Pre-departure Preparations

Before They Leave Home

The following is a list of essential information to help parents prepare their student for study abroad.


Studying abroad can be a defining period in your student’s educational experience - it will transform their perspectives on the global environment and contribute significantly to their personal growth and goals for the future. However, you - and your student - may have a wide range of feelings about this upcoming experience, from excitement about its potential to stress at the idea of being far apart and dealing with a new culture.
Encouraging independence before your student departs to go abroad will make it easier for them to thrive once they are actually in their new country. Before they depart, be sure to discuss both of your expectations of them while they are abroad, and encourage them to take advantage of our on-site staff for any questions or concerns they may encounter once in Greece. Your student may need or ask for help in preparing for their studies abroad. Instead of offering to do something for them (filling out paperwork, calling our office, etc.), you can empower them by encouraging them to do the research they need to complete the task themselves.
Students will need to obtain a passport (valid for 3 months past the end of the program) and a Greek visa if they are a semester/year student. Summer students do not need a visa unless they are planning to stay in Greece longer than 90 days. Students should also prepare a copy of any medical prescriptions they are currently on.
CYA’s North American Office will be in touch with your student at each step of the pre-departure process to ensure they submit everything necessary. Each student must submit all of CYA’s forms, a signed participation agreement, and payment for program fees. For semester/year students, they must also submit an application for an ISIC (International Student ID Card) and attend a visa webinar.
CYA’s North American Office will be in touch with all students about arrival dates and how to book flights after they are accepted into the program. Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to Greece. Before purchasing a ticket, we recommend looking into student travel agencies, discount airfare websites and search engines, and the airlines themselves. Remember to ask about student rates. Once a flight has been booked, your student must submit a Flight Information Form (found in their Accepted Student website) to notify CYA of their arrival date and flight information.
In an effort to enhance student safety and security, each CYA student is required to carry a mobile telephone with a Greek phone number.

Students who currently carry GSM mobile phones with international capability can use their mobile phone in Greece once the phone is ‘unlocked’ by purchasing a Greek SIM card. Contact your mobile phone service provider to confirm that your phone has international capability ant that it is "unlocked".

Greek SIM cards are available for purchase in Athens. With a Greek SIM card, incoming calls from anywhere in the world are free of charge to the student while the student and telephone are (physically) in Greece.
A good practice is to make a data file by gathering all of the information you and your student might need while they are away. A few suggestions include:
  • contact information for your student at CYA
  • contact information for the study abroad office at the home institution
  • doctors who have treated your student in the past
  • the citizen assistance section of the Greek embassy or consulate nearest you
  • the U.S. State Dept. Office of Overseas Citizen Services
  • insurance policy numbers and how to submit claims
  • your student’s credit card numbers
  • your student’s passport number
  • a duplicate lost passport kit containing: two passport photos, an official copy of their birth certificate, a photocopy of the passport photo, signature, and visa pages
  • the CYA pre-departure information and calendar
  • ISIC (International Student ID Card) issued by CYA prior to departure