Orientation & Acculturation

Each semester begins with an orientation period during which you are introduced to CYA’s facilities, services, staff, academic and safety procedures and policies, your new neighborhood and Athens. During orientation week numerous activities are organized to provide opportunities to get to know your fellow students, as well as faculty and staff.

During this period, you will meet individually with the Director of Student Affairs and can schedule a meeting with the Director of Academic Affairs to discuss your program of studies.

Adjust to Life in Greece

Orientation and acculturation assists with your adjustment into life in Greece. Our program offers you the opportunity to acquire a broader perspective of the world and an understanding of a very diverse, fascinating, and proud culture. Making the adjustment to Greek ways of life and attempting to learn the language can be simultaneously exciting, stressful, challenging, frustrating, and fun. Ultimately, participating in another culture and learning to live and study in an unfamiliar environment requires patience, flexibility, an open mind, and equal doses of humor and courage.

Embrace the Unfamiliar

Most students report that participating in the CYA program was one of the most important learning experiences of their lives, however, they recognize that the experience, although unforgettable, was not always easy-either academically or personally. The greatest achievement of the year is often described as learning to cope with different sets of attitudes, values, and beliefs; to see through European rather than American eyes; and to endure and accept the unfamiliar.
We ensure a successful and safe stay for each student by fostering an atmosphere of open communication between students and staff while encouraging independence and a positive approach to cultural differences.

Part of going abroad is pushing yourself to get out of your comfort zone, so we provide the resources to make sure you can articulate your experience and feel supported throughout the semester.

Katie Sievers - Associate Director of Campus Relations

Your 'go-to' Guide

The CYA Student Handbook which you will receive upon arrival, contains a wealth of information about our program and policies, health, traveling, housing, safety and security. There is also a section on living in Athens - shopping, laundry, phones, banking, religion, culture, leisure and entertainment suggestions and getting out and about.