One of the oldest cities in the world, Athens has for long been a dynamic force in the Mediterranean and a magnet for visitors from all over the globe. Today the capital of Greece as well as a major cultural, financial, and industrial center of southeastern Europe, Athens remains a prime destination to begin your international career with an internship abroad. Intern abroad in Athens for an unforgettable and rewarding experience in one of Europe’s truly great cities.
Internships in Athens
As it is a major economic hub of southern Europe, there are many different fields in which it is possible to intern abroad in Athens. Because the city is most famous for its classical thought and ancient roots, many interns choose to look for placements in fields such as Archaeology, Museum Studies, or Art History. Those interested in immersing themselves in the modern Athens may prefer fields such as Business, Media, or Environmental Studies.
Internships in Athens come in all shapes and sizes, and usually the intern is given a good degree of flexibility in customizing their own experience. Often you can choose to intern abroad in Athens for as shorts as just a couple months or as long as a whole year, depending on your availability and professional aspirations. Many programs will also offer you the opportunity to combine your internship in Athens with the opportunity to earn academic credit in a related field.
There is one major catch to note. While English speaking internships are available in some areas, the professional community in Athens utilizes the Greek language, which will limit the amount of internship opportunities which are available to the non-speaker. If you really want the most out of your internship in Athens, then learning at least the basics of Greek should be a top priority.
Life in Athens
While many international visitors travel to Athens to explore its ancient history (UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Acropolis and the Daphni Monastery are especially popular given their respective origins spanning back millennia), Athens is actually a highly modern city which is the focal point of Greek culture, politics, and economic activity.
As an intern abroad in Athens you will likely learn much about the city’s ancient roots, but it is the modern side which you will find yourself immersed in day in and day out. Greece is a fascinating place to be right now as the country finds itself increasingly on the European hot seat. Make the effort to engage with locals as much as possible and they can introduce you to a side of the city that most tourists will never get to see.
Athens is one of the largest cities in Europe with over 3 million people living in the urban area, though it still manages to function under a relatively laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle. The weather is moderate year round and the city is built into a hilly basin where you are never too far from nature. Transportation around the city is also made a breeze by the interconnected bus and Attiko Metro system.
Salary & Costs
Internships in Athens can be either paid or unpaid, and this is largely dependent on the profitability of the industry you are working in (for example, don’t expect to make a king’s ransom if interning abroad in education). Regardless, many internships will at least compensate you in other ways such as helping pay for housing, meals, and transportation.
Athens itself is a moderately expensive city to live in, though significantly more affordable than other major European cities such as Paris and London. Usually dining out at an inexpensive restaurant will run you around $10, for example.
Accommodation & Visas
Internship abroad programs in Athens will often help set you up with housing in the city. Homestays are sometimes made available, but apartment or flat living is generally the more common option while you intern abroad in Athens. Housing can be a bit expensive especially near the city center, so finding roommates to shack up with is always a good idea to pursue.
As part of the European Union, Greece allows for free labor movement between other European states. This means that while nationals from outside of Europe will generally have to apply for a visa in order to intern abroad in Athens, European nationals are good to go visa-free. You can check out our Greek Embassy Directory for more details on the country’s visa policy as it applies to you.
Benefits & Challenges
Classic City. Perusing the ancient monuments and world-class museums of Athens can transport you back to a different time with the power that few other cities in the world possess. If you aren’t already big on the classics, you may become so after you intern abroad in Athens.
Modern Prospects. At the same time, Athens is a major global city in the Mediterranean region with influence in many different areas. An internship abroad in Athens can help set you up for tremendous future success, especially if your career aspirations lie internationally.
Travel Opportunity. Once you begin a career, it only gets harder to find time to travel. This is your chance to kill two birds with one stone while exploring one of the oldest continuously thriving regions of the world.