I think about everyday. This program gave me the opportunity to travel, learn, and build relationships in a beautiful country full of history and culture!

Response from College Year in Athens (CYA)

Thank you so much for your review Mariana! We love that you were able to experience so much of what Greece has to offer! Your photos look amazing as well! We hope that you will stay in contact with us in the future!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lauren
10/10

An Experience I'll Never Forget!

CYA was one of the best academic experiences I've had while at university! My program allowed me to travel throughout Greece (Santorini, Crete, and other places on the Mainland -- along with staying in Athens) and learn a great deal about the art history and archaeology of Ancient Greece. I was very focused on preparing for the trip and I was a bit stressed beforehand, but as soon as I checked in with my program at CYA, the stress melted away. The housing accommodations, while we were traveling and while in Athens, were always very comfortable, well air conditioned, and roomy. We spent quite a bit of time with our class and on field trips, but there was also plenty of time during the day to make our own plans outside of the program itself. For example, while we were on Santorini, we had a free day in which I and some other students in my class went to Oia for the day. The professors and staff were always helpful and willing to offer suggestions and advice. Our professor recommended restaurants to us and helped us navigate the public transportation system in Athens. Post-program, I felt that the experience I had with CYA in Greece had positively impacted my academic goals. I plan on pursuing my education further, after my undergrad, potentially studying ancient history further. I want to work and live abroad, for part of my life, and I feel like that goal is definitely more attainable now that I've had this experience with CYA. Overall, I would highly recommend this program to someone who wants to learn a lot while still experiencing Greece in its entirety! My biggest tip is not to worry, to be open-minded, and to always carry cash!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change about this program would be the cafeteria. It was a nice space, but they only served lunch during weekdays, and it wasn't some of the better food I experienced in Greece. But there was no additional cost for meals and it was very close to my apartment and academic center!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kirk290
10/10

Excavating in the Aegean: I dig it!

I participated in Excavating in the Aegean: The Case of Despotiko, Paros. The program is run by a College Year in Athens (CYA) appointed instructor, in my case Bryan Burns, and the Director of the excavation, Yannos Kourayos. The program consists of two weeks of excavation and one week learning about Paros' history.

Before the course began, we were given good preparatory information. We were assigned course textbooks, and given detailed instructions on what to bring and where to meet. After we all arrived, we had an orientation and introduction session over an amazing Greek meal (all the food is great!). Then we were taken to the second largest of the three islands that make up Paros, Antiparos. After arriving at the port in the island's one town, our instructor helped us purchase water and food for the houses we would stay in for the next two weeks in a fairly secluded location outside of town. The Mediterranean houses we stayed in were wonderful, comfortable accomodations. We were right on the beach, there were two tavernas for food, overall it felt like a safe little vacation spot. The next morning excavations began.

"Honk Honk!" the director, Yannos, would honk at us every morning at 6:30am to make sure we were awake to take the 7am bus to meet him at the dock to take the boat to Despotiko. Yannos was always full of enthusiam. We arrived at the excavation site around 8am and then worked until 2/2:30pm with a snack break. Every opportunity, Bryan and Yannos would teach us about taking good notes, measuring elevations, drawing plans and excavation technique. But mainly, there is a lot of digging! At the end of the day, you are tired! After excavating, we would take the boat and bus back to our houses and a large lunch was provided at one of the tavernas. Then after a few hours rest (or beach time), we would meet up for an hour of washing pottery before enjoying the evening and dinner on our own. We did this everyday, except sunday, for the first two weeks.

The final week, we left Antiparos and moved to Paros, where we stayed in a very pleasant hotel near downtown Parikia (the main town on Paros). This week, Bryan took us to all the archaeological sites on the island (Bronze age to Venetian). He also assigned us articles from a course reader provided to us, gave mini lectures on the topics, and then lead discussions. The articles and the discussions were all great. On the last day we took an exam. I think we all enjoyed learning the material so much that the exam was easy.

I have been involved in other archaeological field schools since this one, and I think that the CYA program is excellent. It does not involve cutting edge excavation technology, but it gives a thorough introduction to basic excavation technique and methodology. It is well structured, informative, and fun! So if you are interested in archaeology and want to see what it is all about, this is a great experience.

Yes, I recommend this program

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...