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Why Greece is Up-and-Coming Study Destination

"It took me a lifetime to discover Greece," said the US novelist Henry Miller. "But it took just a moment to fall in love with it. Greece opened my eyes to history and the world; it expanded my whole being." At the moment, around 30,000 international students follow Miller's footsteps every year. That's a relatively low figure compared to other European nations. However, that number is about to go up. An increasing number of international students are waking up to everything Greece has to offer, including world-class education, a global outlook, and a commitment to creating graduates who are fully prepared for the industries of the future. Here's a round-up of recent news and events that prove why Greece is one of Europe's up-and-coming study destinations.

Sep 12, 2021
  • Study Abroad
Why Greece is an Up-and-Coming Study Destination

A huge step toward internationalization

Earlier this year, the Greek government announced a new partnership between Greek universities and their UK counterparts. The Strategic Partnership in Education will include a new range of innovative programs and courses taught in English. The move is designed to attract students from the UK and the rest of the world. "This is our big step towards internationalization," says Christos Michalakelis, president and co-founder of Study in Greece. "It put us on the international educational map. UK students can now benefit from time in Greek universities, experiencing what they have to offer academically, as well as access to our history and culture. It will also be a major long-term boost to economic sectors such as shipping and tourism."

Greece in a post-Covid world

Like almost every other country in the world, Greece is still finding its feet following the COVID-19 outbreak. However, medical and financial analysts are impressed with the way Greece handled the pandemic. "With its aging population and reliance on tourism, Greece defied the odds," says Kevin Featherstone, director of the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics. "It acted swiftly and followed the science." The data-led approach has put Greece in a strong recovery position, and those leading the way into the new normal are confident that their nation will come out of this crisis even stronger. "Greece will find its way," says Christos Michalakelis. "The way we managed as a state and a society to handle this severe crisis will constitute the paradigm in a new era of challenges. We have to capitalize on this precious success and instill our courage and our creativity into developing sectors like the internationalization of education. We will promote the values of our country and civilization in order not only to attract tourists but to educate citizens of the world."

Creating global citizens

The Greek government understands the citizens of the future need to think globally. As such, it's launched a new Global Scholarship Initiative that funds international exchange programs. The grants mean young Greek students can spend a year studying or working abroad, allowing them to develop a global perspective, and the ability to communicate across cultures -- and thus boost the status of Greek higher education. “The exchange grants demonstrate our promise to create and foster transformational and long-lasting impact on Greek youth and society," says program director and communications officer Taylor Glazebrook. "Early international exchange experiences often have profound effects on participants and are an important tool for building a sense of global community and responsibility."

You can study everything in Greece

Greek schools now offer over 140 courses taught in English. This includes degrees in classics, engineering, humanities, social sciences, medical studies, technology, economics, business, art, music, and nutrition. Greece's top universities are also at the forefront of research into the cutting edge subjects powering what the World Economic Forum is calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

These high-tech subjects include artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), computer science, and data analytics. This has created the ideal environment for young start-ups, entrepreneurs, and disruptors. There are now around 50 IoT start-ups operating in Greece. Tribe Wearables is one of the most exciting new ventures. It's created a range of internet-connected smart apparel. The wearable devices use microelectronics tech to provide real-time information on an athlete's physical condition, helping improve performance and lower the risk of injury.

Preparing for the future of education

Greek schools and universities quickly embraced online education to keep young people learning during the COVID-19 lockdowns. In fact, universities were able to continue 93% of all programs during the pandemic thanks to online and blended learning technology. Thankfully, universities across the country are already preparing to welcome students back into the classroom this coming October.

However, some aspects of online learning will remain in place. Students will have more control over when and how they learn. It's also an important step toward creating a more accessible higher education system for working professionals looking to upskill or those who need to balance their studies with other commitments. Marcus Specht, a Professor of Digital Technology at the University of Trier, summed up this new approach during a recent talk on the value of online education. "The students of the future will demand a way of learning that is appropriate for their situation and context. Virtual learning technologies will make this happen. They're going to become central to education over the next generation."

Vaccinations on campus

Students attending Greek universities will soon be able to get their COVID-19 vaccinations on campus. Education Minister Niki Kerameus announced plans for campus vaccination centers during an interview on national TV earlier this month. Although no date has been set, she's confident they will be up and running within the next few months. Minister Kerameus also announced rapid COVID-19 testing programs in schools and colleges to reduce the likelihood of any localized outbreaks.

Staff and students who choose not to be vaccinated must present a certificate proving an infection within the last six months or a negative PCR test, announced the minister. Minister Kerameus was keen to remind people vaccine passports are essential in preventing further lockdowns that could disrupt the nation's economy and education system.

Partnering with rapidly growing economies

In the last three years Chinese and Greek universities have signed 11 cooperation agreements to create closer international ties and student exchange programs; and more initiatives are on the way. During a recent forum on Chinese-Hellenic cooperation in higher education, Meletios-Athanasios Dimopoulos, Rector of Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), said, "We believe that the cooperation for the exchanges of students, professors, and researchers will help to strengthen the friendship between the two countries." Zhao Lingshan, Secretary-General of the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), echoed similar sentiments. "We hope to strengthen the pragmatic cooperation with the Greek higher education sector, expand the vision of cooperation in the Chinese education sector, and bring together the educational circles of the two sides to enhance both Chinese and Greece's international influence and competitiveness in the education field."

A wonderful place to live and study

Greece is an amazing place to visit, live, and study. First of all, there's the weather. Greek summers are truly glorious, with temperatures regularly in the 30s. Then there's the blue seas, white-sand beaches, and beautiful countryside to explore. Greece is also home to some of the best tourist attractions in the world, including the ancient Acropolis. Dating back to the 5th century, it's an iconic site of western history and civilization.

Greek food is fresh, delicious, and super healthy. Expect lots of grilled meats, freshly caught seafood, rich olive oils, tangy seasonal vegetables, and handmade cheeses. The cost of living is also student-budget-friendly. On average, international students can live comfortably on $1,100 per month. That covers housing, food, travel costs, and other expenses. So why not consider Greece as your next study destination?

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Ashley Murphy


After graduating with a degree in English literature and creative writing, Ashley worked as a bartender, insurance broker, and teacher. He became a full-time freelance writer in 2016. He lives and writes in Manchester, England.

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