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CYA (College Year in Athens)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Some of the most meaningful and happiest months of my life

It’s hard to avoid falling into clichés when describing my semester with CYA Athens, because those four months really were life changing, eye-opening, and nothing short of a dream. Of course, the country of Greece is unspeakably beautiful, and I am amazed at the huge variety of places I was able to see. From the otherworldly landscape of ‘Meteora' with 15th century monasteries perched atop shocking rock formations to the volcanic cliffs of Santorini… The beaches and mountain ranges were surprisingly diverse but equally spectacular, and each island, village and city had a uniquely charming vibe.

The best part of experiencing Greece was not the breathtaking vistas, however. It was the people of Greece, hands down. Sometimes I still shake my head in grateful amazement when I think of all the ways and times that I was shown generosity, warmth and downright familial love from too many people to count. This alone changed me, and is something that I hope to pass on to others wherever I go in life. The CYA staff was not an exception to this rule; in fact, they were all some of the most wonderful and interesting people I met in Greece.

The academic component of this program was just as excellent. The material for my classes was stimulating and fascinating, and the professors were fantastic. They gave us more individual attention than I’ve ever had in college and took us on once-in-a-lifetime field trips like inside Parliament and an Orthodox monastery, and to archaeological sites, museums and exhibits. As if this weren’t enough, CYA takes all of its students on multiple school-wide field trips that last for as long as one week. This gives you the opportunity to hear about historic and cultural sites from experts in the field in a way that would never be possible as a tourist.

All in all, I can hardly overstate how highly I recommend College Year in Athens. It opened my mind to new perspectives and taught me so much about the world. But also, it taught me so much about myself. I truly can say that I feel like Greece has become like a second home, and that is in large part thanks to CYA.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

CYA spring 2016

This semester changed my life. I fell in love with Greece--its food, culture, language, and people. During the semester I found my passion and met so many amazing people. I do not regret my time in Greece at all, it has been incredible and I learned and grew so much. The professors, staff, and my fellow students contributed to an unforgettable experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

CYA

Incredible experiences. I was impressed and satisfied with my entire trip/time studying abroad with CYA. Very strong program academically, socially, and culturally. If given a second chance, I would definitely go back.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Wonderful semester abroad

Spending a semester in Athens, Greece through the CYA program was one of the best choices I have made in college. Between living in the heart of the city, studying onsite at ancient monuments, and traveling throughout Greece and Europe, CYA allows students to fully immerse themselves in Athenian life while providing ample opportunities to travel. Professors are extremely knowledgeable, qualified, and passionate about their areas of study.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

One of the best decisions of my life

Going to CYA was one of the best decisions of my life. The program allowed me to see far more of Greece than I ever could have on my own, and to learn more about this special country too. And Greece really is special. It holds a unique place in ancient, classical and modern history alike. The push and pull of where the East meets the West in the Greek culture is fascinating. This semester at CYA, I also learned more about my own country's place on the international stage throughout history. The way CYA expanded my mind is an immeasurable gift; my eyes have been opened to new aspects of the world we live in. What more could you ask of a study abroad experience? In addition, the CYA staff are all some of the best people I've ever met in my life. They seem to have endless energy and attention and compassion for their students. And they support you so that you have all the resources you need to go out and explore and experience Greece to the fullest extent. Academically, the professors are outstanding. They likewise give so much individual attention and care to their students. It's something that would be impossible or incomparable in my home institution in the U.S. I have no complaints about the program. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a more full experience of a country - beyond the "let's go to Europe and drink a lot and cruise, etc." Anyone who truly wants to experience a beautiful, rich culture and to learn a ton should attend CYA.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

My review

I really enjoyed my stay in Athens with CYA! I think they do a great job immersing you in the culture as well as giving a unique experience with classes. I especially enjoyed the trips I think they are something that really makes CYA unique.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Phenomenal experience at CYA

The balance of understanding that the students need cultural immersion and experiences in Greece that truly capture the spirit of the unique country coupled with the good academic programs make CYA so special. I've also never encountered an administration that wants its students to have as fulfilling an experience as the ones at CYA. All of the administrators found joy when they were helping the students discover more of themselves in the foreign country. A truly welcoming community that fosters the best qualities that can be gained from a study abroad experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

College Year in Athens

This program was great. I saw different parts of Greece with the study trips and there was a lot of time to travel on the weekends. Academics were manageable and we had a lot of time to explore the city.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My CYA experience was incredible

I had high expectations for going abroad, and CYA did not disappoint. The program staff were extremely friendly and welcomed us with open arms while still giving us space to be independent in the city. I was in an apartment, and I loved the freedom and chance to meet people that this gave me. I ended up being very good friends with my roommates and many others in the program, as CYA's trips did a good job mixing people up in a way that allowed us to meet new people. The classes were interesting, and I really appreciated that there are no classes on Friday, as this allowed me to have a lot of free time to travel or continue exploring Athens. It didn't take long for me to feel like Athens was home, and CYA was instrumental in facilitating this.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

CYA

I had a fantastic experience at CYA. I think a big part of it was how much I loved Greece and Greek culture. My apartment was very small and my classes could have been more challenging. However, I got to experience an incredibly beautiful country and people while getting class credit and rarely studying. If you're looking for a social, fun-filled, break from academics abroad experience, CYA is the place for you.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great study abroad experience

I loved everything about studying abroad in Athens with CYA. My only complaint with the program is I feel like there was not much effort to culturally immerse us within Greece. I only made friends with the Americans in the program, and it would be nice to meet maybe students at the University of Athens.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My Time with CYA

I studied abroad with CYA in the spring of 2015. I am of Greek descent, and so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to study in Greece. Going into the semester, I didn't really expect much from the program and I had no strong feelings about CYA one way or another.

However, once I got the Greece and started experiencing life in Athens, I came to quickly appreciate CYA. They made sure that everything from finding your apartment on the first day to finding an internship in Athens was as easy and trouble-free as possible. They have a wonderful woman, Nadia, who connected me and my friends with several different organizations, including recreational sports, hiking, academic groups, and even teaching English to refugees.

Even more, CYA provided us with several wonderful trips through Greece. These trips are super fun (literally driving through beautiful Greece -- trust me, it's stunning), and they're at no extra cost. We went to Delphi, Thessaloniki (Greece's second largest city), Sparta, and a plethora of archaeological sites. I wish I could do it again!

Regarding academics, CYA can really be whatever you want it to be. I managed to get all of my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I had a four-day weekend every week. My days with classes were busy, but two of my classes met on-site, and so I would spend my mornings walking archaeological sites and visiting ancient monuments. For one of my classes, we actually held class inside some of the monuments, such as the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Propylaia. 10/10 would do it again.

My only qualm with CYA is how much time you spend with other American students. I didn't end up making too many Greek friends, as most of my time was spent with my classmates. However, I think this was more my fault than anyone else's, as CYA provided ample support for people looking to get involved in the city and community -- I just didn't take advantage of that as I should have.

Over all, I loved CYA and can't recommend it highly enough.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review December 11, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, Jack! We are so glad to hear how valuable the program was for you!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    1

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    5

CYA review

Great program in a great city. Loved my professors was less than thrilled with the administration. The administration seemed there to regulate us instead of help us. They treated us like kids, but they are generally nice people.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Great program!

I absolutely loved my program. It was a lot of fun and I made great friends. I loved the location the program was in, I had a view of the Acropolis everyday. I definitely left my heart in Athens and I cannot wait to return!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    6

CYA Spring 2016

I overall enjoyed my experience with CYA in Greece but I am not a classics major and it was difficult to keep up. The curriculum is strongly geared towards classics majors, I would advise if you are not a classics major take a closer look into the classes and decide if they sound interesting to you. Many of the classes say that they are introduction course but require a background in classics.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    9

CYA experience

I overall had a wonderful time in Athens, and feel like the academics and cultural/historical immersion provided by CYA are pretty much unbeatable. I met some of the smartest, most engaging and most interesting professors of my college career, and feel like I have returned with a much broader and deeper understanding of Athens in both antiquity and modern times. However, CYA has some work to do in regards to student living. I understand there are cultural differences, but the mental health support provided by CYA is insufficient. One psychologist who comes in one day a month is unacceptable. Furthermore, there were times when CYA oversight felt invasive, for example when people would come into our apartments during trips and hang paintings up. We all knew it was to patrol for people staying in the apartments, which is understandable, but at least giving us notice that we'd have people coming into our apartments while we were come would be appreciated. Also, the maid service is very nice but I didn't always want my room cleaned, and it would be appreciated if we could opt out of the maid service if we so choose to. Lastly, if there is any way we could be introduced or have more contact with Greek students in Athens, I think that would be great. It is difficult to meet Greeks our age, and it would be amazing if CYA could help facilitate those relationships.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

N/A

Overall, CYA offered good course selections that not only pertained to Greek religion, history, culture, philosophy, and language, but also provided an immersion experience that was unique and deeply personal.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

if you like art, architecture, history, then you'l

Recommended if interested in art, architecture, history. The organization of the program could be better, but it's OK. Also the living situation could be better. I'd recommend it.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review December 11, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, Jamie! We are excited to share that our new Homestay option (in place since 2014) has expanded our housing arrangement options. Our admin team has also implemented new processes this year to maximize efficiency and program organization, taking into consideration all of the student feedback given upon completion of the program.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Greece is amazing but the program had many...

Greece is amazing but the program had many annoying mandatory weekend-long fieldtrips.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review December 11, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, Alene! Our 3 mandatory fieldtrips (included in tuition) give students the chance to explore other parts of Greece and learn more about the nation's fascinating history and extraordinary culture. As of Fall 2015, some trips now incorporate different focuses (such as History

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

The experience was great, but the program...

The experience was great, but the program itself was rather unorganized and too large.



Some classes and professors were extremely good, others were rather mediocre. The best aspect of the program was its location in the middle of Athens, the access to sites + museums, and the opportunities to travel on your own.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review December 11, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, C! We are constantly improving our program organization, taking into account all of the comments and suggestions from students after they complete the program. While we have maintained a level of 120-140 students over the past few years (as of 2015), we do our best to provide individual support and guidance for each student, socially and academically. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed living in Athens!