College Year in Athens (CYA)

Language of Instruction: English, Greek
Term: Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Study abroad program that focuses on Greece and the world of the Eastern Mediterranean

The next application deadline is Oct 1, 2021
See other program dates


College Year in Athens (CYA) is offered during the fall, spring, and academic year. The program allows students to delve into Greek history, politics and culture throughout the ages.


College Year in Athens is an independent study abroad program that focuses on Greece and the world of the Eastern Mediterranean. The language of instruction is English, and the majority of students come from North America. The curriculum is designed to make the culture and history of Greece and its neighbors accessible to every student. The program of studies originally focused on the contributions of Archaic and Classical Greece to Western Civilization although, over time, the historical range was expanded to include courses from prehistoric to modern times.

Recognizing that an understanding of ancient and contemporary Greece must include the role of the country within the greater geopolitical region, College Year in Athens has broadened its offerings further to include a set of courses of East Mediterranean Area Studies. The College Year in Athens experience is designed to guide students to a greater understanding and appreciation of ancient, medieval and modern Greece and the surrounding region. The program of studies juxtaposes the history and contributions of ancient Greece with the Greece of today: a country situated at the confluence of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, partaking of the culture of her neighbors to the north, east and south, and bound to them by history and geography. The curriculum is comprised of courses which can be taught most effectively in Greece, and study trips to various locations of Greece are integrated throughout the curriculum.

Program Features

From the start, the academic aim of College Year in Athens has been to enable students to come to grips with their subject matter in ways that are unavailable in other locations and contexts. Guided by the philosophy that the engagement of the senses is essential to learning, the program of studies emphasizes in-the-field instruction and direct contact, wherever possible, with the sites, monuments, landscape and works of art hitherto relegated to the lecture hall or library. This special type of on-site teaching has exposed thousands of students to the marvels of ancient Greek art, history and architecture, bringing them into the Minoan palaces, the citadels of the Mycenaean world, the temples and stadia of the Greek sanctuaries, the tombs of Ancient Macedonia, as well as museums all over Greece. The city of Athens, with its libraries, museums, and monuments, is a living laboratory for research.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

· To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.

  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies
Language of Instruction:
Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 1, 2021