Although Greece is bound to offer you unforgettable memories and some amazing experiences, it’s more than just a place for a nice holiday. Who says you can’t also enjoy the Mediterranean weather, the delicious and fresh seafood and charming beaches as a foreign student living in Greece?
One of the oldest nations in the world, with an extraordinary history and culture, Greece has several universities that welcome thousands of international students each year. In Greece, you have the amazing opportunity to study your favourite discipline, visit remarkable sites from Ancient times and enjoy the most laid-back atmosphere you can imagine.
Greek people are some of the most hospitable in the world; so even if you might encounter a cultural shock, the friendly environment will soon make you feel right at home.
Greek universities have a long history in academics and more and more international students have been enrolling in the past few years. University classes are not typically formal, so you can expect open debates between students and professors. Courses usually combine theoretical knowledge with research work, laboratories and internships.
What draws so many internationals in Greece are the low living costs, particularly for students and the lovely and diverse touristic attractions, from ancient archaeological sites to modern beach resorts.
Greece is known as the birthplace of democracy and the country had also had a major influence on early sciences such as mathematics and physics. Plus, many of the world’s best-known philosophers were known to teach around Ancient Athens: Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle – to name a few.
Due to this interesting legacy, you can’t go wrong if you choose to study history and philosophy, but you can also find many Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees specialising in fields like Archaeology, Finance, Communications, Economics, or Business Administration.
Here are some of the most popular study options in Greece
A large portion of Greek universities are located in the country’s biggest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki; but you can also find other universities in Glyfada, Herklion, Mytilini, and Volos.
In any student city you will choose, you will feel the relaxed atmosphere that everyone talks about in Greece. Major Greek cities are filled with cultural attractions, from old churches to castles and since all cities are surrounded by the sea, you can either enjoy walks on a beach or boat rides in your free time.
Check out some of these cities and learn more about what it is like to study there:
Higher education in Greece is divided as follows:
Greece has 24 universities (public and private) and 16 technological educational institutes.
Examples of top universities in Greece:
You have to submit all required application documents online through the Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs.
All of your documents must be translated into Greek and authenticated by a Greek diplomatic authority abroad or by the Translation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece.
You have to apply online and send all of the required application documents to your chosen university.
Carefully check all the required application documents, making sure they are all translated into Greek. For instance, an internationally recognised Bachelor's degree or equivalent is the main requirement for enrolling in a Master’s degree at a university in Greece.
Make sure to know what the language requirements are, and whether you need to prove skills in English before enrolling in a degree programme.
Show how you performed as a student, and be sure to know what your Grade Point Average (GPA) was during your studies.
To help your chances of going to Greece, be sure to apply to more than one university!
Take Preparation Courses: These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.
Improve your English through an English-language prep course: If you’re attending a degree programme in Greece, you will sometimes need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
There are over 500 English-taught programmes in Greece.
Universities in Greece will want to see proof that you have good English-language skills so that you can easily succeed in their courses. Almost all Greek universities accept these official English exams:
Within Greek universities, the class atmosphere is generally very relaxed and professors are very friendly, encouraging students to ask questions. You will be surrounded by international students, coming from all over the world, so you will enjoy a multicultural environment.
Generally, the class schedule is pretty busy, lectures start early in the morning and you would have to attend several lectures in a row. Practical exercises or laboratories always complement theoretical knowledge, regardless of your chosen study field.
In most university campuses, students frequently organise social activities like plays, painting exhibitions, or scientific lectures.
In most public universities in Greece, EU and EEA students can pursue both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees for free. The only exception are a few other Master’s degree programmes, in specialised fields, such as Business and Medicine.
Non-EU/EEA students are charged affordable tuition fees. On average, non-EU students pay a tuition fee of 1,500 EUR which also includes textbooks for the chosen courses and the university housing.
Being of the most affordable countries in Europe, you won’t spend a lot on accommodation in Greece. For instance, students with financial needs can often live in university residence halls for free.
If you choose to live in an apartment, the rent is between 200 and 300 EUR/month.
EU citizens have free access to most healthcare services provided by public hospitals in Greece with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Students coming from some non-EU countries might benefit from free medical care due to reciprocal agreements with Greece. If this is not the case, you will need to arrange private health insurance before your departure to Greece. However, most hospitals that accept foreign insurance are those in Athens or Thessaloniki.
Buying from local supermarkets would lead to food bills of around 200 EUR/month. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant is around 9 EUR, but you can also find cheap street food with around 3 – 4 EUR.
At some university canteens, you can have 3 free meals per day with a student card that costs only 20 EUR per the whole semester.
Greece is located in south-eastern Europe, on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. Greece lies at the meeting point of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years. Athens is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy.
Greece is a democratic country with an advanced economy; some of the most important sectors include trade, education, healthcare, real estate, transport, finance, public administration and hospitality services as the most important sectors.
Greek is the official language, but don’t worry! You shouldn’t encounter language barriers, as most young people in Greece speak English well.
While in Greece, you can learn about classical civilization, wander around ancient streets, witness the sites of “Colossus of Rhodes”, and soak in several monuments and archaeological sites from Byzantine churches, to unique villages and castles.
Some of the most popular attractions in Greece are: