Anna Gibbons
Student Ambassador

School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Cya Term: Spring 2021

Miss Anna Gibbons, based on your experience with CYA, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester or summer abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?

The people and professors that I met through CYA have significantly impacted my personal and academic development. CYA is a diverse program that reaches so many different kinds of people in the United States and beyond. When I came to Greece I knew no one, but by the end of the semester, I gained some of my lifelong friends.

It is incredible that in such a short time CYA fosters such a caring and supportive environment. In a similar way, I was challenged and encouraged by my professors. I knew that they really cared about me and my well-being over the assignments or class material. Through CYA I have a better understanding and appreciation of my career path. I also have a new support system to help me reach my goals.

I know that every one of my professors is rooting for me and will aid me in any way they can to see my future success. Academically, I was re-energized to continue my education and I have been able to develop better-fitting life goals. I look forward to working with my CYA professors and peers in the future.

What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in or planning to study abroad with CYA, miss Anna Gibbons?

My advice to a prospective student at CYA is to have an open mind and to put things into perspective before traveling. Not every student that comes to CYA and to Greece is a classics major or knows a lot about Ancient Greece, but in order to have the best experience while here, you have to be open to learning. Before I came to CYA I had very little knowledge about Greek history or anything related, but because I was willing to learn and be engaged with my professors I was able to leave gaining so much new and interesting information.

Having an open mind gave me so many opportunities to meet new people and get to know Athens in such a special way. That leads me to say do not be afraid of wandering or doing things by yourself. Athens is a safe city and some of my fondest memories come from strolling in Plaka for hours just seeing different views of the city and experiencing the everyday life of Athenians. Finally, say yes to most experiences. You are only here for a short time and it goes by so fast. So, when someone invites you on a walk or to dinner, go. The homework will get done and you don't want to regret missing an experience.

Miss Anna Gibbons, please select any of the following that apply to you, and that you would be willing to share about your CYA experience with other students:

Finances while abroad
STEM major

Dear Anna Gibbons, briefly describe a cultural experience you had that was significant to you in any way.

I was able to go to the Acropolis the first day it reopened after the COVID-19 lockdown and my friends from CYA Lauren, Caroline, and we were some of the only people on the site. It was breathtaking and incredible to see the site with almost no interruption by tourists. While COVID-19 took a lot of things away from our semester it also allowed us to see Athens in a more special and personal way.

Favorite food in Greece?

Stuffed peppers and tomatoes (Gemista)

Favorite class you took at CYA?

PSCI 384 The European Governance of Migration

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