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CYA (College Year in Athens)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    2

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

CYA review

I enjoyed my experience abroad immensely and could rave all day about how awesome my classes were, how amazing it was to be on site every day, and the types of bonds I formed with my classmates. I would rate this aspect of my experience as a 10/10. I was however consistently disappointed by the administration. I think Jennifer at the front desk is amazing and deserves a raise and all the praise in the world. On the other hand, I had many negative experiences with the other members of the administration and was appalled at how they went about handling certain issues. The airport strike and subsequent email from CYA was greatly mismanaged; there were personal events that occurred for some of my classmates in which I was shocked at how CYA responded--often with neglect or complete misunderstanding. For another friend, the registrar was not up front about her course credit and it wasn't until the last week of the program that she found out that she would actually get credit for her classes (that's an entire semester of stress that she went through for no reason other then the registrar refused to communicate with her home institution until the president interceded. I will always have tons of positive experiences with CYA, but I really feel that the administration let all of us down.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

What CYA taught me

CYA taught me some valuable lessons on meeting people with different perspectives, being confident in myself, and really just appreciating where my life has taken me. This past semester was an incredible journey and coming from Texas, I met people who may not have seen things eye to eye with me, but I was able to learn from them and develop my own ideas from them. Being in a foreign country not knowing anyone before hand, you have to go out of your way to try and meet new people. I was always afraid of putting myself out there, but I tried and the friends I made and the things I got to experience were well worth it. Being able to travel all over Greece and seeing so many different regions really made me appreciate what CYA was giving me the opportunity to do; without CYA I never would have known that there could be such mountainous terrains in Greece and not just islands. I was so lucky to have had this experience and I want to continue being able to appreciate life in the United States and find the beauty I did in Greece back home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Athens is an awesome city

I had a great experience with CYA! I really enjoyed the area of Athens as well as all the students in my program. Classes were interesting but not an overwhelming amount of work. Apartments were good.

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 04, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Thank you so much for your feedback! We are elated to hear you had such a meaningful experience in Greece with 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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 04, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, Kyra! We are so glad to hear you had such a positive experience with the program, those who are a part of it, and Athens as a whole!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review October 31, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, Cole! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed the program!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review October 31, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your time with CYA!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review October 31, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Thank you for such positive feedback! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your time with CYA and gained so much from the program!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review October 31, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, Pyates! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the program and had an especially great time on the trips!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 04, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Thank you for your feedback, Thomas! We are so glad that you had such a positive experience with the CYA structure and administration!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 04, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed the program!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review October 31, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you had such a positive experience with the program!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 08, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Thank you for your feedback! It is wonderful to hear how much you love Greece; we agree, it is a spectacular place! We hope future students will keep in mind that the academic experience may vary depending on what the students are used to at their home institutions and which classes (and how many classes) students are taking while at CYA; we pride ourselves on the depth and range of our curriculum!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 08, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    Thank you for your feedback! While students do have to be more intentional about meeting neighbors and local students, we have recently added a "language lab" component to engage local university students, and we hope our students will take advantage of the many extracurricular engagement opportunities provided through our Student Affairs office!

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

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    6

CYA is a natural choice for Classics majors

I am a Classics (Latin + Ancient Greek) major at Brown University. I am glad that I chose to study abroad at CYA during fall 2016. I had an excellent instructor (John Raish) for two small advanced translation seminars--Catullus on Mondays and Wednesdays, Thucydides on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The workload was manageable but nevertheless we read quite a bit and learned a LOT! I also took accelerated beginning Modern Greek and a philosophy course which focused on the works of Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes but also included works by Kierkegaard, Foucault, and modern Tanner Lecturers. I had a homestay in Neo Iraklio about 11 kilometres north of Athens, which I enjoyed very much. I ran the Athens Marathon (the "original marathon") in November. The race finishes in the marble stadium constructed in 1896 for the first modern Olympic Games. This stadium also happens to be right next door to the CYA building!! The CYA student lounge has a spectacular view of the Acropolis, which is only about 2 kilometres away. CYA has catered lunches Monday - Friday prepared according to traditional Greek recipes by local women. Students may sign up for a vegetarian option at no extra charge. The CYA administrative team (especially Nadia) is friendly and accessible. One word of warning: pickpockets are cruelly efficient in Athens. Otherwise the city is quite safe. The cost of living in the city is low by US standards. CYA has a Monday - Thursday academic schedule to better facilitate student travel on Friday - Sunday.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    7

Some quick stuff on CYA

I had a good experience. While the academics weren't amazing, the classes tended to at least be somewhat interesting, the archaeology and art ones that involved Greek stuff of course being the better ones. The administration was helpful sometimes and dropped the ball at other times. When I needed to switch an apartment because of a serious roommate issue, they helped me out. They also helped students find ways to acclimate to life in Athens and emailed us about stuff to do. Unfortunately, when a student experienced sexual assault, their response was very lacking. It could of been worse I suppose but they weren't very sensitive, that's why I rated the health and safety a "5".

I had a good experience based on my own initiative. If you don't strike out on your own and find cool stuff you will not have the best time, but that could apply to many programs. Another thing some of my female classmates noticed was the old fashioned, slightly sexist way the administration interacted with female students in general, i.e suggesting one student was depressed because she needed a boyfriend. It's also interesting that all the women of color in my semester were put together in one dorm, which happened to be the shittiest one? Again, not horrible issues but weird management things.

Overall I liked the experience and had a good time but would suggest independence and an adventurous spirit if you want to make the most of your experience. And don't expect a whole lot from the academics, but that may have just been my experience.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

A dream away from reality

My time at CYA went by quickly and blissfully, as if it were a dream that I didn't want to wake up from. The weekends flew by, some dominated by engaging and exciting school field trips and others by independent travel. During the times that I was actually in Athens I felt at home. The staff was personable, relatable, and caring. I felt surrounded by people who were excited to see me learn and grow, wanting to teach me everything that they could, making sure that we made the most out of our experience abroad. I always felt safe and welcomed in our community of students. Though the apartments could use a few updates, their location and layout are convenient and perfect for the student studying abroad. They are placed in a good neighborhood, close to school, and only a 20 minute walk away from the most important sites in Athens. I highly recommend this program to anyone that is interested.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    8

CYA review

I found College Year in Athens to be a very good study abroad program. The living arrangements were very nice, and the academics were quite good, but still in lacking in some areas, which was slightly disappointing.

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 08, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad you enjoyed studying in Athens and had a great academic experience. The administrative team does their best to provide full support for all of our students and provide regulations to keep our students safe. We hope you will come back to visit!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    2

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    7

Excellent academics & study trips

CYA's professors were my favorite part of the program. They were all well knowledge and engaging. Tips if you choose this program: GET INVOLVED IN AN EXTRACURRICULAR BESIDES SCHOOL AND SOCIAL LIFE, it will make the experience much more meaningful and you're much more likely to meet Greeks that way. Also travel in Greece as much as you can, and the optional trips are a GREAT way to do that. Some of my favorite memories in general are from those trips. Eat out as much as you can - food is cheap and you'll get out of your apartment.

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!

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 08, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you had such a positive experience in Athens and with CYA--we can't wait for you to come back and visit!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 08, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks for your feedback, Amanda! Our constantly expanding Contemporary Studies curriculum (including courses in International Relations, Political Science, and Economics, to name a few) is a great option for students who, like you, have no background in Classics. We hope you still enjoyed the courses you took and were able to explore the city through on-site aspects that really bring the historical themes to life!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review November 08, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you had such a valuable academic experience; we are very proud of the stellar caliber of our faculty, and our curriculum is continually expanding. We provide the maid service as a benefit and welcome students' feedback or preference, as we want to make sure students feel comfortable! We also hope our students take advantage of the on-site staff psychological support (in addition to the therapist) and engagement opportunities offered through our Student Affairs office; we can help our students arrange anything they are interested in while they are in Athens!

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.

  • College Year in Athens responded to this review October 31, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your time with CYA and gained so much from the program!