Would you like to study in Greece, the home of academia (or, in Ancient Greek, Akadma)? This Mediterranean country is widely regarded as the intellectual cradle of modern Western culture, owing a large number of its linguistic, philosophical, cultural, legal, social, and ethical beliefs and systems to it. Individualism, liberty, democracy, and government all have their origins in Ancient Greece’s great thinkers, whose works are still widely read and debated today. Before we discuss universities in Greece, we’ll discuss the university application process and the cost of living in the country.
Applying to study in Greece
To apply for undergraduate studies at universities in Greece, you must submit your application in July through the Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs. All documents must be translated into Greek and authenticated by the Hellenic Ministry and your nearest Greek embassy. If you wish to pursue postgraduate studies, you may submit all required documentation directly to the institution of your choice.
While Greece is not a signatory to the Lisbon convention (which seeks to ensure that students’ qualifications are recognized throughout Europe), it is still possible to apply to Greek universities using a certificate demonstrating successful completion of secondary education in your home country. Additionally, depending on the language in which your course will be taught, you may be required to provide proof of proficiency in Greek or another language. Depending on the field of study and the institution, certain programs may have additional requirements.
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Visas to Study in Greece
European Union citizens will be relieved to learn that they do not require a visa to study in Greece. However, if you are from a non-EU country, you must obtain a student visa (type D) from the Greek embassy or consulate in your country of origin. To do so, you must first obtain an official acceptance letter from your chosen university in Greece, which must be a Greek Ministry of Education-accredited institution.
For a detailed list of the documents required for a student visa and information on how to submit your application, contact the Greek Embassy in your country or visit the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. You will be required to appear in person for an interview in order to obtain your visa.
All students, EU and non-EU alike, must demonstrate that they have health insurance, sufficient funds to support themselves during their anticipated stay, and a valid passport.
Fees and Funding
At the undergraduate level, universities in Greece do not charge tuition to domestic students. Due to Greece’s European Union membership, this also applies to all students from EU/EEA countries enrolled in public universities and colleges. Certain master’s programs do charge tuition, and non-EU/EEA students will also be required to pay tuition at the bachelor’s level. These vary by institution but are typically around €1,500 (US$1,680) per year and frequently include course textbooks.
Students will also be pleased to learn that Greece has some of the lowest living costs in Europe (although this is largely due to the country’s recent economic difficulties). As expected, living in a large city is more expensive, but you should only need about US$8,400 per year.
One of the most compelling reasons to study abroad in Greece is the country’s relatively low tuition fees. Did you know that European students do not have to pay tuition at Greek public universities? Additionally, some free Master’s programs are available to European students. However, depending on the discipline and duration of the studies, many Master’s degrees in Greece charge tuition fees. Tuition fees for medical and business master’s degrees are also common for European students.
International students from outside Europe are expected to pay around 1500 euros per year for undergraduate studies at Greek universities, which includes course books. Tuition fees for Master’s studies at public universities can range between 1500 and 2000 euros per academic year/semester.
The cost of studying in private institutions or colleges is significantly higher for both European and non-European nationals, and can reach up to 10,000 Euros or more per year. Visit the university’s website to determine the exact tuition fees and additional information.
If you’re interested in applying for a scholarship in Greece, IKY, the Greek State Scholarship Foundation, offers numerous opportunities at all academic levels.
They also offer courses in Greek language and culture to foreign nationals who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a non-Greek university. IKY offers a variety of scholarships in a variety of fields and collaborates with a variety of organizations, including the European Union, Siemens, the Greek National Bank, and CERN.
The number of scholarships is limited, and all applicants must meet specific criteria, which vary by study area and country of origin. The competition for a Greek scholarship is fierce, so visit the official IKY website as well as the website of the university of your choice and submit your application today!
Housing and Living Expenses
Greece’s cost of living is quite reasonable in comparison to other European countries. In terms of student housing, not all institutions offer it, and if they do, there are a slew of requirements that must be met in order to obtain one. The majority of Greek student dormitories are concentrated in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra, Larisa, and Heraklion.
Consider that in the largest cities, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost between 250 and 450 euros, while an apartment outside the city center will cost between 200 and 350 euros. The cost of living is even lower in smaller cities, including renting a student apartment. Monthly utility costs for gas, electricity, and heating range between 50 and 100 euros, while an internet connection for students costs around 25 euros.
Monthly transportation cards for buses and the metro are available in the larger cities and are quite affordable, costing around 30 euros per month. If you are a student, you can even pay less; however, you must present your student ID to qualify for the discount. In total, your monthly expenses would range between 600 and 750 euros, including rent, making Greece an excellent choice for studies due to its affordable cost of living.
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Make a plan and consider the range of your monthly and annual budgets before deciding on a desirable study destination. It will assist you in maintaining organization and determining which options truly meet your criteria. With so much rich history to discover, beautiful beaches and buzzing “party islands,” stunning countryside, and nearly year-round sunshine, it’s unsurprising that tourism is one of Greece’s largest industries. A friendly and welcoming country with an outward-looking mentality and a high level of English proficiency, particularly in the cities, it’s also an attractive study destination for those seeking a sunny and inspiring environment.
Underneath the iconic Acropolis – the internationally recognizable ancient site that continues to dominate the Athens skyline – the Greek capital hums with activity as one of Europe’s busiest cities. Its greater metropolitan area is home to approximately 3.75 million people, a sizable portion of the country’s total population of approximately 11 million. Athens is also one of the world’s oldest cities, having been inhabited continuously for at least 7,000 years, and it continues to be one of the world’s most important archaeological and cultural centers.
While Athens is still known for its frequently chaotic traffic, the city now has one of Europe’s largest pedestrian zones, which encompasses a large portion of the historic center, and has benefited from a new wave of stylish shops, restaurants, and hotels in recent years. This all adds up to an exciting and eclectic student experience, ranging from historic sites to modern bars, vibrant nightlife to leisurely coffees.
Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, serves as the administrative capital of Macedonia. Located on the country’s north-eastern coast, it has a long history (dating back 2,300 years) as a major commercial, economic, and cultural center, and has risen to prominence in recent years as a top choice for travelers. Thessaloniki was once co-reigning with Constantinople as the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, leaving a legacy of historic Byzantine buildings and structures. The city is now known for its thriving cultural scene, café culture, and nightlife. It is home to Greece’s National Theatre.
Heraklion is the administrative capital of the Greek island of Crete (the largest of the Greek islands). It is also the country’s fourth largest city. As would be expected of any major Greek city, Heraklion (alternatively spelled Iraklio) has a long and interesting history. Established by the Saracens in 824, the city has been occupied by a variety of different civilizations and empires before being annexed by Greece in 1913 along with the rest of Crete. It combines a rich and diverse cultural heritage with a new urban polish, and as a major hub for Cretan nightlife, commerce, and cuisine, it is popular with tourists and international students alike.
List of Universities in Greece
In Greece, there are slightly more than 20 universities spread across the country and all of them are public. While instruction is primarily in Greek, specialized study programs in other languages (most frequently English) are also available at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These universities are supplemented by 15 Technological Educational Institutes (TEIs), which provide higher education programs focused on practical and professional skills in fields such as applied technology, healthcare, agriculture, management, and art and design.
National Technical University of Athens
The National Technical University of Athens (or NTUA) was founded in 1837 and is one of the country’s oldest universities. Today, it enrolls approximately 23,900 students, the majority of whom are enrolled in five-year programs leading to a diploma equivalent to a Master of Engineering or Science. Its nine academic schools (faculties) offer programs in a variety of engineering disciplines, as well as architecture, applied mathematics, and physics. While instruction is conducted in Greek, students participating in the Erasmus exchange program complete projects in English. NTUA has several campuses, all of which are located in Athens, the vibrant and historic capital of Greece.
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
This is the largest in Greece and one of the largest in southeast Europe. Its sprawling main campus is located in the heart of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city and a popular tourist destination. The institution was founded in 1925 and is variously referred to as Aristotle University, the University of Thessaloniki, or AUTH. It is named after the famed philosopher Aristotle, who was born close to the city. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a wide variety of subjects, with the majority of courses taught in Greek.
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Often abbreviated as the University of Athens, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was founded in 1837, making it the country’s oldest university. It currently enrolls approximately 125,000 students and offers programs in a variety of disciplines, including law, languages, health sciences, philosophy, political science, and natural sciences. The university is divided into four main campuses, each located in a different area of Athens.
National Technical University of Athens
University of Crete
University of Ioannina
University of Patras
University of Thessaly
University of Piraeus
Are Greek universities of high quality?
Universities in Greece are highly regarded and renowned in the academic and educational communities, and they continue to offer prestigious Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Ph. D programs to intelligent, motivated adventurers.
Is it possible for me to work and study in Greece?
If you are a citizen of Iceland, an EU member state, Norway, Lichtenstein, or Switzerland and do not have a work permit, you may continue working in Greece; however, if you are a citizen of any other country, you must have a work permit. Students from EU member countries do not require a visa to study in Greece. Most universities in Greece will assist students with the visa process.