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If you’re thinking of studying in Greece, you’ll certainly be in good company -- after all, how many people can claim they studied in the same grounds where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle used to teach? Greece has a celebrated past as the home of philosophers, thinkers, historians, Greece , with six out of its 20 universities being ranked as among the best in the world last year.

Do you need a visa to study in Greece?

EU citizens can study freely in Greece. If you’re from a non-EU country and you’ve been accepted to a semester abroad or a full degree programme at a Greek university, you will need to acquire a student visa from the Greek embassy or consulate in your country. Apart from the standard documents (passport, photographs, etc.), you will need to submit an affidavit of sponsorship, some proof that you can support yourself financially, medical and police clearance, academic transcripts, language certificates and documents from the Greek University.

If you're looking for a visa that will allow you to work, this is poosible under the right circumstances. If you intend to spend more than a semester in Greece, you can apply for a permit that allows you to do some part-time work while you study, to support yourself financially. When you’ve finished with your studies however, this part-time work permit cannot be converted to the regular one, even if you find an employer to hire you full time.

Educational System, Institutions & Fees

The Greek educational system is divided into a primary, a secondary and a tertiary level, with an additional post-secondary level for vocational training (IEK). There are over 20 universities across the country, with the National Technical University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki being the most prestigious. Apart from these universities, there are also 15 Technological Educational Institutes (TEIs), offering higher education programs with a focus on subjects such as healthcare, applied technology, agriculture, design and management, as well as a School of Fine Arts. While all the undergraduate programs lessons are taught in Greek, there are some post-grad and masters programs taught in English, either fully or partially.

Undergraduate studies (BSc) in Greece usually take four years to complete, although some courses at TEIs and art schools can take longer. After graduation, there are two circles of study, with the first leading up to Postgraduate Studies (MSc) and the second one leading up to Doctoral Studies (PHd). There are no university fees for the undergraduate programs neither any cost for subscription, except for certain courses like MBAs. Books for undergraduate programs are also provided for free. Meals and housing might also be provided, depending on your country of origin and financial situation -- but in any case, you are entitled to free medical care and a reduced fare on public transport. Attending Greek language courses will not be free though, and you may be required to make a financial contribution (fixed by the state) to cover the operating expenses of the study programme you are currently attending.

How to enroll

First you’ll need to read the official announcement of the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs to make sure you meet all the requirements and gather all the documents mentioned there. Then, you’ll need to get an Apostille Convention stamp for all the documents (from the authorities of your country). You’ll also need to make sure that your country is a member of the Hague Convention, as degrees, certifications and certificates issued in countries outside of it, or in countries like Albania, Mongolia, Peru and Kyrgyzstan that Greece has objected to their contraction, need to be validated for the signature authenticity of the undersigned person by a Greek diplomatic authority abroad.

Once you’re done collecting your documents, get an official approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Greek embassy of your country and then get them translated in Greek (using the Translation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a lawyer certified for translations) and certify them in the embassy of your country in Greece. After you’re done, you can visit the website of Ministry of Education to submit your registration electronically during the enrollment season (usually in mid-July). Choose the departments you’re interested in, send all the documents to the address specified at the Ministry of Education website after the application and wait for the results. Usually the release date is around late August. Good luck!

 Useful links:

Study in Greece
National Technical University of Athens
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.