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This country at a glance

Total population.
Colleges that offer programs taught entirely in English.
English-taught bachelor's programs offered.
English-taught master's programs offered.

Best Universities in Greece for International Students

These universities have been vetted to accepted international students and offer programs that have no foreign language requirements.

Why should I study in Greece?

Greece has some of the world’s most important archaeological sites, miles of beautiful coastline, and warm, sunny weather to match. The influence of Greece is immense when you consider how ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle still play an important role in modern democratic societies.

Greece is in the south of Europe and is part of the European mainland, but also has approximately 6,000 islands scattered around the Aegean and Ionian seas. Mainland Greece borders Turkey to the east and Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania to the north. The country enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild, moderately wet winters. Benefitting from this warm climate, Greece grows an abundance of different fruits and nuts. In particular, it is most famous for its production of olives.

The cuisine in Greece is world renowned for being both tasty and extremely healthy, with foods such as feta cheese and Greek yogurt. There are a number of issues to consider before choosing to study in Greece. The country has been facing a severe economic crisis and this has impacted public universities, with some temporarily closing and disrupting studies. There are also a number of private colleges, which are not at the mercy of public finances. However, these institutions also have their own issues, with the Greek government failing to recognize a private college diploma in some instances. Because the Greek government fails to fully recognize the programs of private colleges, most are validated by foreign universities. Despite these issues, studying in Greece can be a great opportunity. Living in Greece is also very affordable, with housing often attainable for less than €250 per month, and food and drink are equally inexpensive.

How to Get Into the Best Unis in Greece

For undergraduate studies, there are no national admissions criteria beyond proof of readiness for post-secondary education in the form of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Proof of means requirements.

Dependent students: To get a long-stay visa, you'll be required to provide the following for proof of means:

  1. a signed affidavit from your parents stating they will cover all your living expenses while in Greece. 
  2. parents’ bank and credit card statements; 
  3. Parents’ W2 forms for the last two years. Independent students must provide proof of sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay (some combination of credit card account statements, travelers’ checks, salary slips, registered proof of sponsorship and/or private accommodation) and for the return to their home country (i.e., return ticket). In both cases, the minimum amount of money you need to have for each day that you stay in Greece is 50 euros. That is, if you are staying in Greece for 6 months, you will need to prove that you have 9,000 euros plus a return ticket home. 

Working in Greece as an International Student

Due to the economic situation, international students should not expect to find employment while studying in Greece.

Student Residence Options in Greece

The process of obtaining a student visa can take 3–4 months. If you are interested in studying in Greece, you will need the following:

  1. Your passport (the expiration date must be at least 3 months after you plan to exit Greece.) 
  2. One color photograph (2x2 inches)
  3. A completed and signed National VISA Application Form 
  4. An acceptance letter from the institution where you will be studying, certified by the prefectorial office. 
  5. A letter from a physician stating you suffer from no communicable diseases (Medical Certificate for VISA). 

6. National criminal record check from the F.B.I.

7. Health insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation in the Schengen States (minimum coverage of €30.000).

8. Proof of funds for the duration of stay in Greece (signed affidavit from your parents stating they will cover all your living expenses while in Greece)

9. Parents’ bank and credit card statements 

10. Parents’ W2 forms for the last two years

Health Insurance in Greece for International Students

To get the long-stay visa, you'll need to demonstrate that you have health insurance. You'll need to be covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation in the Schengen States (minimum coverage of €30.000).

Special notes

The law in Greece prevents private schools from offering higher education degrees as independent universities.  

Basically, private universities have to partner with foreign universities in order to offer study programs in Greece.  This usually occurs through a franchise or validation agreement, and then the degree a student gets is one that is actually from the validating school.  (If a university or someplace validates programs for Private School A in Greece, the diploma will come from the University of Somewhere).  Sometimes the University of Somewhere provides the syllabus and such for Private School A to implement themselves—sort of a turnkey school.  Other times, the University of Somewhere has reviewed Private School A’s program and signed off on it.  Of note is that validation is something that is paid for, but accreditation is not. 

We have not listed these kinds of schools in other countries. We have included them for Greece, though, because there is no other way for private universities to exist there.  We are not including what I think of as “warehouse schools”—schools that have franchise arrangements with multiple UK schools implemented under one roof and are generally conducted through distance learning. The bottom line is that if you are exploring schools in Greece, it is important to clarify where the degree is actually coming from and decide whether it is a reputable source.  Though Greece has received much pressure from the EU about their stance on private schools and has made some concessions due to this pressure, many in Greece see private universities as substandard. 

Until very recently, Greece did not recognize the diplomas as equal to those given by Greek state universities.  They now lead to the same professional rights, though not education rights (you can qualify for a job, but not a master's degree).

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English-taught bachelor's programs in our database.
English-taught master's programs in our database.
Beautiful European cities to choose from.
Top-tier universities accepting international students.
Typical savings against a private university in the US.
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All inclusive of tuition, living, food, books, health insurance, travel expenses, as well as hidden fees. Compiled with data from students and the official websites from KU Leuven, UNC, and Duke.

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