As the cultural capital of Greece, a host to numerous festivals, and a major center of education, you’ll have a legendary time studying abroad in Thessaloniki! In Greece’s second-largest city, you’ll marvel archaeological sites and feast on bougatsa pastries before you even set foot in the classroom. Thessaloniki lies at the northwest corner of the Aegean Sea, blends eastern and western european cultures, and you could visit its neighboring countries of Italy and Turkey if you so choose. Study abroad in Thessaloniki to experience an education that would even make Aristotle jealous!
Popular Ways to Study in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is home to two of Greece’s largest universities and numerous vocational and technical universities, so you have a wide spectrum of course choices. Going Greek here doesn’t mean joining a fraternity or sorority, it means choosing courses that speak to Greece’s culture! Interested in learning to speak Greek, Greek mythology, or even sailing? You’re in the right place!
Popular subjects to study. Thessaloniki is over 2,000 years old, and going through Roman, Byzantine, Middle Ages, and Ottoman Empire eras has led to a unique blend of architectural styles. As such, architecture is one of the more popular subjects. Other popular courses include theatre/acting, history, and anthropology. Of course, you could also take non-liberal arts courses in business, computer science, and agriculture as well!
Short term and summer programs vs. long term programs (semester, trimester, year-long). Another thing to keep in mind when looking at studying in Thessaloniki is the time of year and the program duration. You could choose to study in the fall, spring, summer, or for a full academic year. Semester or academic year programs will help you get the most of your euros with traveling and cultural immersion. Temperatures throughout the year are never too hot or too cold, but if you’re looking at summer programs, that time of year can get a bit humid and busy with tourism.
Attending universities vs. other program types. You have many course options here that can fulfill your major or elective requirements, but you also have program type options. You could choose to study at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki or the University of Macedonia; you could also go through a third-party program or through your own university. Be sure to discuss your top choices with a study abroad advisor to ensure that the program meets your course needs.
Student Life in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki appeals to students of all types — from adventure seekers to cultural lovers. Whether you’re interested in sports, culture, cuisine, or all three, you’ll discover sights and activities that are sure to appease you. Explore the ruins of the Roman Forum, take a go at baseline canyoning, visit the award winning Museum of Byzantine Culture, or watch football at Kaftanzoglio Stadium. Thessaloniki also boasts vibrant nightlife where you can party all night long — not to mention the city boasts the most bars and cafes per capita than any city in Europe!
The cost of living in Thessaloniki is fairly affordable compared to most big cities with rent only being between $300-$500 a month on average and water being less than a $1. Most programs offer homestay arrangements, which are a great room and board money saver. Clothes and recreation/entertainment are a bit higher, but you could always budget that money appropriately. Program costs depend on number of courses taken, duration, and offerings, but scholarships and fundraising can help with that.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
While you’re studying in Thessaloniki, you’ll for sure have to check out a few landmarks and foodie spots in your free time. The most important landmarks you should check out: The White Tower for a view of the Thermaikos Gulf, the Ladadika district for the architecture and restaurants, and the seaside promenade for the coastal landscape. For views overlooking the entire city, visit the walls of The Castle of Thessaloniki in Ano Poli. Also, if you’re in Thessaloniki in October, be sure to celebrate Dimitria, a cultural festival, with new friends and the locals.
Thessaloniki is fairly student-centered with many popular student hangouts. Visit Bit-Bazaar and nearby streets for for shops that offer cheap wine and delicious appetizers. For some of the best crepes in the city, visit Gounari street, which is near Navarinou square. The area around Kamara (the Arch of Galerius) also boasts some cheaper cafes and bars that are great for students who are looking to save some money.
Whether you’re studying business, liberal arts, or STEM courses, you’ll learn a lot outside of the classroom in this major political, economic, and industrial center of Greece that bridges various cultures. Even though this city was hit hard during the economic crisis, it remains as lively as ever. With its warm and hospitable locals, top universities in the world, and breathtaking waterfront views and sunsets, you won’t regret choosing to study abroad in Thessaloniki.
Why stop the inspo now?! Read our comprehensive guide on studying in Greece.