CYA - Study in Greece (Summer Program)

Video and Photos

We took trips to sites that directly related to the history and archaeology we were learning about! Why have things be hypothetical when you can learn on site and see things for yourself? CYA allowed me to visit extraordinary sites including (but not limited to) the Acropolis, the Palace of Knossos, and the city of Akrotiri.
We took trips to sites that directly related to the history and archaeology we were learning about! Why have things be hypothetical when you can learn on site and see things for yourself? CYA allowed me to visit extraordinary sites including (but not limited to) the Acropolis, the Palace of Knossos, and the city of Akrotiri.
The location of the academic building is perfect! It is located in the Pangrati neighborhood of Athens which is safe and full of amazing restaurants and cafes. The building is right by one of my favorite cafes that all the students would go to before class and right next to this beautiful stadium.
The location of the academic building is perfect! It is located in the Pangrati neighborhood of Athens which is safe and full of amazing restaurants and cafes. The building is right by one of my favorite cafes that all the students would go to before class and right next to this beautiful stadium.
Volcano Field Trip
Volcano Field Trip
Santorini Sunset
Santorini Sunset
CYA students running the Marathon
CYA students running the Marathon
CYA student at an on-site class
CYA student at an on-site class
CYA 2017
CYA 2017
CYA student seeing the views of Athens
CYA student seeing the views of Athens

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. There is also one unique Nutrition Summer course which runs from July to August. 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

98%
based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 9.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
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Sydnie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

So much fun!

I had an amazing time on the CYA Summer program 2019! I participated in the Archaeology course about the Bronze Age Aegean. We spent a little over two weeks in Athens, a week in Santorini, and a week in Crete. During this time, we had lectures at museums, at sites, and in the CYA classrooms. The site visits were key to the educational experience--even if you were exhausted from the day (or night) before, you learned so much by being there and experiencing the site. There was plenty of free time, especially on Santorini and Crete, so in addition to learning a lot, you also had the chance to do typical touristy things in Greece too. The free time also helped you bond with the other people in your class! Since the classes were fairly small in general (mine was 16 students, I believe), it was easy to get to know everyone, but also form close bonds with new friends. The apartments also helped foster this, 4 people in an apartment with a communal space, shared kitchen, and bathroom.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be spontaneous! If your professor says there is something cool, just a short (long) hike in a certain direction, trust them! It's the moments like that that will make your experience more memorable and more of an adventure. Get lost in a new city (with a fully charged phone with GPS, just in case), and explore something you couldn't find on a map!
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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best decision of my life

The CYA Summer Session in Athens was by far the best experience of my life. I took the Geography of Faith class about Paul and Early Christianity in Greece and I learned A TON and got to see so much! Professor Afzal was super knowledgable and gave such amazing background on ancient Greece in addition to the religion/classics part of this course. Everyone was taking this class with different interests and backgrounds, so he did a great job at making this course interesting to everyone! My favorite part was getting to see SO much of Greece. Living in Athens, we got to really experience true Greek culture, get acclimated in a new "home", and got to conquer foreign public transportation. As part of our class, we got to go on an 8 day field trip all around northern Greece, which was absolutely incredible. We got to see so many different places that weren't super touristy and were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I would've never even known they existed if not for that trip and this program! The weekends were perfect opportunities to visit islands and this whole experience was truly the trip of a lifetime.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would've booked my return flight home for later! I gave myself 6 days after the program ended to go to Santorini, but I would've loved to visit Crete, Mykonos, and travel to Italy as well!
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful Experience

My time with CYA was fantastic. I learned so much in my course about Greek heritage and was able to travel all over Greece, including Crete, Rhodes, and Paros. Housing in Athens was centrally located, and the Acropolis was in walking distance. My professor was wonderful and supported me both in the classroom and outside of it. Upon arrival, I was given a detailed packet containing information about activities in the area. My favorite part of the program by far was the travel. The island of Crete was amazing, and Knossos was one of the coolest archeological sites that I have ever seen. I also had plenty of free time to go to the beaches on the islands during my time there. I was able to try a wide variety of Greek cuisine and went to several excellent tavernas that CYA staff recommended to me.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to travel and see the country outside of class. The Greek islands are worth exploring!
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Lindsay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

The program is based in Athens, where we had really nice apartments, super close to the academic center, a grocery store, and lots of restaurants and coffee shops (one is even open 24 hours and is right around the corner). Athens started to feel so much like home that I could see myself living there long term!

The class I took was so interesting and I learned so much more than I could have ever imagined--inside and outside the course material! Our professor was great and every assignment we had challenged us to be creative. Our classes were held in museums, at archaeological sites, and even on volcanoes.

This program gave me the opportunity to travel all around Greece. When we traveled to the islands as a class, the hotels we stayed at were nice. I took the bus to the beaches. The people I met were amazing and I truly felt at home the whole time. I made some best friends for life!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Explore! The classes at CYA give you lots of free time so make the most of it! You can take the buses to really cool and unique places in the mainland and on the islands you visit. Requires some research but it is definitely worth it.
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Vincent
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying never felt more like the BEST Vacation!

This summer program really pushes you to be a part of the culture around you. The staff are the kindest individuals who offer so much help. There is a diverse selection of classes to choose from. I took in a religion and history class and we visited so many beautiful places and interesting museums. Everything was included, except for food, but that's the best part! You have to freedom to go explore the various dishes and restaurants around Athens and any location your class visits. The housing facilities in Athens are spacious with your own kitchen and living room and a cleaning person once a week. The housing is in a great location only a 10 minute walk from all the great shopping, and across the street from the national Garden, which is really pretty. I have made some new friends and bonded with those I traveled with. You'll have a memorable summer when you travel through CYA!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring a camera with you! If you love to post on social media then this is the place. The ranging black sand beaches to the highest mountains with the view of a valley is something you don't see many places. Plus you'll for sure get your tan here!
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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Perfect Way to Spend the Summer!

This was a wonderful and eye-opening program that I would recommend to anyone! The classes were interesting and covered new, diverse topics every day. The professors are so passionate about the subjects they teach, and work hard to make sure that everyone is making the most of their time in Greece. My classes were both around ten students each, and this made for a great classroom environment - one where I individually got to know my professors well, and created close, lasting friendships with my fellow students! CYA is also wonderful about connecting you to local events of your own personal interests, whether it be concerts, marathons, or cooking classes! There was also plenty of traveling through classes, and I feel that I saw so much more of Greece than I expected!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I tried octopus for the first time! I was very wary at first, but I ended up loving it! Make sure to try all the local foods, wherever you go (especially seafood on the islands)!
Response from CYA (College Year in Athens)

Thank you so much for your review Caroline! It sounds like you had an adventurous term abroad, and your picture looks amazing!

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Morgan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best way to experience Greece

My time in Greece studying abroad with College Year in Athens was more fulfilling and holistic than I expected it to be. My class (ARTH 356, a course on Greek Heritage) was taught by an amazing professor, our class excursions were enjoyable and immersive, and the friendships I built will last a lifetime! I decided to study abroad in Greece to get out of my comfort zone, and really push myself to study a subject outside of my STEM field. A 4-week program was perfect for the time I had and for what my budget would allow. This was my first time in Europe, and with research and preparation beforehand, everything (travel, currency exchange, packing, etc.) went smoothly. I enjoyed traveling to other Greek islands, visiting historical sites, trying new foods, and meeting the locals. Everyone was so welcoming and excited to have us there. I highly recommend CYA for anyone interested in a summer study abroad, you won't regret it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go explore on the weekends! Ferry tickets are cheap and there are often student discounts, so get a group of friends together, pick an island, and go for the day or for the weekend! There is so much to explore in such little time, so make the most of it! My recommendations: Aegina and Poros!
Response from CYA (College Year in Athens)

Thank you so much for your review Morgan! Also, thank you for your advice and recommendations!

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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Engaging and Enriching

My time with CYA was the best academic and personally formative experience of my life. I took two summer courses, and both the professors were outstanding. Between engaging lectures and meaningful site visits, I felt like I was growing academically without missing any of the social opportunities of study abroad. As a student from the University of Virginia, I was pleased that my CYA professors lectured at a level that still interested and challenged me, even in a different country than my home institution. The work-play balance was perfect, and I was able to explore the entire country (and seven islands!) all while making deep friendships with classmates. CYA gave us the cultural tools and skills to thrive in Greece, and I ended up staying for a few weeks after my program ended. I felt perfectly equipped to explore and enjoy the country with the information I got from the administration, professors, and the experiences of being a student with CYA. Overall, this was the best decision I made in college.

Response from CYA (College Year in Athens)

Thank you so much for your review Sarah! The work/play balance when you study abroad is a very important one, and I am so glad you were able to balance them nicely! Also, your picture looks amazing!

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Vanessa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever

CYA was one of the best experiences of my life. It was the first time I had solo travelled and even though I was scared at first I also felt so welcomed by the staff and other students. The course was so interesting and the workload was just right. The people I met were absolutely incredible, I made lifelong friends. My professor was the nicest lady and she became a friend to me as well. I would recommend anyone to take a course at college year at Athens because it is such an amazing experience.

Response from CYA (College Year in Athens)

Thank you so much for your review Vanessa! Traveling on your own for the first time can definitely be tough, but I am so happy to hear that your experience was so positive and had such a great impact on you!

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Caitlyn
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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 CYA (College Year in Athens)

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 :)

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Danielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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 :)

What would you improve about this program?
Travel to more surrounding islands with the class
Response from CYA (College Year in Athens)

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!

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

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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 CYA (College Year in Athens)

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!

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Alexandra
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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 CYA (College Year in Athens)

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!

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

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Carly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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 CYA (College Year in Athens)

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!

Interviews

Staff Interviews

About CYA (College Year in Athens)

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...