CYA students live in self-contained apartments in residential apartment buildings in the Pangrati area of Athens. All apartments are a short walk (2 to 10 minutes) from the Academic Center.
The neighborhood of Pangrati is desirable for its central location, proximity to sites, monuments and museums, and access to the National Gardens and the wooded slopes of Lykavittos Hill. It is also within easy walking distance of grocery stores, cafes and restaurants, bakeries, dry-cleaning shops, banks, and other amenities, including a lively weekly outdoor "people's market" offering fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, and flowers.
There are generally only a few CYA apartments in any given apartment building. The advantage of these accommodations over typical student dormitories is that you will have more opportunity to interact with your Greek neighbors and generally live like Athenians do.
A typical apartment houses four or five students (in double and single rooms) and includes a common area, a kitchen (stocked with tableware and basic cooking equipment), bathroom, and balcony. Apartments are simply but fully furnished, with standard twin-sized beds, clima units (heating/cooling) in each bedroom and WiFi Internet access. In addition, each student has the use of a desk with a locking drawer. Although there is space to store clothing and personal belongings, storage space is limited and we therefore advise you not to overpack. CYA provides a pillow, two blankets, and a bedspread for each student and bed, but semester and full-year students must bring towels, sheets, and pillowcases.
Student housing is arranged by CYA and is included in the program fee. Accepted students should fill out the Housing Form as soon as possible; this form helps CYA staff match students with their roommates. While every effort is made to accommodate specific requests and placements, preferences cannot be guaranteed. CYA's priority is to accommodate you in a safe environment which is conducive to learning and cultural immersion. For these reasons, CYA reserves the right to alter or change accommodation at any time.
Student Housing Between Semesters Full-year students may remain in their CYA apartments at no extra cost between semesters (see Fees).
Homestays have been a trademark of CYA since its infancy. Thanks to the careful work of Nadia Meliniotis, our wonderful Executive Director of Student Affairs, they have been a huge success. The homestay experience is not simply an alternative to our CYA apartments; it is an enrichment of the study abroad experience, an immersion in Greek culture and the Greek family lifestyle, and an opportunity to develop life-long relationships and a second home halfway across the world.
Each semester, Nadia matches students who have indicated an interest in the program with a host family with complementary interests, lifestyles, or hobbies. Homestay accommodations depend on availability and on student profiles.
Semester program fees include a main midday meal on weekdays (Monday through Friday), except on overnight field trips and during holidays and recesses. CYA dining facilities are located on the ground floor of the Academic Center. The daily menu includes a vegetarian option, and special meals are prepared for those with dietary restrictions or allergies. On overnight field trips, breakfast is provided but not lunch.
Since CYA apartments are located in residential buildings, students live among Greek families. Apartment main entrance doors have safety locks. Emergency information is posted in each apartment near the door, and smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket are part of standard equipment in all apartments.
Program fees include housekeeping services for each apartment once every 8 to 10 days. Students are nevertheless expected to keep common areas clean and in good order.
** Summer students only: Linens (sheets and pillowcases, towels, blankets) are provided and laundered in conjunction with regular housekeeping services.
Students are responsible for laundering their own clothing, sheets, and towels. Washers and dryers are available at the Academic Center, and apartments are equipped with laundry lines for air-drying as well as irons and ironing boards.
Heat, electricity, and water are included in the program fee. However, students should be aware that Greeks are accustomed to conserving water and that North American homes would be considered overheated by Greek standards. Each apartment includes an electric water heater that must be switched on and off manually. More information on the safe use of the water heaters is included in the Student Handbook.
All CYA students are required to carry a mobile telephone with a Greek number. Students often find it easiest to arrange a phone plan once they arrive in Athens, and CYA makes every effort to assist them with these arrangements. Of course, you are also free to make phone plan arrangements independently before arrival or during orientation; just remember that the plan must include a Greek phone number.
You may either use a Greek SIM card with your own cell phone or obtain a new local mobile phone. If you plan to use your own smartphone with a Greek SIM card, your phone will need to be unlocked. This process depends on your US provider; some providers automatically unlock phones, but others require you to pay for your phone in full before it is unlocked. Contact your provider for details.
We know cell phone options in a new country can be confusing. If you have any questions (or even if you don’t think you do!), please see “Mobile Phone Tips” (in the “Greek Mobile Phone” section of the Accepted Student page) for an overview of your options and a list of helpful tips and apps. Student apartments are not equipped with telephones or wall jacks, so students who wish to place a "landline" call must use public pay phones or the student phone at the Academic Center. The Academic Center offers plentiful wall jacks, and there is Wi-Fi service throughout for laptop users as well as Internet access in the computer labs.
Living side-by-side with Greek neighbors and their families is one of the benefits of CYA student housing. It is important to be a good neighbor, however, and CYA students who are accustomed to dormitory or student-apartment-complex living may need to make some adjustments. Being a good neighbor means being aware of noise levels at all times as well as respecting Greek social customs, including greeting neighbors in hallways and elevators and respecting the traditional "quiet hours" set by law (2 pm until 5 pm and 11 pm until 7 am).