Samantha Jewell
Student Ambassador

School: University of California, Irvine
Cya Term: Spring 2021

Dear Samantha Jewell, 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, learning new teaching styles from professors in Greece was such an interesting experience. At my home school, professors and faculty are slightly more stoic and rigid; while at CYA, the professors engaged us into the material more and approached the material in new ways I hadn't thought of. Academia doesn't exist in a vacuum, and I appreciate how CYA's faculty utilizes on-site classes and other forms of class engagement to enhance our experience. Additionally, I personally became a better traveler in general while studying at CYA.

Due to Covid, there wasn't much to do in Athens because we couldn't travel far and sites were closed. However, this gave me the chance to go on long walks with my roommates, and we just took in the city. I found a real appreciation for the beauty of city life and was able to find my way around Pangrati and Plaka within a month or so. Taking this experience outside Greece, whenever I travel somewhere for tourism, I'll make sure to give myself a whole day to just walk around and look at stuff. I don't need to buy things or have a set plan, I just need to take in the city and appreciate the culture.

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

Similar to my last response, by advice would be to just walk around for a couple of hours every so often to just feel the city. You don't need a plan, just pick a direction to go in and start walking around. Stop at a coffee shop if you feel like it; or if you end up at the Acropolis, go and see the Parthenon. The point is to just explore and immerse yourself in the city.

There is beauty in seeing people go through their everyday lives, and you can learn more about yourself when you let your mind and feet wander. While you are in Greece to study and have a fun abroad experience, I think you should make a conscious effort to connect yourself with the city in some way, shape, or form.

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:

LGBTQ student
Finances while abroad
Mental health while abroad

Favorite food in Greece?

Tzatziki! (with pita, cucumbers, french fries, etc.)

Favorite class you took at CYA?

PSCI 384: The European Governance of Migration and CLAG 102: Beginning Ancient Greek II

Favorite quote from abroad?

"My feet have been everywhere but my mind had not." - I'm not sure what I was talking about when I said this, but I like to see it as an encouragement to appreciate the day to day life and to make an effort to mentally connect with the culture around me while abroad

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