Housing: CYA students live in self-contained apartments in residential apartment buildings in the Kolonaki and Pangrati areas of Athens, which are situated a ten- to twenty-minute walk from the Academic Center. These neighborhoods are desirable for their central location, proximity to sites, monuments and museums, and access to the National Gardens and the wooded slopes of Lykavittos Hill. All students live 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 no more than a few CYA apartments within a given building. The advantage of these accommodations over typical student dormitories is that students have a greater opportunity to interact with their Greek neighbors and generally live like Athenians do. A typical apartment houses four or five students (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 air-conditioned bedrooms and WiFi Internet access. Although each student receives space to store clothing and personal belongings, storage is limited and students are advised not to over-pack. CYA provides a pillow, two blankets and a bedspread for each student. Semester and full-year students must bring towels, sheets and pillowcases. Beds are standard twin size. Program fees include housekeeping services for each apartment once every 8-10 days. Students are nevertheless expected to keep common areas clean and in good order. Students are responsible for laundering their own clothing, sheets, and towels. Washers and dryers are available at the Academic Center. Apartments are equipped with laundry lines for air-drying, irons, and ironing boards. Full-year students may remain in their CYA apartments at no extra cost between semesters.
Telephones: Each CYA student is required to carry a mobile phone with a Greek telephone number. CYA has contracted with PicCell Wireless to provide students with mobile phones. CYA encourages students to order their mobile phones prior to departing for Greece in order to have use of the telephone while traveling before and/or after the Program. Please visit www.piccellwireless.com/CYA for detailed information. Student apartments are not equipped with telephones or wall jacks, so students who wish to place a "land line" call must use public pay phones or the student phone at the Academic Center. The Academic Center offers plentiful wall jacks and wireless service throughout for laptop users, as well as Internet access in the computer labs.
Meals: Program fees include a main mid-day meal on weekdays (Monday through Friday), except on holidays and during recesses. Rollins College will also issue students a meal credit to cover the cost of other meals on site. On overnight field trips, breakfast is customarily served in lieu of lunch. CYA dining facilities are located on the ground floor of the Academic Center.
Orientation: Each semester begins with an orientation period during which students are introduced to CYA's facilities, services, staff, academic procedures and policies, and safety procedures and policies. Students also receive an orientation on the city of Athens and Greece in general. Numerous planned activities provide the opportunity to get to know fellow students, as well as faculty and staff. During this period, students meet individually with the Director of Student Affairs and schedule a meeting with the Director of Academic Affairs to discuss their program of studies.
Activities: CYA organizes a number of co- and extra-curricular activities for students, including:
The CYA staff encourages students to strike out on their own to explore and find outlets for their individual interests. Athens is a rich cultural environment with a wealth of things to do, from attending concerts in the Megaron Mousikis (Concert Hall) of Athens, to joining the Athens Singers or painting in an Athenian artist's studio, to volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Wondering how to keep up your flamenco lessons while you're here, looking for art supplies, or wondering where to go to hear jazz? Check in with the Student Affairs Office.
Although volunteering and community service projects are not as established or as widespread in Greece as they are in the U.S., the Student Affairs office makes every effort to locate opportunities for interested students. In the past, CYA student volunteers have found openings at the following organizations:
Cami Beekman http://blog.cyathens.org/1/1/posts/45/129 and Mary Neville http://blog.cyathens.org/1/1/posts/46/130, both in Athens currently during the fall 2012 semester, blog about their time abroad.