Democracy, mathematics, and philosophy have something in common: they’re all Greek words borrowed by the English language! As one of the oldest Indo-European languages (like 4,000 years old!), Greek words, roots, prefixes, and suffixes have found their way into English. Master Modern Greek while understanding your native tongue a little better amidst diverse geographies (think mountainous landscapes and picturesque islands). This is your big, fat, Greek chance to see Santorini’s famous sunsets, bask in the grandiosity of Meteora, get a feel for the glory of Ancient Greece, and taste homemade tzatziki and souvlaki (after sipping the classic ouzo apéritif).
Images of blue-roofed white houses, aquamarine shores, and archeological sites come to mind when Greece is mentioned. From Ancient Delphi to the Acropolis to Samariá Gorge, you simply can’t go wrong choosing a location for Greek language programs in Greece.
Athens. Named after the goddess of wisdom, Athens is a capital city unlike any other. Choose Athens for your language study in Greece and you’ll be able to study Greek in one of the world’s oldest cities, which combines classical with contemporary effortlessly. Explore Athens’ hills (including the “high city” of Acropolis), hit up the flea markets in the central square of Monastiraki, and check out the youthful, alternative neighborhood of Exharia, speckled with street art and located near the National Archeological Museum. Buckle down at Greek language school, but take advantage of being in a jump-off location that provides access to not only the north and south of the country, but to the islands as well.
Crete. As the largest, most southern Greek island, Crete is a charming blend of Venetian, Turkish, and Greek influences. When you’re not hitting the Greek books in Chania, you can walk down to the nearby and stunning Old Venetian Harbour. To truly understand Greek culture while learning the language, hike through a World’s Biosphere Reserve in Samariá Gorge, visit Cretan villages by getting the lowdown at the kafenion (Greek café), and sip on tsikoudia, a powerful brandy distilled in Crete.
Thessaloniki. Greece’s second city beats to its own port city drum. It’s walkable, making it super easy to bounce from the historical quarter, Ladadika, to the Old City and then over to the infamous White Tower. Thessaloniki has no shortage of Byzantine monuments and a cool, hip vibe that has produced many Greek thinkers, artists, musicians, and poets.
Greek Language Programs in Greece
Study the official language of Greece where democracy began. Greek is key to understanding Western civilization, and it’s even a source for international scientific vocabulary.
Surrounding yourself in all things Greek is the best way to fluency. Language immersion programs in Greece are the norm with flexible start dates. Many language schools in Greece offer four-hour daily classes in a small group setting (less than twelve students!) for two or four weeks. There will always be the option for extension though; there is no such thing as too much Greek, right? For about twenty hours per week, you could spend your time learning the Greek language in a group or one-on-one for extra individual attention.
If you're academically inspired, Greece has a variety of summer Greek language programs in English, designed to send nerdy, excited jitters down your spine. Spend your summer exploring anthropology, excavating, questioning perceptions and place, or studying sustainability in Greek communities. You can earn academic credits while basking in the sun during summer sessions between the months of May and July; not a bad way to study Greek, eh?
Complement your Greek language courses in Greece with an extra dose of culture by visiting museums, eating at the local Greek restaurants, seeing theatre performances, and taking sirtos dance lessons (heed Plato’s advice and find the rhythm in your soul). You’ll deepen your understanding of Greek culture within an ancient context because the entire country is your classroom! Pride yourself on Olympic-sized accomplishments, such as sparking conversations with warm-hearted, social Greeks over a glass of Cretan wine from the Iraklio region.
Costs & Affordability
If you consider the beauty of the location and history of the place, Greece offers the finest with costs that are fairly reasonable.
Depending on which destination you choose to practice efharisto and parakalo, the cost of living can vary. Athens, being the capital and all, would be slightly more expensive than other Greek cities. A typical inexpensive meal would cost about 10€, while a Coke would run you about 1.40€. In Crete, the same meal would cost about 8€ and 1.30€, respectively. There’s a bright side to the capital’s more costly food options, and it comes in the form of street food. Start (or end) your day with sesame bread, koulouri, and don’t miss out on the Athenian version of a hot dog, which is cost effective and delicious. For when you’re itching to cook your own creations, head to the Laiki markets (farmers market) for fresh fruits, vegetables, and just about all kinds of olives and oils.
Greek language programs in Greece vary in length as they do in type of instruction, and keep in mind that group vs private classes affect affordability. Program costs range from a few hundred to a few thousand U.S. dollars. To gain as much knowledge of Greek as possible, opt for a longer language program in Greece.
Accommodation & Visas
In pursuit of a Greek life, language schools in Greece offer lots of housing options that cater to all accommodation interests.
You can learn to live, talk, and eat (and eat some more) as the Greeks do in a homestay with your very own private room, or be more independent (and attempt your very own Greek dishes) in shared apartments, student residences, or even hostels. Full language immersion programs in Greece usually hook students up with housing and are ready to set you up with a place to live through local connections. If you opt for finding your own slice of home in Greece, make sure to start the process ahead of time and research neighborhoods and transportation options thoroughly.
Take the leap and study Greek in Greece knowing that no tourist visa is required for citizens of the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom for stays of up to 90 days. Opa! If a longer, immersive language experience is what you’re after, look up necessary visa information on GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Studying Greek in Greece will give you the chance to learn a new language while also furthering your knowledge of your native tongue, English! Cool, huh? There’s no better place to study Greek than in Greece; it’s just a matter of getting there.
Mediterranean Munchin’. If you’re an olive oil lover, the traditional Mediterranean diet in Greece will be your (healthy) Achilles heel. With influences from Italy and Turkey, Greek cuisine is mouth-watering good: feta cheese, moussaka, fast-food gyros, and...wait for it...baklava. Greece even has its own Museum of Greek Gastronomy; the food must really be that good.
Greek Immersion. The secret to language learning is immersion. Learning a new language requires you to live it (aka. live and learn through the culture). Greek language programs in Greece are all about immersive experiences. You’ll be hitting the books at Greek school and simultaneously exploring food, art, architecture, music, dance, and the oh-so-important Greek philosophy.
If Greek is what you want, Greek language courses in Greece are what you should go after. Once you’ve chosen a program that is perfect for you, start picturing yourself among the many ancient ruins and postcard-esque landscapes Greece has to offer. Kick back, relax, and be open to the easygoing Greek style of life and learning.