Postgraduate Study in Greece
Greece is located at the confluence of three different seas: the Ionian, the Aegean, and the Mediterranean, and is blessed with one the most temperate climates in Europe. Over half of the country's coastline is comprised of the Greek archipelago, where you can find the most iconic of tourist destinations, the Greek islands – including Corfu, Crete and Santorini. Known through the ages as the cradle of civilisation, Greece is the birthplace of western democracy, philosophy and science.Find courses in GREECE
While Greece has had its economic struggles in the recent past, primarily due to debt repayment issues, the European community has committed to aid packages, which is helping the economy to develop in strength. Formerly relying on agriculture to sustain its economy, tourism has become the country's leading industry, followed closely by shipping. Greece currently has the largest economy in the Balkan region, an indication of its economic growth. In spite of its financial woes, Greece has a strong democratic government, a high income level, and a high standard of living. In 2004 the Olympic Games returned to Greece, and in spite of dire predictions, it was generally considered a financial success. The country's population now stands at approximately 11 million, with the majority living in the city of Athens.
Greece: Greek Universities and Education
The concept of higher education originated in ancient Greece, and for this reason it remains a popular place for foreign students to further their studies. The Greek education system is overseen by the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, and is divided into two streams: Universities and Technological Education Institutions.
The International Hellenic University is the first state school in Greece to offer postgraduate programs presented exclusively in English. Located in the university town of Thessaloniki, it employs staff from 14 countries, and accepts students from all over the world. All of their degrees are recognised by the European Union and internationally. It offers degrees in Art and Humanities, Science and Technology, as well as Economics and Business Administration. Additionally, there is an Executive MBA program. There are other schools offering English-taught courses, such as the American College of Greece, but some careful research should be done to ascertain where these programs will be recognised.
Foreign students may be eligible for certain Higher Education programs on the condition that neither they nor their parents are Greek nationals or hold Greek citizenship. These students must then submit their documents plus an entry application to their desired faculty or department. Once accepted, the candidate must present a certificate indicating their command of the Greek language; or as an alternative, a third level minimum certificate from the Greek Language Centre of Thelassoniki. Without any certificate, the student will have to wait until the next admission year, with the condition of obtaining one of the certificates.
Greece: University Tuition Fees and Funding
The government of Greece decrees that all education should be public, and therefore no tuition fees are charged at undergraduate level, with the exception of the Hellenic Open University, which provides distance education. However, some postgraduate programs require tuition fees to be paid, and since that is primarily what we are discussing here, it's a good idea to make sure what the specifics are of the program you are considering and ensure you have the funding to cover it.
Financial aid may be available for students studying in a city where they do not live (although this is usually reserved for residents of developing countries) and all students are entitled to free healthcare for the duration of their studies.
Living as a Student in Greece
The cost of living in Greece is relatively low compared to the rest of Europe, and you can generally find a one-room apartment for around €250 and monthly living expenses run at less than €700. Housing options range from on-campus housing to a single apartment if you want to mix with the locals a bit more. It's important to remember that if you plan to work while you study, you must obtain a work visa.
Living in the country where academia first began offers countless opportunities for cultural and leisure activities. Museums, plays, and musical offerings abound, and there are many beautiful historic monuments to explore. If you're a stressed-out student, you have any number of cafes, clubs, and night spots – known as bouzoukia – where you can kick back and relax with new-found friends.
University clubs and student groups often arrange trips to a beach or local resort, particularly after exam periods, and one of the advantages of studying in Greece is the student card issued to anyone studying in Greece. This will give you lower-cost fares on transportation as well as a reduction on theatre tickets and such.
Greece: Student Visas and Immigration
All citizens of countries that are part of the EU may enter Greece for a stay of up to 90 days. If you plan to stay longer, a visa is required, which involves obtaining the following documents:
Health certificate declaring the bearer is free of communicable disease
Certificate declaring the bearer has no criminal record
Four colour passport photos
Photocopy of passport
Declaration form signed by applicant
Declaration form signed by parent/guardian
The university will then mail you a letter of acceptance, which you can take to the Greek embassy, who will grant you a student visa. This will typically last for six months. If you wish to stay longer, a medical exam will allow you to stay up to five years.
Greek Minds that Inspire
The first signs of civilisation in Greece can be traced as far back as 11,000 BC, known as the Palaeolithic Age; this was followed by the Bronze Age, a time when some of the most advanced peoples flourished, namely the Minoans and the Aegeans. The Classical Age, or Golden Age, came shortly after, and this was the time that some of the finest philosophers, mathematicians and artists emerged, leaving amazing legacies such as the Parthenon, the Knossos archaeological site, and Delphi, home of the Oracle of Apollo.
Phythagoras, who developed the Pythagorean Theorem; Socrates, the great philosopher who declared that "an unexamined life is one not worth living"; Plato, the greatest philosopher of all time. What do these people have in common? They are some of the greatest minds in history, and they are all Greek.