National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Tatiana Bollari)
Stepping foot on the Land of Gods opens the gateway to success, seizing opportunities, making friends, and experiencing the Greek lifestyle on which western civilization was built upon. Greece, the epitome of ancient philosophy, great virtue, and wisdom is a unique place for anyone thinking to set a solid base for their future.
While Athens and Thessaloniki are the main student cities in Greece, you can visit outstanding attractions at every corner of the country. Besides admiring cultural sites, museums, and architecture that are filled with endless rich history, the spectacular beaches and exciting nightlife will brighten the overall student experience.
Undergraduate student of Psychology, at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Evangelos Chatzianastasiou, told TNH, “The city of Athens offers everything a student desires, both in terms of entertainment and education. The countless theatrical performances, concerts, parks, recreational venues, cinemas, study centers, picturesque landscapes, and archaeological sites, fill the city with a unique energy- everything taking place within walking distance. All of this combined with the high-level education of the universities make Athens the ideal place to study.”
Law student, Evi Chalkidi, also studying at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens said, “Athens, the city of beautiful chaos, where liveliness and noise join forces. Even though daily stress is inevitable for Athenians, they always find a way to relax their spirit and enjoy a simple evening coffee with friends. A megacity where you never stop discovering new places that embrace antiquity and tradition.”
Greece has approximately 24 universities and 16 technical campuses with most of them being public. As Greece is a country belonging in the European Union, it is a member of the Bologna Process, which is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications, allowing students to earn and transfer ECTS credits. Amongst the greatest universities in Greece are, The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Patras, the National Technical University of Athens, University of Crete, and the University of Ioannina.
“Life in Thessaloniki is defined by carefreeness. Its hospitable citizens, the majestic sights, and beautiful landscapes are unique characteristics you won’t come across in any other city in Greece. The high-level universities combined with Thessaloniki’s culture are capable of offering you an unforgettable student experience, and at the same time provide you with knowledge about your future profession,” said Malvina Tziouref, student of Aristotle University at the Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, in Thessaloniki.
The affordable lifestyle combined with free education in Greek public universities provides students with the flexibility to allocate their spending on entertainment, delicious food, and cultural visits. Anthologies, novels, and other books are typically lent to students and sometimes even given for their own use. The University of Thessaloniki offers hot meals twice a day and access to all the amenities of the gym for only 20 euros per year.
In terms of accommodation, Greece is considered one of the cheapest countries in Europe to live in, as rent is around 350 to 750 euros per month on average, in comparison to other European destinations such as Spain, Germany, and Italy where the average monthly living costs are between 800 and 1,000 euros.
Constantinos Vlaikos, an Administrative Science and Technology student at the University of Patras, mentioned that life in Patra is a lot different than he expected. “I was pleasantly surprised by the open-mindedness of the people; here you can be your true self without being judged.” He added, “Since students account for around 33 per cent of the city, the lifestyle is generally very affordable. Expenses like rent, electricity, outings, and any other entertainment activities, will add up to approximately 500-550 euros per month.”
For Constantinos, it is important that he can express himself freely and follow his dreams. “This is the place which feels like home, the place where I can push myself to work on the person I want to be, surrounded by the amazing people I meet every day, all taking place in a city I fell in love with,” he noted.
Cyprus is another great choice for higher education as it has invested its riches in a high-quality European education system, with affordable university tuition costs and plenty of facilities and benefits. It has spent more than 7 per cent of its GDP on education, the third highest share in the European Union after Denmark and Sweden.
Students are provided with the necessary conditions for a successful and comfortable academic experience, as well as help with accommodation. All major universities and colleges have their own dormitories, even though students can seek in renting an apartment, however this option is more expensive.
There are several public and private universities in the country, offering study programmes in various fields, from business and medicine, to computer science and tourism management. The University of Cyprus, University of Nicosia, UCLan Cyprus, University of Technology Cyprus, and European University of Cyprus are amongst the best academic choices.
Anna Chalkidou, student at the University of Cyprus, medical department stated, “At the University of Cyprus, it is easy to build a relationship with your professors as our group is relatively small, therefore the one-on-one communication is helpful in the long-run as each individual can be taken care of depending on their needs.”
The higher education institutions are well-funded and provide students with high-standard study halls, libraries, mess halls and student assistance offices, ready to handle the challenges that arise in an international campus.
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