Study Abroad in Greece

Back to Programs

A Guide to Studying Abroad in Greece

Ready to go from zero to hero? When we think of studying abroad in Greece, images of emerald islands, a rebound from tough economic times, the delightful waft of lamb kabobs, and yes, a baby pegasus, comes to mind. But that is just scratching the surface of this ancient wonderwold. Uncover and explore the modern and the ancient at its confluence. Greece packs a punch when it comes to study abroad; and, luckily, you don’t have to run a marathon to be eligible for study abroad in Greece.


From its capital in Athens to the island of Knossos, Greece has an incredible topography that offers a huge variety of cities, beaches, mountains, and climates. In the south, you’ll find the Mediterranean Sea dotted with islands that have the most picturesque beaches imaginable (yeah, we stand by that statement!). In the north, you’ll find winters that are a force to be reckoned with. Most universities are located in Athens, and as such, it is the most popular place for international students to study in Greece; however, there are other cities that offer more uniquely-Greek experiences as well.

Athens, Greece’s capital and largest city, is an inviting place full of temples, theatres, and modern conveniences. With the recent economic downturn that has plagued the nation, few cities were visibly hit harder than Athens. What has emerged in the aftermath is a grungy, artsy, tough-as-nails-city; a good fit for the renegade student. As the metropolis is both ancient and modern, it’s a great place to study in Greece if you want to experience immersion and diversity.

From the famed Archeological Museum to the Church of Agio Dimitrios, the city of Thessaloniki is a thriving, slightly chaotic, city that lets you step into the pages of Greek history. There are a number of universities in Thessaloniki that will allow students to study whatever they wish, while also offering access to historical and cultural sites from the Byzantine and Classic Greek periods. With pristine beaches, an incredible social life, and a crazy, yet delicate, mixture of ancient and modern, Thessaloniki is a great option for study abroad in Greece for those who desire the city life without the tourist crowds.

Away from mainland Greece lies the island and town of Rhodes. It’s the perfect place to put yourself in a time capsule and travel back to the Medieval ages, a contrast of Italian and Ottoman architecture are trapped in Old Town Rhodes. In contrast, New Town Rhodes boasts upscale hotels and shops that will take you back to the modern era and let you lounge in the lap of luxury. While the town itself is small, there are several program options available that offer a non-traditional experience to set you apart from your study abroad peers. 

Study Abroad Programs in Greece

Due to its incredibly wide array of sites, cities, and universities, Greece has an abundance of options when it comes to choosing which course you’d like to take. Students will often choose to take courses that play to Greece’s strengths, such as philosophy and political science

What’s the first word that pops into your mind when someone says Greece? For us, it’s history. At Greek universities there are so many history classes that it’s possible for students to really focus in on a period that interests them, and the same goes for study abroad programs in Greece. Classical or Hellenic classes are great options as field trips can be taken to the many ancient ruins that only exist in Greece. If you are interested in history, you should also check out courses in archaeology as well.

As the birthplace of tragedy and comedy, Greece also boasts some of the most interesting theater and drama classes in the world. With excursions to 3rd Century B.C. theaters and access to plays in traditional Greek amphitheaters, it’s tough not to feel the thrill of the stage. Due to its importance in Greek culture, there are quite a few different options for students to choose from, and it’s possible to earn multiple credits in fine arts if you study abroad in Greece.

Scholarships & Costs

Whether you want to book a mini sailing trip to the Mediterranean, buy a meal in a traditional Greek street market, or lounge with a drink on a beach, Greece can sneakily eat away at even the most carefully-planned budgets. Research what you want to do outside the classroom beforehand, and know exactly what’s included in your program as many study abroad organizations in Greece offer cultural excursions. And who wants to go climb Mt. Olympus twice?

There are plenty of scholarships available for those who choose to study abroad in Greece, with many specifically for students interested in historical or archaeological research. There are also scholarships available that are sponsored by Greek universities which can cover almost the entire program price! Don’t forget to ask your program advisor about the kind of discounts they offer, as some providers offer small but easy financial aid opportunities. 

Greece is part of the European Union, and therefore uses the Euro as its currency. If you’re really on a budget, try to choose a study abroad program in Greece during one of the “shoulder” seasons, such as autumn or winter. An average meal will typically cost around €10, but there are cheaper options available at market stalls and street food stands. Carry your student ID with you everywhere, as there are some great deals not only on grub and entertainment, but on fancy historical sites as well.

Accommodation & Visas

One of the most important parts about planning your study abroad trip is choosing what type of housing you’ll live in while overseas. Thankfully, Greece has every type of housing available. If you’re looking to get that truly “Big Fat Greek” semester abroad, then consider staying with a host family, which will offer the most immersive experience (and the most tasty, considering all of the home-cooked meals). However, there are also independent housing options available for those not comfortable living with a local family, including dormitories and apartments, which can be rented solo or shared with other students.

Visas required for international students to study in Greece depend on your country of origin and the length of your stay, but in general visas for students won’t require much. For most nationalities, Greece gives out free 90-day visas that usually cover the duration of study abroad programs. If you’re planning on studying in Greece for a semester or year, check with your program advisor to see what kind of visa you’ll need, and visit GoAbroad’s Greek Embassy directory to locate an embassy closest to you.

Benefits & Challenges

It can be a Herculean effort to fit in. Due to its ever-important place in world history, its make-all-your-friends-jealous beaches, and its open culture, Greece is a mega-destination for tourists. This can be off-putting for some study abroad students, as it can be hard to integrate in a place specifically geared for short term travelers.

Remember: the Greek experience is what you make it. Don’t let the thriving tourism of Greece get you down; get off the beaten path, ask locals for insider tips on which exhibition to attend, which gyro to taste, and which neighborhood to call your new home. The more integrated you become, the less you’ll rely on your Lonely Planet and the more you’ll find the hidden places and adventures that make study abroad in Greece so magical (with the help of Pegasus, of course).

Greeks are social beings. Their families are extended and they are quick to welcome in newcomers, whether for a coffee, a shot of ouzo, a chorus on the bouzouki, or a heated debate. Greeks are passionate, and this passion continues to drive society forward despite the recent economic turmoil. Life is lived to the fullest, even at the most difficult of times, and herein lies the secret of how a country, seemingly riddled with challenges, is full of people who remain so in love with life.

So, go study abroad in Greece, love life, fill your tummy full of feta with olives, and become Greek yourself.

Read More

written by:

Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Greece


 Find Study Abroad Programs in Greece Now


This listing has been saved 2 times

Affordable, unique summer and semester programs in Athens!

Imagine strolling to class with ancient ruins as your backdrop. Enjoy Athens’ unique blend of rich history and modern flair. Choose from a variety of local and globally-themed classes at an American-style campus in the heart of the city. Guided walking tours, excursions, and cultural activities get you out and immersed in the vibrant city!

students in an adventure trip

This listing has been saved 15 times

Study in one of Greece's most beautiful island treasures

Athena Study Abroad offers American students the opportunity to study in the beautiful island of Paros, Greece. The program is especially ideal for students interested in a coursework that goes beyond just the traditional lecture format. Participants get the chance to work with talented artists and competent teachers who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Athena Study Abroad - Greece

This listing has been saved 2 times

Study Abroad Programs with ISA

Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, is a bustling metropolis on the northern coast of the Aegean Sea. Students will take classes at the American College of Thessaloniki, which is one 6 universities outside of the United States with NEASC-accreditation. ACT offers a wide varitey of courses such as Business, Computer Science, Art, Communications and Politics, all instructed in English.

Friends posing in front of ruins

This listing has been saved 3 times

Music Semester in Athens, Greece

Interested in both travel and broader academic knowledge? Studying has never been more fun than when you spend a semester in Athens. You will take courses in composition, world music, theory, piano, voice, music history, and more while calling the ancient city of Athens home. You’ll be centrally located with access to many fantastic music venues, and a culture whose artistic expression has infl...


This listing has been saved 5 times

Hellenic International Studies in the Arts

Study in Paros with the Hellenic International Studies in the Arts in Greece for a semester or an academic year. The program emphasizes self-exploration, individual creative expression, and appreciation of the beauty and artistic atmosphere of this island nation. Participants from different parts of the world can join in this study abroad program throughout the year.


This listing has been saved 8 times

Odyssey in Athens Study Abroad Program, Webster Athens

Odyssey in Athens is a study abroad program offered through Webster University Athens. Located in the center of Athens in the Plaka area- the historic section - right below the Acropolis, this campus is a perfect location for formal study and study abroad. Students from all over the US with a wide variety of majors can participate and receive academic credit that transfers back to the stude...


This listing has been saved 28 times

Summer in Greece with Forum-Nexus!

A few spots still available for this summer. Apply today! Explore Greece through study abroad with Forum-Nexus Study Abroad, and earn academic course credits in the summer term. Students can choose from a wide array of educational courses from Culture and Communications to Philosophy. Participants are also given the chance to explore neighboring countries with Forum-Nexus to gain an even broad...

Student in an excursion trip to Greece

This listing has been saved 30 times

Goal: Get into Med School. A summer in Greece to help you.

We don't just see pre-medical students - we see the future of the US healthcare system. We want to help each generation of pre-med students to be the most qualified, the most prepared, the most empathetic, and the most compassionate cohort of medical leaders the world has ever seen. And we're committed to partnering with you on your way to becoming a doctor, which is why we carefully design ...


This listing has been saved 5 times

Switzerland: Banking, Finance, and Social Responsibility

Examine macroeconomics and the global finance system through the lens of social justice and the ethics of sustainable business. GenevaFrom its base in Geneva, this program provides a thorough background in international banking and finance through a social justice lens using an experiential, case study approach. The program addresses the causes and implications of the unstable global financi...


This listing has been saved 30 times

Discover YFU Short Term Summer Programs

Looking for the perfect combination of adventure and discovery this summer? YFU is excited to add to our long list of summer programs with four new 2-week programs to France, Germany, Greece and Spain- just right for a student's busy summer schedule! These programs are a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel with your friends to explore unique cultural centers while experiencing life wi...