9 Reasons to Study Abroad in Greece
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Few college experiences provide more opportunities for personal growth and enlightenment than studying abroad. Top colleges offer programs on every inhabited continent. With so many choices to consider, it's easy to overlook studying abroad in Greece, the birthplace of Western civilization.
Is Greece a good place to study abroad? Yes! This article highlights how to study abroad in Greece and tips on how to make the most of your experience.
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Learn more about this fascinating country with fantastic weather, a welcoming population, and a rich history.
1. You Get to Experience Greek Culture
Your education in Greek culture does not end when you leave the classroom. Dinners with your host family can teach you more than a class ever could. You can experience firsthand the laid-back Greek lifestyle and social interdependence — and even make it part of your own lifestyle.
You can also travel time throughout Greece. The ancient temples and amphitheaters dotting the countryside reveal the nation's architectural and cultural impact on Western society.
These cultural experiences can make you feel like a changed person upon returning home.
2. There Are Plenty of Programs to Choose From
Your first step in turning excitement about studying abroad into lifelong memories involves researching colleges with top study abroad programs. These schools feature dozens of unique opportunities lasting 1-6 months and provide excellent support services.
Many schools have programs in Athens. Visiting your college's study abroad office to learn about how to study abroad in Greece. If you speak Greek, you may also be able to enroll directly in a Greek university.
3. You'll Receive a High-Quality Education
Your time in the classroom brings you closer to Greek history, language, and culture. Top programs feature coursework in Aegean prehistory, intermediate Greek, and crisis in Greece and Europe. These classes will raise your appreciation for the country and its people.
Depending on your major, classes you take during your study abroad in Greece can be applied toward your graduation requirements.
4. You Can Learn Greek in an Immersive Environment
Feeling embarrassed about your language skills should not stop you from improving your Greek while studying abroad. Students looking to learn Greek, no matter their proficiency level, can study abroad in Greece. Living with a host family or making Greek friends provides an excellent opportunity to master a foreign language.
You may hold an advantage over other job-seekers if you graduate fluent in Greek or another language. You can seek employment overseas or work as a translator or interpreter.
5. You Can Eat Authentic Greek Cuisine
Imagine buying a freshly baked koulouri from a friendly street vendor while running to class. Many hours later, you indulge in a sweet bougatsa pie, one of Greece's best late-night snacks. Greek cuisine goes much further than the gyros and souvlaki found in American strip malls.
Getting out of your culinary comfort zone results in more than just a full stomach and happy memories — your broadened palate will encourage you to take on new food adventures for years to come.
6. The People Are Warm and Friendly
You might feel nervous meeting your host family for the first time, but your anxiety will quickly fade as they shower you with delicious food on your first night. You'll feel like a member of the family in no time. Greeks use the word philoxenia to describe this culture of hospitality, which encourages people to befriend strangers.
Prepare for this generosity with a little of your own. Bring small gifts for your host family and any people you become friends with while studying abroad in Greece.
7. You Can Explore a Beautiful Landscape
Thousands of tall trees carpet mountain ranges extending past the vast horizon. It seems like a scene reserved for someone who climbed a mountain or trekked for days through harsh wilderness. However, this view from the Monastery of Kaisariani is only a 30-minute drive from Athens.
While studying abroad in Greece, you can see this and many other beautiful vistas. If you prefer islands over mountains, save money by purchasing the Eurail Greek Islands Pass.
8. You Can See Gorgeous Cities
Athens is an architectural time machine. Descending from the Acropolis, you pass later Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman structures in just a few minutes. These impressive cathedrals, mosques, and plateias leave you imagining the people who walked these streets centuries ago.
Athens offers much to see, but Greece's other cities feature even more. A short trip to the island of Santorini provides breathtaking views you'll never forget.
9. You Can Immerse Yourself in History
The stone seat in the ancient amphitheater provides little comfort, but just imagine sitting there for hours listening to an original performance of Sophocles's Oedipus Rex. Being there transforms what was once just a high school or college assignment into a deeply personal, meaningful memory.
Remember to spend part of your time studying abroad in Greece visiting some of the country's 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites. These magnificent temples and archaeological digs can help contextualize and solidify your historical knowledge.
Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad in Greece
How much does it cost to study abroad in Greece?
Expect to pay your college's regular tuition rate and a study abroad fee. Typical fees and travel-related expenses can raise the cost of attendance by approximately 33%. You should also budget for personal expenses and travel within Greece.
If you can't afford a semesterlong program, consider a summer one. You can earn college credit and pay less out of pocket. However, these programs may not let you live with a host family or travel independently. Check your school's policies for more information.
Where should I study abroad in Greece?
Living in Athens lets you receive an excellent education, meet diverse groups of people, and immerse yourself in Greece's cuisine and culture. Your school likely partners with a college or university in this city. Professors there conduct most classes in English and provide you with specialized support.
Ask your college's study abroad office if there are opportunities in Thessaloniki or other major cities. Living in a different part of Greece will be different from the big-city experience in Athens.
What are the requirements to study abroad in Greece?
European Union (EU) citizens do not need a visa to study abroad in Greece. If you live outside the EU, you must hold a valid passport and apply for a student visa. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website features updated information and necessary forms.
You may encounter other requirements depending on your school. They may include a minimum undergraduate GPA and taking at least one semester or year of Greek. Contact your school's study abroad office for more information.