Samantha Hines
Student Ambassador

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

Dear Samantha Hines, 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?

Academically, it’s wonderful being able to take classes that my home school doesn’t offer- and also being able to explore the places we’re learning about! Personally, studying abroad forces a certain kind of independence that I had never been able to experience back at my home school. It made me more comfortable navigating places around the world. Especially being in a place where most people speak Greek, I gained confidence in navigating a foreign-language environment. I think the experience will definitely shape my life trajectory from now on!

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

I wish I had felt more comfortable starting conversations with people I met- at CYA and just with Greeks in general. So many people are super willing to talk and chat with you, and it’s never as intimidating as you think it will be. You’ll learn so much more about Athens and Greece than you ever could be taught in a classroom!

How was the political climate in Greece different from what are you used to? If applicable, describe a time when you had to navigate a political conversation during your time abroad.

Most of the political conversations I ended up in were about the police. Because of COVID and other things, police presence was much more frequent than I was used to and I was a bit intimidating at first. There were also quite a few protests about police presence in schools going on while I was in Greece. That’s another situation where my gender and sexuality anthropology course and professor came in handy. We spoke regularly about conflicts occurring or things that confused us and she gave us extremely helpful insight into the nuances of the issues.

Miss Samantha Hines 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
Mental health while abroad

Favorite food in Greece?

Skordalia! (A garlic dip)

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Gender & Sexuality in Modern Greece! It was such a refreshing class to pair with my history-focused courses and helped me to navigate modern Greek culture.

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